A Town Like Alice (Rape of Malaya) (1956)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A harrowing WWII drama that was a huge critical and commercial success in England, this British production was based on a novel by Nevil Shute. During the war, a group of prisoners, mostly women and children, are led by Japanese soldiers on a brutal march through Malaysia. Some die by the roadside and others are sadistically tortured. One of the women, Jean Paget (Virginia McKenna), is befriended by an Australian man who is also a prisoner of war, Joe Harman (Peter Finch). Joe tells Jean about his hometown of Alice Springs, an oasis in the Australian outback. When he steals a chicken to feed Jean and the others, Joe is caught and treated ruthlessly. The Japanese force Jean and the others to march on while Joe is put on a crucifix and left to die. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:

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Virginia McKenna
as Jean Paget
Peter Finch
as Joe Harman
Marie Lohr
as Mrs. Dudley Frost
Jean Anderson
as Miss Horsefall
Nora Nicholson
as Mrs. Frith
John Fabian
as Mr. Holland
Tim Turner
as British Sergeant
Geoffrey Keen
as Solicitor
Eileen Moore
as Mrs. Holland
Mary Allen
as Mrs. Anderson
Gwenda Ewen
as Mrs. Rhodes
Sanny Bin Hussan
as Mat Amin
Jane White
as Brenda
Cameron Moore
as Freddy
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Critic Reviews for A Town Like Alice (Rape of Malaya)

All Critics (2)

An engaging historic romance in which the romantic relationship is the least successful thing about the movie.

Full Review… | April 28, 2013
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Harrowing but dated WWII drama.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for A Town Like Alice (Rape of Malaya)


Love the book, love the mini-series, but the two-hour movie just leaves out too much to be exceptional.

Dwayne Roberts
Dwayne Roberts

When I saw the Bryan Brown version of this film, maybe 20 years ago or more, I never considered the possibility that it was a remake of the original. When I stumbled across the original the other night, I could not quite believe that it might be the same movie. Well, it is, and the original is outstanding. I am really feeling as if I've discovered a great find in Virginia McKenna. Two in a row, baby. What a treat. Another truly original look at the effects of World War II.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Based on a novel by Neville Shute, and real events, this is a story of women and children made to do a "death march" in Japanese occupied Malaya during world war II. Helped by an Australian POW, who got severly punished and almost died for his "crime." Well acted, and well paced, and good cinematography.

Iris Erem
Iris Erem

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