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Elephant Walk (1954)

Approved | | Drama | 21 April 1954 (USA)
The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.


William Dieterle


Robert Standish (novel), John Lee Mahin

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Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Ruth Wiley
Dana Andrews ... Dick Carver
Peter Finch ... John Wiley
Abraham Sofaer ... Appuhamy
Abner Biberman ... Dr. Pereira
Noel Drayton Noel Drayton ... Planter Atkinson
Rosalind Ivan ... Mrs. Lakin
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... Planter Strawson
Philip Tonge ... Planter John Ralph
Edward Ashley ... Planter Gordon Gregory
Leo Britt Leo Britt ... Planter Chisholm
My Lee Haulani My Lee Haulani ... Rayna (as Mylee Haulani)
Madhyma Lanka Nritya Mandala Dancers Madhyma Lanka Nritya Mandala Dancers ... Dancers


Colonial tea planter John Wiley, visiting England at the end of World War II, wins and weds lovely English rose Ruth and takes her home to Elephant Walk, Ceylon, where the local elephants have a grudge against the plantation. Ruth's delight with the tropical wealth and luxury of her new home is tempered by isolation as the only white woman in the district; by her husband's occasional imperious arrogance; by a mutual physical attraction with plantation manager Dick Carver; and by the hovering, ominous menace of the hostile elephants... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One man claimed the land. Two men claimed the woman who lived there.




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elefantenpfad See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vivien Leigh's original salary was $225,000. See more »


During the first bicycle polo scene, there are four drink glasses on the server's tray when John Wiley takes one, followed by another rider who also grabs a glass, leaving just two on the tray. However the very next pass in which a rider goes for a glass the tray is full. See more »


Appuhamy: She is not one of us and her ways are cold and strange.
See more »


Featured in Edith Head: The Paramount Years (2002) See more »


Many Dreams Ago
Music by Franz Waxman
Lyrics by Mack David
See more »

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User Reviews

Glamorous film in which a beautiful girl marries a tea planter and returns with him to his plantation in an isolated jungle mansion
16 November 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Agreeable romance/adventure film in which a British gorgeous woman marries a wealthy colonial owner and go to live in his huge plantation but it happens to be on the path where elephants roam. This romantic adventure movie in soap opera style was lavishly produced by Paramount Pictures with all-star-cast , glimmer cinematography and luxurious scenarios . As the young bride named Ruth Wiley (Elizabeth Taylor) of a rich planter (Peter Finch) finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon . In the plantation Dick Carver (Dana Andrews), works as a right-hand man and she finds certain protection , thanks to Dick the tough foreman , then a mutual attraction emerges each other , soon makes him indispensable . The jungle , of course, is endangered by some kind of wild life and some dangerous elephants , for this reason she finds herself in a strange atmosphere . Furthermore , a cholera epidemic outbursts , followed by elephants destroying the plantation . There takes places a searing story of sudden love and sudden death in the hot green hell of the Ceylon jungle , being threatened by the hovering , ominous appearance of the hostile elephants . One man and several elephants claimed the land , two men claimed the woman who lived there .

This exciting film has emotion , romance , intrigue , exotic landscapes , colonial settings and results to be pretty entertaining . Ceylon's balmy jungles provide the backstage for a triangular torrid love between Elizabeth Taylor , Peter Finch and Dana Andrews , in this post-prime William Dieterle effort . Intelligent and engaging script which uses intriguing situations to give us an acceptable movie in a high sense and intimate sensitivity and that kept me entertained for the almost 100 minutes of duration . ¨Elephant walk¨ is an enjoyable adventure movie , a menace melodrama with a wide view of a huge tropical bungalow , exotic scenarios with rage excessively colorful , big bull elephants , an amazing mansion , a love story , drama and many other things . The movie is very persuasively made , usually rise to a crescendo of emotion and had at the time a remarkable success. Entertaining romance/adventure is visually striking with a spectacular final . I liked everyone in the excellent cast, and the male and female actors , especially Elizabeth Taylor , were all very attractive . The hit of the show is undoubtedly for the fetching and attractive Elizabeth Taylor who gives one of her best screen acting . Elizabeth wears lush gowns splendidly designed by expert costume designer Edith Head . Although Vivien Leigh was originally cast, but her mental illness begun affecting things during filming, and so she was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor ; many long shots and shots from behind are still of Leigh . Furthermore, a thrilling as well as breathtaking climax at the mansion in which the protagonist are besieged by a herd of elephants . This picture bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Escape to Burma¨ (1954) by Allan Dwan that contains a similar jungle scenario (Sri Lanka) , elephants and known actors as Barbara Stanwyck , Robert Ryan and David Farrar . It also has several points in common with ¨The naked jungle¨ by Byron Haskin regarding a woman , Eleanor Parker , who marries a planter , Charlton Heston , living in jungle until a final tragedy takes place . ¨Elephant walk¨ packs a colorful cinematography print in Technicolor 1.37:1 and composed for Widescreen presentation, by Loyal Griggs considered to be one of the best cameramen of the 40s and 50s . Sensitive as well as evocative musical score by the classic Franz Waxman .

This adventure yarn from the golden age of Hollywood was well directed by William Dieterle as a classic example of drama/romance/adventure of the fifties . Dieterle is a German director who was in Hollywood by 1930s and directing dramas (Scarlet down, Fog over Frisco, Fashions) , costumer (Hunchback of Notre Dame,Kismet,Omar Khayyan) and biopics (Life of Emile Zola, Dr Ehrlich, Juarez, Madame Curie, Reuter) that were a revelation at the box-office. Rating : 6,5/10 , better than average . Well worth watching . The picture will appeal to Elizabeth Taylor fans .

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