The Planter's Wife (1952 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Planter's Wife (1952 film)
Planter's wife poster.jpg
Original British film poster
Directed by Ken Annakin
Produced by John Stafford
Written by Guy Elmes
Based on novel by Sidney Charles George
Starring Claudette Colbert
Jack Hawkins
Music by Allan Gray
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Edited by Alfred Roome
Pinnacle Productions
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Pinnacle Pictures
United Artists
Release dates
November 1952
Running time
88 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Planter's Wife is a 1952 British drama film directed by Ken Annakin, and starring Claudette Colbert, Jack Hawkins and Anthony Steel. It is set against the backdrop of the Malayan Emergency and focuses on a rubber planter and his neighbours who are fending off a campaign of sustained attacks by Communist insurgents while also struggling to save their marriage. The film was retitled Outpost in Malaya in the USA.


During the Malayan Emergency, communist terrorists attack an isolated rubber plantation, killing the manager. This concerns neighbouring planter Jim Frazer, who is struggling to produce rubber under constant attacks. Jim is having domestic difficulties with his American wife Liz.[1]

The film's director later made Swiss Family Robinson for Disney. In addition to the end battle, the film also features a fight to the death between a cobra and a mongoose.



The movie was originally known as White Blood.[2] This was the name given to liquid rubber as it is tapped from trees. However the title was criticised by the Colonial Office and overseas distributors because it could be interpreted as referring to racial discrimination, so it was changed to The Planter's Wife.[3]

Claudette Colbert was paid £20,000 to play the lead.[4] Indian dancer Ram Gopal was given his first dramatic role as the overseer.[5] Child actor Peter Asher – who later went on to a successful career as musician, singer (as half of the 1960s' "Peter & Gordon" duo) and record producer – plays the couple's son, Mike. Among the Burmese, Indian and Malay extras was Khin Maung, a noted Burmese painter.[6]

Background location footage was shot in Malaya but for safety reasons during the ongoing Emergency, much of the filming was done in Ceylon.


The film was the sixth most popular movie of the year at the British box office in 1952.[7] However despite Colbert's presence, it only took £32,000 in the USA.[4]

The critic from The Daily Worker called it "the most viciously dishonest war propaganda picture yet made in Britain."[8]


  1. ^ "THE PLANTER'S WIFE.". The Australian Women's Weekly (National Library of Australia). 11 March 1953. p. 29. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Anthony Steele on the way up.". The Mail (Adelaide: National Library of Australia). 26 January 1952. p. 7 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "U.K. honor to Jane Wyman.". The Mail (Adelaide: National Library of Australia). 10 May 1952. p. 7 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "WHAT'S NEWS IN THE MOVIE WORLD.". Sunday Times (Perth: National Library of Australia). 28 November 1954. p. 39. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "WANT MALAYAN STARLET.". The Northern Standard (Darwin, NT: National Library of Australia). 6 June 1952. p. 6. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "FILMS' CHAMPION MOTHER.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 28 August 1952. p. 7 Section: Women's Section. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "COMEDIAN TOPS FILM POLL.". The Sunday Herald (Sydney: National Library of Australia). 28 December 1952. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Douglas Brass's.". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane: National Library of Australia). 22 September 1952. p. 4. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 

External links[edit]