Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy... See full summary »




Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Jean Paget 3 episodes, 1981
 Joe Harman 3 episodes, 1981
 Noel Strachan 3 episodes, 1981
 Mrs. Frith 3 episodes, 1981
 Sergeant Mifune 3 episodes, 1981
Anna Volska ...
 Sally Wilson-Hayes 3 episodes, 1981
Donald MacDonald ...
 Derek Wilson-Hayes 3 episodes, 1981
Jennifer West ...
 Mrs. Horsefall 3 episodes, 1981
Pat Evison ...
 Mrs. Collard 3 episodes, 1981
Mandy Boocock ...
 Marlene Collard 3 episodes, 1981
Rebecca Marshall ...
 Rita Collard 3 episodes, 1981
Debbie Baile ...
 Audrey Forbes 3 episodes, 1981
Cecily Polson ...
 Eileen Holland 3 episodes, 1981
Melissa Crawford ...
 Robyn Holland 3 episodes, 1981
John Allen ...
 Bill Holland 3 episodes, 1981
Sean Hinton ...
 Freddie Holland 3 episodes, 1981
 Jane Holland 3 episodes, 1981
Crispian Ashby ...
 Jonnie Horsefall 3 episodes, 1981
 Donald Paget 3 episodes, 1981
Patrick Dickson ...
 Tommy Smythe 3 episodes, 1981
Kenneth Brown ...
 Ben Leggatt 3 episodes, 1981
 Captain Sugamo 3 episodes, 1981
Hatsuo Uda ...
 Captain Koniata 3 episodes, 1981
Lim Beng Choon ...
 Major Nemu 3 episodes, 1981
Akio Fukuwa ...
 Japanese Lieutenant 3 episodes, 1981
Zain Ariff ...
 Mat Amin 3 episodes, 1981
Zainal Aziz ...
 Suleiman 3 episodes, 1981
Antony Croser ...
 James McFadden 3 episodes, 1981
 Lester 'Les' Robinson 3 episodes, 1981
Joan Lord ...
 Miss Carter 3 episodes, 1981
 Dr. Kennedy 3 episodes, 1981
Maggie Dence ...
 Mrs. O'Connor 3 episodes, 1981
Lorna Lesley ...
 Rose Sawyer 3 episodes, 1981
 Al Burns 3 episodes, 1981
Arkie Whiteley ...
Tim McKenzie ...
 Pete Fletcher 3 episodes, 1981
 Tim Whelan 3 episodes, 1981
Lois Ramsey ...
 Mrs. Driver 3 episodes, 1981
Isabel Kirk ...
 Mrs. Duveen 3 episodes, 1981
 Bourneville 3 episodes, 1981
Syd Heylen ...
 Art Foster 3 episodes, 1981
Peter Kowitz ...
 TAA Pilot 3 episodes, 1981
Ross Thompson ...
 Beetchcraft Pilot 3 episodes, 1981
Robert Noble ...
 Dragon Pilot 3 episodes, 1981
Ed Turley ...
 Police Sergeant 3 episodes, 1981
Peter Paulson ...
 Flying Doctor 3 episodes, 1981
Derek Wyness ...
 Don Curtis 3 episodes, 1981
Gertude Treloar ...
 Palmolive 3 episodes, 1981
Gary Priest ...
 Bush Brother 3 episodes, 1981
Lofty Cannard ...
 Crocodile Shooter 3 episodes, 1981
Anne Haddy ...
 Aggie Topp 3 episodes, 1981


Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia Based on Nevil Shute' international bestselling novel A TOWN LIKE ALICE follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya--sh an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rugged outback of Australia-to face a challenge every bit as demanding as their wartime trials. Written by Walter Coffey <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War





Release Date:

4 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der lange Weg nach Alice Springs  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "Alice" of the mini-series' title A Town Like Alice (1981) refers to the town of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. See more »


Although set in 1948, Jean Paget boards a Routemaster London bus. Routemasters weren't introduced until the mid-1950s. See more »


Version of A Town Like Alice (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

A moving film with captivating romance that you'll never forget!
25 April 1999 | by See all my reviews

A TOWN LIKE ALICE first captivated me when I was only 14 and caught a re-run of it on T.V. in 1984. It has since remained one of my most favorite romances on film. It is a modest, understated and "un-Hollywood" (thank God!) work, yet it is epic in the way it depicts the two very likable main characters, Joe Harmon and Jean Paget (played by Bryan Brown and Helen Morse, respectively) meeting during a tumultuous backdrop of war and despair, falling in love in spite of it, and then becoming blissfully reunited. But don't worry--I haven't given away the "happy ending!" The last half of the film that follows is what gives this work its integrity. The lovers then have to overcome the adversity of the differences of their cultures and beliefs--her being English and he being Australian. Jean Paget is an admirable, headstrong character, who when placed in the backwards Australian outback of the 1940's, is put to the test with her lover Joe, making one realize that love relationships don't go perfectly, but if the love is strong, it will persevere.

This movie truly pulls the viewer into the romance between Jean and Joe and you feel every heartache and every joy that they share in your heart as well. But these are not shallowly constructed "romance novel characters." They are complex and imperfect and through their hardships, show the audience that any love such as theirs is truly worth fighting for.

So, as long as this movie is on tape (being a two- part mini-series), please be patient with it (like you would with an E.M. Forster novel-to-film adaptation) because I guarantee the reward will be ever so sweet. It will draw you in and be compelling from start to finish with a story you will really care about. A wonderful, wonderful picture! Plus, the soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous and moving.

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