Elephant Walk

Elephant Walk

Director: William Dieterle, Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch

Cast: William Dieterle, Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch

     
 

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Elephant Walk was several weeks into production when the film's original leading lady, Vivien Leigh, was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor (you can still see Leigh in a few long shots). Based on a novel by Robert Standish, the film casts Taylor as Ruth Wiley, the new bride of solemn plantation owner John Wiley (Peter Finch). At first thrilled at the prospect of

Overview

Elephant Walk was several weeks into production when the film's original leading lady, Vivien Leigh, was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor (you can still see Leigh in a few long shots). Based on a novel by Robert Standish, the film casts Taylor as Ruth Wiley, the new bride of solemn plantation owner John Wiley (Peter Finch). At first thrilled at the prospect of living in the wilds of Ceylon, Ruth rapidly becomes a beautiful bird in a gilded cage. When American overseer Dick Carver (Dana Andrews) arrives on the scene, Ruth falls in love. Before she can leave her husband, though, the region is devastated by cholera. Making things worse, the local elephants go on a rampage, destroying her husband's mansion, which his father had maliciously built in the middle of the pachyderm's ancient right of way. Fraught with sexual symbolism, Elephant Walk works on a high-gloss soap opera level. The climactic stampede, however, is disappointingly filmed on a studio interior set, robbing what should have been a rousing climax of much of its credibility.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Lushly photographed and featuring a stunning (and stunningly costumed) Elizabeth Taylor, Elephant Walk is a fairly ridiculous melodrama that promises much more than it delivers. Fans of soap operas set in exotic locales will lap it up, and it does provide some guilty pleasures, but it's ultimately too shallow to sustain interest. Worse, despite everyone's best efforts to make this a sizzling romance, the heat never really ignites. Part of the blame lies with director William Dieterle. While he has certainly paid a great deal of attention to the film's production values, giving it a sumptuous look, and while he has provided a pace that keeps things moving at a decent clip, he doesn't seem to have spent a lot of time understanding the characters -- or helping the actors to understand them. The talented Peter Finch wanders around rather aimlessly, and Taylor and Dana Andrews are effective but essentially superficial. Still, if one is in an undemanding mood and willing to just drink in the beauty of the sets, costumes, and Taylor, one could do worse than Elephant Walk.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/08/2013
UPC:
0883316847091
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount (Pmt)
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
749

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elizabeth Taylor Ruth Wiley
Dana Andrews Dick Carver
Peter Finch John Wiley
Abraham Sofaer Appuhamy
Abner Biberman Dr. Pereira
Noel Drayton Atkinson
Rosalind Ivan Mrs. Lakin
Barry Bernard Strawson
Philip Tonge Ralph
Edward Ashley Gregory
Leo Britt Chisholm
Delmar Costello Native Patient
Charles Heard Actor
Victor Millan Koru
Jack Raine Norbert
Rodd Redwing Actor
Leslie Sketchley Actor
Norma Varden Mrs. Beezely
Carlos Rivero Car Servant
Satini Puailoa Foreman
Reginald Lal Singh Actor

Technical Credits
William Dieterle Director
Irving Asher Producer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Farciot Edouart Cinematographer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Ram Gopal Choreography
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
J. McMillan Johnson Art Director
Paul K. Lerpae Special Effects
John Lee Mahin Screenwriter
Liam O'Brien Screenwriter
Hal Pereira Art Director
George Tomasini Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer

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