6.8/10
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25 user 4 critic

Jungle Fighters (1961)

The Long and the Short and the Tall (original title)
Approved | | War, Drama | 17 February 1961 (UK)
In 1942, a group of British soldiers is sent on a mission in the Malaysian jungle and gets lost into the Japanese controlled zone.

Director:

Leslie Norman

Writers:

Willis Hall (play), Wolf Mankowitz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Todd ... Sgt. Mitchem
Richard Harris ... Cpl. Johnstone
Ronald Fraser ... L / Cpl. Macleish
David McCallum ... Pte. Whitaker
John Meillon ... Pte. Smith
John Rees John Rees ... Pte. Evans
Kenji Takaki Kenji Takaki ... Tojo
Laurence Harvey ... Pte. Bamforth
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Storyline

A troop of British soldiers are out in the jungle to record jungle noises and troop noises in the jungle so that the recordings can be played back by other troops to divert the enemy to their whereabouts. As they progress to what they think is closer to the base camp they find themselves farther and farther from radio range until the only channel they can get clearly is that of a Japanese broadcast. They now realize they are probably only 10 to 15 miles from a Japanese camp! The tension is added to by rowdy and openly admitted "non-hero" Private Bamforth who has nothing good to say about anyone and especially Corporal Johnstone (who holds an equal dislike for Bamforth). When a Japanese soldier is taken as their prisoner, the true colors of each man comes to the surface ... Written by McGinty <McGinty@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Raw emotions bared !

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

17 February 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Jungle Fighters See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Balcon had wanted to cast Peter O'Toole, who had played the part on stage, in the role of Bamforth. Another actor considered was Albert Finney. However, the American backers required a "name", and Laurence Harvey was cast. See more »

Goofs

In the hut the soldiers' clothes become dry very quickly. Even when Laurence Harvey is wringing his shirt to get the water out, the rest of his clothes are dry. In the jungle during the rainy season, clothes would take hours if not days to dry out. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. 'Bammo' Bamforth: [to Macleish] I hope they carve your brother up... I hope they carve your bloody brother up!
See more »

Soundtracks

Hi-Jig-A-Jig
(uncredited)
Written by Harold Box, Desmond Cox and Lou Preager
See more »

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User Reviews

Swamp rats and bayonets
27 September 2013 | by tieman64See all my reviews

"The Long and the Short and the Tall" is a 1961 war drama by director Leslie Norman. Dated and plodding, the film watches as a platoon of British soldiers apprehend a Japanese scout during WW2's Malayan Campaign. The platoon then wrestle over questions of ethics. Some soldiers abuse the prisoner, some want him executed, whilst others rush to his defence. Laurence Harvey, who plays a gruff private, becomes the platoon's voice of conscience.

"Long" was once renowned for its foul language and gritty tone, but such things are passé today. The film's "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" plot ends with a handful of British soldiers captured by the Japanesese, a "shocking" twist which is meant to jolt us into contemplation. This, unfortunately, has little to do with contemporary warfare. Today the shoe is never on the other foot, and it's no longer an issue of populaces failing to "empathise with the enemy", but rather, something far more toxic; the ability of men to rationalise war as something just, necessary and humane, the apathy of populaces, the designed distortion of history and the ability of leaders to remain at a state of perpetual war yet hide such conflicts from prying eyes. The philosophical questions "Long" poses have little bearing upon either modern warfare or WW2 itself. The film costars Richard Harris.

4/10 – Slow and unconvincing. See "The Burmese Harp".


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