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Thursday, May 29, 2008

THE PURPLE PLAIN (1954)


Well made faux-Hemingway with Gregory Peck reprising his neurotic pilot from 12 O’CLOCK HIGH, but in a mostly British production; the other American involved is Robert Parrish who smartly helmed. Brooding over his wife’s death in the blitz, Peck finds something to live for in a young Burmese beauty. Then a routine flight goes awry and he lands in Jap territory with two men to save. Geoffrey Unsworth provides riveting Technicolor images to go with the painterly action effects work, quite different than the Hollywood norm at the time. And there's solid support from Bernard Lee, Maurice Denham, Lyndon Brook and a beauteous Win Min Than in her one & only film appearance. As a Scottish missionary, Brenda De Banzie is over the top, but the film needs the bit of applied zest she provides.

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