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Yesterday's Enemy (1959)

Approved | | Drama, War | 11 July 1959 (Japan)
Trailer
2:45 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Val Guest

Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview:
Stanley Baker ... Captain Langford
Guy Rolfe ... Padre
Leo McKern ... Max
Gordon Jackson ... Sgt. McKenzie
David Oxley ... Doctor
Richard Pasco 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
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

War Is Hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed entirely in the studio over the period of five weeks. See more »

Goofs

There are six prisoners in front of a firing squad, but only five soldiers in the firing squad each fire one shot. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Looking for Peter (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Burma March
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Reizenstein
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Towering performance by Stanley Baker.
30 July 2010 | by John von KSee all my reviews

Well, I was astonished by how good this film is. Made by Hammer Films in 1959 and despite being shot entirely on set in England it has a deep sense of the grime, heat and fear of the Borneo jungle during WWII.

What really holds it together and creates the powerful generator for this film is a gritty, un-theatrical,un-sentimental performance by Sir Stanley Baker. He creates a 3 dimensional character and (Amazingly for a top ranked star) never tries to get the audience to "like him".

Other fine performances from Guy Rolfe and Leo McKern make this absorbing film seem way too short. The director Val Guest struggled to have the film released without any soundtrack music and this really helps the atmosphere and leaves it up the the actors to create tension without music bailing them out. There are quite a few unexpected twists and surprises too.

The subject matter in 1959 was rather brave and controversial so well done Hammer! It doesn't seem to be available on DVD or Blu-Ray so that goodness for Stagevu otherwise I might never have seen this little gem.


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