Skip to content

Elephant Walk (1954)

Before long time studio director William Dieterle returned back home to Germany in the sixties working mainly in television, his Hollywood output had slowed down substantially. One of his final assignments was this love triangle taking place on a tea plantation in exotic Ceylon. The elegance of Ceylon (filmed in Sri Lanka) can’t hold a candle to the stunning beauty of our leading lady Elizabeth Taylor at this point in her career.

elephant

When Peter Finch travels to London on a bride finding mission he comes up aces with Elizabeth Taylor. Incredible! Two weeks later he’s taking his new bride back to the tea plantation he farms and overseas as it’s Lord and Master. Thankfully Edith Head was on hand to ensure Liz has plenty of costumes and dresses to flaunt on the natives and the drunken lot that Finch numbers as his friends.

liz

Liz quickly realizes that her new home is nothing like her previous one in London where she worked in a local library. The chief servant of the house isn’t fond of the new Mistress and Finch turns into the stern taskmaster now that he is back running a farming operation. He’ll also have to contend with the wild herds of Elephants that continually attempt to cross the front yard of his estate. Essentially Liz becomes extremely bored with her new life as she is the only white woman for over a hundred miles. She’s strictly a trophy wife. Ahhhhhh but what a trophy.

It seems that Peter’s father has cast a long shadow and Finch is trying to live up to it. His father built the estate and is still revered by the natives like a God. Liz can see that her dead father-in-law has more pull around the home then she does. Thankfully another man is about to enter her life in the form of Dana Andrews. Andrews is the chief foreman who oversees operations when Finch is either out of the country or laid up with a broken leg. Liz and Dana are getting serious and make plans to leave Peter and the elephants behind.

dana

A cholera epidemic quickly changes all traveling plans when a quarantine is blanketed across the land. The wells are running dry and the elephants are rampaging as the wilds of Ceylon converge on our love triangle for a rousing climax with a crescendo of music from Franz Waxman.

This is one big melodramatic affair that plays well with the beauty of Liz and the acting of Dana. I suspect if it were watched with a crowd of people today there would be plenty of unintentional laughs.  Dana Andrews is such a natural on camera which is in stark contrast to the ham job Finch dishes out and the always “on” Elizabeth Taylor. I totally understand Liz’s place in film history  but to me she was always acting and never underplayed roles to seem more natural. But then she was a “star” and hers shone more brightly then either of her costars.

elephants 3

Neither here nor there. I’ll tune into a classic era Dana Andrews flick over most Liz films any day of the week.

2 Comments »

  1. Haven’t seen this in a long time, although I do have a copy knocking around. I remember it being pretty melodramatic and there’s that terrific climax. Dana Andrews was great – a real pro and extremely subtle.
    I don’t mind Taylor and Finch either but they were more showy performers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: