6.5/10
635
23 user 9 critic

The 7th Dawn (1964)

Political and personal intrigues surround a group of characters in Malaya, after the close of the Second World War.

Director:

Lewis Gilbert

Writers:

Michael Keon (novel), Karl Tunberg (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
William Holden ... Major Ferris
Susannah York ... Candace Trumpey
Capucine ... Dhana Mercier
Tetsurô Tanba ... Ng
Michael Goodliffe ... Trumphey
Allan Cuthbertson ... Cavendish
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Tom - Chief Petty Officer
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ... Tarlton
Beulah Quo Beulah Quo ... Ah Ming
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Storyline

The end of WW2 finds Major Ferris fighting alongside guerrilla groups in the jungles of Malaysia. Major Ferris is an American who was attached to the Australian 8th Army and stayed behind to co-ordinate native guerrilla groups. When the Japanese unconditionally surrender, everyone is rejoicing but a British officer pertinently comments that although the Malaysian people aided the British to defeat the Japanese their allegiance will shift and they might not be so friendly towards the British in the near future. Malaysia is a British colony and like many other colonies it struggles to gain its independence from the European powers. Major Ferris' closest friend and comrade during the war, Malaysian colonel Ng, is asked by Ferris to join him into a business venture. Ferris has purchased a few acres of land rich in rubber trees and tin mines. He offers Ng an equal partnership in the venture but colonel Ng refuses. He explains that he has to go to Moscow to study at a school for political ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A STRANGE LAND SLEEPS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN - SO STILL...SO MYSTERIOUS...SO UNTOUCHED- UNTIL THE FIRST LIGHT OF DAWN AWAKENS THE PASSIONS OF MEN AND THE FURIES OF WAR!

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Durian Tree See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Holdean See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

William Holden (I) refused to do any publicity tours for this movie. Later it was blamed on a relapse in his alcoholism. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Ah Ming is serving breakfast to Candace the morning after she fails to seduce Ferris, Ah Ming pours the tea and then places the pot on the table. Next shot she is still pouring the tea into Candace's cup. See more »

Quotes

Ng: Even magic cannot protect you against stupidity.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Seventh Dawn
Music by Riz Ortolani
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

Sophiscated themes within the war genre
24 February 2006 | by bbsilversSee all my reviews

When the old KCOP Channel 13 in Los Angeles showed matinées (afterschool for me then), I saw this engrossing movie. Who could resist the lushness of the Malay jungle juxtaposed with the British Governor's pristine lawns? Not to mention the fascinating interweaving of the old love triangle amongst Ferris, Dhana, and Ng with an anti-colonial rebellion? I may have been a precocious child, but these things were clear to me amidst the Vietnam War. It's good to see others who recall this movie for what it remains--a trenchant comment on nationalist insurgents fighting their imperialist overlords. The irony is that, despite the purity of their intentions, the guerrillas destroy what they fight for: control of their own destiny. One might read the lovely Dhana as the fragile Malayan countryside laid waste in the ensuing skirmishes. True enough that the British colonial government executes Dhana. Yet both Ferris and Ng lose their dreams as well: Ferris leaves Malaya without Dhana (or even Candace), and Ng is dead.

When I found the LP recording of the beautiful Riz Ortolani score about 20 years ago, I snatched it up. I won't expect a CD version, but Ortolani deserves to be lauded for music that supports the storyline. We may well remember "More" from Mondo Cane, but the haunting theme from The 7th Dawn can hold its own.

Now, if only one could include this movie in a grouping of films with the broad theme of protesting war (Live for Life, Year of Living Dangerously, Torn Apart, Indochine)and show them to politicians....


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