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Elephant Walk (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 21 April 1953 (USA)
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2:24 | Trailer
The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Robert Standish (novel), John Lee Mahin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Ruth Wiley
Dana Andrews ... Dick Carver
Peter Finch ... John Wiley
Abraham Sofaer ... Appuhamy
Abner Biberman ... Dr. Pereira
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
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Storyline

Colonial tea planter John Wiley (Peter Finch), visiting England at the end of World War II, wins and weds lovely English rose Ruth (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) 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 (Dana Andrews), and by the hovering, ominous menace of the hostile elephants. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is very similar to what would become one of Dame Elizabeth Taylor's most well-known movies two years later, Giant (1956). Both are about a down-to-Earth young lady who marries a millionaire, moves into his many-acre estate where he makes his living, and he's at first close-minded until she helps him change. She doesn't get along with the lead man-servant, who runs the house and feels like she gets in the way, like the sister in Giant (1956). Also, she's nice to the local natives, which is frowned upon; she eventually gets them medical care. Meanwhile, there's a man in the middle who likes her, and he works for the husband. In that, Dana Andrews is the original Jett Rink (James Dean), only more contented to be an employee. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

John Wiley: Let them have their Elephant Walk, Ruth. We'll build a new place, a home somewhere else.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Life can be dull on a tea plantation until all hell breaks loose...
26 August 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

I guess the moral of this tale is "be careful where you build your house". Certainly not on the side of a cliff or--better still--not where the elephants like to roam, especially when they're thirsty.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR, in all her youthful splendor, was a last minute replacement for VIVIEN LEIGH, who bowed out due to severe mental illness that overtook her shortly after she read the script. In fact, there are a few glimpses of Miss Leigh remaining in certain long shots if you care to look.

But Elizabeth settles down in a role that does nothing for her acting career but does allow her to be drop dead gorgeous throughout. She has to feign impatience with a husband (PETER FINCH, who was, by the way, having an affair with Leigh), who ignores her and the uneasiness that any young bride would have if she finds herself in a strangely situated house--a huge tea plantation in Ceylon, India.

She copes bravely with her worries and falls in love with a neighbor (DANA ANDREWS, in one of his less impressive performances). Andrews seems to be sleep-walking through his role.

Finally, after a lot of dull talk, a cholera epidemic breaks out and nobody is minding the elephants. This is where they take their famous "walk" and practically destroy everything in their path.

Of course, even before their rampage, the script is a mess and the audience must have been stifling a few yawns while the melodrama builds to a ferocious climax.

It's all highly improbable with a sort of "Jane Eyre in India" feeling that pervades the eerie plot. But if you want to see Taylor in her prime, this is for you. Vivien probably never regretted being unable to finish the film.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elephant Walk See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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