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In World War II, during the Japanese invasion of Burma, the lost remnant of a British Army Brigade HQ, led by the ruthless Captain Alan Langford, escapes through the jungle toward the British lines.


Val Guest


Peter R. Newman
Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Stanley Baker ... Captain Langford
Guy Rolfe ... Padre
Leo McKern ... Max
Gordon Jackson ... Sgt. McKenzie
David Oxley ... Doctor
Richard Pasco ... 2nd Lt. Hastings
Philip Ahn ... Yamazaki
Bryan Forbes ... Dawson
Wolfe Morris ... Informer (as Wolf Morris)
David Lodge ... Perkins
Percy Herbert ... Wilson
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Brigadier
Barry Lowe Barry Lowe ... Turner
Burt Kwouk ... Japanese Soldier


Cut off by the Japanese advance into Burma, Captain Langford (Stanley Baker) and his exhausted British troops take over an enemy-held jungle village. Despite the protests of an elderly padre ('Guy Rolfe (I)') and of war correspondent Max Anderson (Leo McKern), Langford orders Sergeant McKenzie (Gordon Jackson) to shoot two innocent villagers, thereby "persuading" a Japanese informer to surrender vital information. When the Japanese recapture the village, their commander uses Langford's own desperate war-born tactics in a similar effort to extract information from the British. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Most Outspoken Film of Our Time! See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Gordon Jackson (Sgt. McKenzie) and Burt Kwouk (Japanese Soldier) reprised their role from the original television version Yesterday's Enemy (1958). See more »


Set in Burma but the soundtrack of birds in the jungle includes the Kookaburra which is native to Australia and only found in Australia. See more »


Captain Langford: He knew there's only one way to fight a war, any war. With your gloves off.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no 'The End' at the end of the film. The camera merely pans away from a memorial which reads 'WHEN YOU GO HOME TELL THEM OF US AND SAY- FOR THEIR TOMORROW WE GAVE OUR TODAY'; and silence, but with just birds singing. See more »


Referenced in Looking for Peter (2012) See more »


Burma March
Composed by Franz Reizenstein
See more »

User Reviews

A great find
7 August 2010 | by fsferry-1See all my reviews

Obviously, TCM's recent showing of this film was an eye-opening experience for many people, as it was for me. The other reviews (with the exception of the one with the historical ax to grind, completely unsubstantiated by the film) express all my own reasons for appreciating the film. The excitement I want to share is this: After 63 years of movie-watching, chancing on a film entirely unknown to me... one that I have never even seen included in anyone's list of "Great War Movies"... that is so well-produced, -acted and -directed... just so damn GOOD. And to have that incredible feeling of DISCOVERY... another prize addition to my "collection" of film-going experiences.

And it was gratifying to see Phillip Ahn, so familiar from the 40's, play a key role so effectively.

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English | Burmese | Japanese

Release Date:

11 July 1959 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Yesterday's Enemy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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