Elephant Walk

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This article is about the 1954 motion picture. For the instrumental popular-music standard, see Baby Elephant Walk.
Elephant Walk
Elephant Walk 1954.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Dieterle
Produced by Irving Asher
Written by John Lee Mahin
from the novel by
Robert Standish
Starring Elizabeth Taylor
Dana Andrews
Peter Finch
Abraham Sofaer
Abner Biberman
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Loyal Griggs
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 21, 1954 (1954-04-21)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3 million (US)[1]

Elephant Walk is a 1954 Paramount Pictures film, directed by William Dieterle, and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch and Abraham Sofaer.

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.

Critical reception[edit]

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.



  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955

External links[edit]