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The Purple Plain (1954)

In WW2 Burma, a Canadian bomber pilot becomes reckless after losing his bride in a Luftwaffe air-raid.

Director:

Robert Parrish

Writers:

H.E. Bates (novel), Eric Ambler (screenplay)
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4,166 ( 8,131)

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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Squadron Leader Bill Forrester
Win Min Than ... Anna
Brenda de Banzie ... Miss McNab (as Brenda De Banzie)
Bernard Lee ... Dr. Harris
Maurice Denham ... Blore
Lyndon Brook ... Carrington
Anthony Bushell ... Group Captain Aldridge
Josephine Griffin ... Mrs. Bill Forrester
Ram Gopal Ram Gopal ... Mr. Phang
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Storyline

After losing his bride in a Luftwaffe air raid, bomber pilot Forrester becomes a solitary killing machine, who doesn't care whether he dies. The reckless Canadian pilot is both admired and feared by the rest of his squadron in World War II Burma. The squadron physician is assigned to determine the embittered Bill Forrester's fitness for duty. To break through the nightmare-haunted man's wall of silence, the physician drives Forrester to visit an outpost of English-speaking refugees, which includes an alluring young Burmese woman. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The blinding skies and merciless jungles of Burma's "Purple Hell" See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1954 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

La flamme pourpre See more »

Filming Locations:

Elephant Pass, Sri Lanka See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,300,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mönchengladbach was the first German city bombed. But British bombed to interdict roads and train tracks in the area, including the station and rail yard in the city. The targets were hit. Four people were killed on the ground, one of who was British subject living in Germany at the time. Germany had just invaded Belgium and it was hoped this raid would affect the progress of the German attack. Legitimate targets were attacked, there happened to be a few civilians in those targets. By this time the Germans had bombing civilian targets for a year in Poland. And Germany had actually attacked Britain first, but all their planes were beaten back, and bombs hit anything of value. And this attack pales in comparison to the raid in the same year on Birmingham, and later on Coventry. See more »

Goofs

When the Avro Anson touches down on the dirt runway near the end of the film, it makes screeching sounds as per a hard surface. See more »

Quotes

Squadron Leader Bill Forrester: After that, I didn't want to go on living. You'd think that would be easy enough in war but it didn't work. I wanted to die but I got medals instead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: BURMA 1945 See more »

Soundtracks

Jesus Christ is risen today
(uncredited)
Traditional lyrics (from Bohemia)
Music by Robert Williams
Sung when Forrester is asked his favourite Easter hymn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
War drama set in World War II Burma in which a trio is lost in the desert Burmese jungle
7 June 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Burma 1945 , after losing his fiancée in a Luftwaffe air raid, bomber pilot called Bill Forrester (Gregory Peck) turns into a lone killing machine, who doesn't care whether he dies in his dangerous dogfights . The nerve-shot and unsettling pilot is both admired and feared by the rest of his team . In Burma Squadron Leader Forrester falls in love for a young native named Anna (an alluring Win Min Than) . Later on , his plane has been downed in a spectacular crash sequence and Forrester attempting to get himself and his crew : a wounded navigator and an out-and-out coward partner named Blore (Maurice Denham) back to safety . Just before the crash Peck's navigator references "Where the dawn comes up like thunder", this is a quote from Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling ; in addition other quote from "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Interesting as well as harrowing war movie set largely in the Burmese jungle . This exciting picture develops an agonising travel to hell when three survivors from a plane crash have to fight starvation, famine , thirst , elements and sun . Eric Ambler's plot rightly recreates the novel by H.E. Bates describing a survival drama and a love story . Very good acting by Gregory Peck as a reckless Canadian pilot who suffers nightmares from past . Excellent support cast provides nice acting such as Brenda de Banzie as Miss McNab , Bernard Lee as Dr. Harris and Anthony Bushell as Col Aldridge . Special mention to Maurice Denham , giving an awesomely fine performance as an unbalanced mind . Magnificent cinematography in brilliant Technicolor by Geoffrey Unsworth , being filmed on location in Elephant Pass, Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka and Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK . Thrilling as well as emotive musical score composed by John Veale , conducted by usual Muir Matheson .

The motion picture was well directed by Robert Parrish. Robert was an Academy Award-winning film editor who also realized and acted in movies . As an editor he won an Academy Award for Body and soul (1947), the 1947 Robert Rossen film that starred John Garfield as a money-grubbing, two-timing boxer on the make. Parrish also worked on All the King's Men (1949), an account of the rise and fall of a Louisiana politician that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Parrish then moved on to direct films during the 1950s and 1960s . Among his best received works was the brooding western ¨Saddle the Wind¨ (1958) , a Noir film titled ¨Cry danger¨, a Sci-Fi picture titled ¨Journey to the far side of the sun¨, a thriller titled ¨The Marseille Contract¨ and other strange Western called ¨A town called Bastard¨. And of course , ¨Purple plain¨ results to be one of the best films .

.


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