Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy... See full summary »




Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Jean Paget (3 episodes, 1981)
 Joe Harman (3 episodes, 1981)
 Noel Strachan (3 episodes, 1981)
 Mrs. Frith (3 episodes, 1981)
Yuki Shimoda ...
 Sergeant Mifune (3 episodes, 1981)
Anna Volska ...
 Sally Wilson-Hayes (3 episodes, 1981)
Donald MacDonald ...
 Derek Wilson-Hayes (3 episodes, 1981)
Jennifer West ...
 Mrs. Horsefall (3 episodes, 1981)
Pat Evison ...
 Mrs. Collard (3 episodes, 1981)
Mandy Boocock ...
 Marlene Collard (3 episodes, 1981)
Rebecca Marshall ...
 Rita Collard (3 episodes, 1981)
Debbie Baile ...
 Audrey Forbes (3 episodes, 1981)
Cecily Polson ...
 Eileen Holland (3 episodes, 1981)
Melissa Crawford ...
 Robyn Holland (3 episodes, 1981)
John Allen ...
 Bill Holland (3 episodes, 1981)
Sean Hinton ...
 Freddie Holland (3 episodes, 1981)
 Jane Holland (3 episodes, 1981)
Crispian Ashby ...
 Jonnie Horsefall (3 episodes, 1981)
 Donald Paget (3 episodes, 1981)
Patrick Dickson ...
 Tommy Smythe (3 episodes, 1981)
Kenneth Brown ...
 Ben Leggatt (3 episodes, 1981)
 Captain Sugamo (3 episodes, 1981)
Hatsuo Uda ...
 Captain Koniata (3 episodes, 1981)
Lim Beng Choon ...
 Major Nemu (3 episodes, 1981)
Akio Fukuwa ...
 Japanese Lieutenant (3 episodes, 1981)
Zain Ariff ...
 Mat Amin (3 episodes, 1981)
Zainal Aziz ...
 Suleiman (3 episodes, 1981)
Antony Croser ...
 James McFadden (3 episodes, 1981)
John Lee ...
 Lester 'Les' Robinson (3 episodes, 1981)
Joan Lord ...
 Miss Carter (3 episodes, 1981)
 Dr. Kennedy (3 episodes, 1981)
Maggie Dence ...
 Mrs. O'Connor (3 episodes, 1981)
Lorna Lesley ...
 Rose Sawyer (3 episodes, 1981)
Maurie Fields ...
 Al Burns (3 episodes, 1981)
Arkie Whiteley ...
 Annie (3 episodes, 1981)
Tim McKenzie ...
 Pete Fletcher (3 episodes, 1981)
 Tim Whelan (3 episodes, 1981)
Lois Ramsey ...
 Mrs. Driver (3 episodes, 1981)
Isabel Kirk ...
 Mrs. Duveen (3 episodes, 1981)
 Bourneville (3 episodes, 1981)
Syd Heylen ...
 Art Foster (3 episodes, 1981)
Peter Kowitz ...
 TAA Pilot (3 episodes, 1981)
Ross Thompson ...
 Beetchcraft Pilot (3 episodes, 1981)
Robert Noble ...
 Dragon Pilot (3 episodes, 1981)
Ed Turley ...
 Police Sergeant (3 episodes, 1981)
Peter Paulson ...
 Flying Doctor (3 episodes, 1981)
Derek Wyness ...
 Don Curtis (3 episodes, 1981)
Gertude Treloar ...
 Palmolive (3 episodes, 1981)
Gary Priest ...
 Bush Brother (3 episodes, 1981)
Lofty Cannard ...
 Crocodile Shooter (3 episodes, 1981)
Anne Haddy ...
 Aggie Topp (3 episodes, 1981)


Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia Based on Nevil Shute' international bestselling novel A TOWN LIKE ALICE follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya--sh an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rugged outback of Australia-to face a challenge every bit as demanding as their wartime trials. Written by Walter Coffey <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War





Release Date:

4 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der lange Weg nach Alice Springs  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final acting project by Yuki Shimoda. See more »


Although set in 1948, Jean Paget boards a Routemaster London bus. Routemasters weren't introduced until the mid-1950s. See more »


Version of A Town Like Alice (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

A moving film with captivating romance that you'll never forget!
25 April 1999 | by (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A TOWN LIKE ALICE first captivated me when I was only 14 and caught a re-run of it on T.V. in 1984. It has since remained one of my most favorite romances on film. It is a modest, understated and "un-Hollywood" (thank God!) work, yet it is epic in the way it depicts the two very likable main characters, Joe Harmon and Jean Paget (played by Bryan Brown and Helen Morse, respectively) meeting during a tumultuous backdrop of war and despair, falling in love in spite of it, and then becoming blissfully reunited. But don't worry--I haven't given away the "happy ending!" The last half of the film that follows is what gives this work its integrity. The lovers then have to overcome the adversity of the differences of their cultures and beliefs--her being English and he being Australian. Jean Paget is an admirable, headstrong character, who when placed in the backwards Australian outback of the 1940's, is put to the test with her lover Joe, making one realize that love relationships don't go perfectly, but if the love is strong, it will persevere.

This movie truly pulls the viewer into the romance between Jean and Joe and you feel every heartache and every joy that they share in your heart as well. But these are not shallowly constructed "romance novel characters." They are complex and imperfect and through their hardships, show the audience that any love such as theirs is truly worth fighting for.

So, as long as this movie is on tape (being a two- part mini-series), please be patient with it (like you would with an E.M. Forster novel-to-film adaptation) because I guarantee the reward will be ever so sweet. It will draw you in and be compelling from start to finish with a story you will really care about. A wonderful, wonderful picture! Plus, the soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous and moving.

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