Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Dieterle|
|Produced by||Irving Asher|
|Written by||John Lee Mahin
from the novel by
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||April 21, 1954|
|Running time||103 minutes|
|Box office||$3 million (US)|
It is based upon the novel Elephant Walk by "Robert Standish", the pseudonym of the English novelist Digby George Gerahty (1898–1981).
It was originally intended to star the husband and wife team of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh (with Olivier in the Finch role). However Olivier was already committed to the project The Beggar's Opera (1953). Leigh was enthusiastic about the role and continued in her husband's absence, but she was forced to withdraw from production shortly after filming began in Colombo, Ceylon, as a result of bipolar disorder. According to Leonard Maltin's annual Movie Guide book, Leigh can be seen in some long shots that were not re-filmed after Elizabeth Taylor replaced her.
Colonial tea planter John Wiley, visiting England at the end of World War II, wins and weds lovely English rose Ruth and takes her home to Elephant Walk, Ceylon, where the local elephants have a grudge against the plantation because it blocks their migrating path. Ruth's delight with the tropical wealth and luxury of her new home is tempered by isolation as the only white woman in the district; by her husband's occasional imperious arrogance; by a mutual physical attraction with plantation manager Dick Carver; and by the hovering, ominous menace of the hostile elephants. The elephants end up destroying the plantation in a stampede along with a fire.
Maltin gave the film 2 stars out of 4, and made one of his pithier critiques: "Pachyderm stampede climax comes none too soon." A major plot element in the film is that the tea plantation's manor, where the film's action occurs, had been built in the middle of a path that migrating Indian elephants had previously used.
- Elizabeth Taylor as Ruth Wiley
- Dana Andrews as Dick Carver, the manager of the plantation
- Peter Finch as John Wiley, Ruths husband
- Abraham Sofaer as Appuhamy, handyman of Johns father Tom
- Noel Drayton as Chief Planter Atkinson
- Abner Biberman as Doctor Pereira
- Rosalind Ivan as Mrs. Lakin
- Edward Ashley-Cooper as Planter Gordon Gregory
- Barry Bernard as Planter Strawson
- Philip Tonge as Planter John Ralph
- Leo Britt as Planter Chisholm
- Mylee Haulani as Rayna
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
- Elephant Walk at the Internet Movie Database
- Elephant Walk at allmovie
- Elephant Walk at the TCM Movie Database
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