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Elephant Walk (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, 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.

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 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, 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

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elefantenpfad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture is very similar to what would become one of 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'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

Dick Carver: Old Tom Wiley still rules Elephant Walk even from his grave.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Elephant Walk is an ode to Resistance.
21 August 2015 | by laresrevoltSee all my reviews

In Elephant Walk,directed by William Dieterle and set in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the elephants symbolically represent resistance to British colonialism. Viewed from an anti-colonial perspective the film becomes a highly charged, beautifully made pamphlet against colonial grabbing as practiced by the masters of Elephant Walk, British Empire profiteers. To build his fortune, Tom Wiley, the dead, arrogant, greedy tyrant colonizer stopped at nothing, including cutting off the water supply of the Elephants and, collaterally, of the native Ceylonese. However, usurping wealth (tea) and using people as virtual slaves resulted, as usual, in knee-jerk resistance to an unjust economic order, to environmental spoilage, to the rule over the many by a few, to a system formatted to make sure the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This resistance is what the elephants represented. Instead of the ignored elephant in the room, this picture is about resistance symbolized by elephants that won't be ignored. Elizabeth Taylor portrayed a person born and raised in England who remained oblivious to the true nature of the colonial system. She was like 99% of Brits who, like most of us, were and remain victims of the class who has declared it has a right to possess the world and its people. Today we call this class Wall Street, The Banks, The 1%. Fortunately, in 1972, Ceylon became Sri Lanka and the natives recuperated their land. They may not be any richer today but anything beats being a virtual slave at the hands of British colonial masters, one of the greediest, most arrogant and dehumanizing groups ever to infest the planet. The movie masterfully depicts the true nature of the money-hungry economic parasites who were interested in only one thing – making $$$$££££ - and willing to do anything to get it. John Wiley the character so excellently portrayed by Peter Finch, is more true to life than say, The Great Gatsby, a romanticized version of a 1 percenter. The more I watch this film, the better it gets. Elisabeth Taylor is stunning. Peter Finch is captivating. Dana Andrews is, as always, excellent. The supporting cast is superb. The direction is masterful. The natural decor is hauntingly luxuriant and the interior sets are memorable. So is there anything wrong with this picture? Only that it remains underrated.


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