|OUTPOST IN MALAYA (aka: PLANTER'S WIFE) (aka: WHITE BLOOD) (director: Ken Annakin; screenwriters: Peter Proud/Guy Elmes/story by Peter Proud & Guy Elmes/based on the novel Planter's Wife by S.C. George; cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth; editor: Alfred Roome; music: Allan Gray; cast: Peter Asher (Mike Frazer), Jack Hawkins (Jim Frazer), Claudette Colbert (Liz Frazer), Anthony Steel (Inspector Hugh Dobson), Jeremy Spenser (Mat), Ram Gopal (Nair),Tom Macaulay (Jack Bushell), Helen Goss (Eleanor Bushell), Sonya Hana (Ah Mov), Yah Ming (Ah Siong, Bandit Leader); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Stafford; MGM/UA; 1952-UK)|
|"Uneven adventure melodrama."
by Dennis Schwartz
Annakin ("Hotel Sahara"/"Swiss Family
Robinson"/"Miranda") directs this uneven adventure
melodrama set on a remote rubber plantation in Malaya
during a native uprising and at a time of marital
strife for wealthy Brit planter Jim Frazer (Jack
Hawkins) and his wife Liz (Claudette Colbert).
This Brit film was the popular American star of the 1930s and
1940s but now a fading star, the French born
Colbert's, first non-Hollywood film. It's based on a
story by Peter Proud & Guy
Elmes, who also write the weak screenplay-the
pic's main fault. The film is based on the novel Planter's Wife by
bandits kill the farmer neighbors of the Frazers,
hubby orders his socialite wife to seek safety in
London with their young son Mike (Peter Asher). Liz
is bored with life in the sweltering jungle and
plans on leaving her inattentive hubby and not
returning. But when things suddenly become violent,
she stays to protect her property. It ends in a
cowboy styled shoot-out between the good planters
and the bad terrorists, without ever trying to
answer questions about why the country is under
siege by the Communist terrorists (who go
unidentified in the film).
The studio-bound overheated drama pays superficial attention to a marriage on the rocks and a country undergoing a political siege, and gets by only because of the solid performances by the stars. Also Anthony Steel gives a pleasing performance as the police inspector who is friends with both the hubby and wife, while Yah Ming ably plays Ah Siong, the bandit leader.
The film was shot in b\w in Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka).
REVIEWED ON 8/21/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ