Elizabeth Taylor plays a newlywed who accompanies Finch to his sprawling tea plantation called ELEPHANT WALK...and falls for overseer Andrews. But this love triangle is soon dwarfed by other events. A cholera epidemic brea... more »ks out, drought blights the land and herds of thirst-maddened elephants devastate the plantation in a thundering stampede. The palatial "bungalow" is reduced to rubble as onrushing elephants pound across polished floors, rip walls from their foundations and knock over kerosene drums to ignite a terrifying inferno.« less
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ELEPHANT WALK is fine movie starring lovely Elizabeth Taylor in an excellent performance.
A rich Ceylon plantation owner (Peter Finch) falls in love with a young woman in England (Elizabeth Taylor) and their brief courtship gives way to a whirlwind marriage. Once back in Ceylon, however, things cool when she discovers her main lot in life is to play gracious hostess to a never-ending parade of weekend 'guests'.
She falls in love with the handsome and understanding overseer (Dana Andrews) before a drought and cholera outbreak threaten everything.
The final titular sequence is alone worth the price of admission. Elizabeth Taylor looks ravishing in her Edith Head-designed gowns and acts superbly given the limitations of the material (based on the book by Robert Standish).
**Vivien Leigh was originally signed to star but following a severe nervous breakdown on location in Ceylon, the role of Ruth was taken by Elizabeth Taylor, though Leigh can still be glimpsed in the location long-shots**"
Excellent early Elizabeth Taylor adult role
Simon Davis | 03/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've always loved this film. I constantly feel that it is unfairly dismissed as a jungle soap opera but it has so many very good things going for it. I feel it was a very important early adult film role for Elizabeth and certainly gives an indication of all the stunning roles coming up for her soon like "Giant", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly Last Summer" etc. She gives here an excellent performance and absolutely holds her own against Dana Andrews and Peter Finch.
The look of the film is spectacular and Elizabeth has never been more lovely. I wont retell the saga of Elizabeth replacing Vivien Leigh here again as other reviewers have mentioned it already, bu tthe film does benefit from the stunning on location photography in Ceylon which adds richly to the films quality. Abraham Soefar has a superb role as the mystical and haughty man servant who at first despises but then grows to appreciate Elizabeth's character through plague and then of course the spectacular elephant stampede at the finale which is without doubt "Elephant Walk"s most famous scene. It is a stunner and well worth the wait.
I highly recommend "Elephant Walk" for all of you who, like me, love Elizabeth Taylor and know what a fine actress she is. An excellent film to sit back and enjoy....they don't make 'em like this any more!!"
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 07/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For a good two-thirds of "Elephant Walk" the film is bogged down by uninteresting melodramatics, namely a love triangle involving the film's principal actors(Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Finch, Dana Andrews). The last third of the film is redeemed by a compelling cholera epidemic and a well staged elephant stampede in the film's setting, a tea plantation in Ceylon. The main actors acquit themselves well despite the fact that they are participating in an opulently staged soap opera. Other pluses here are the stunning interior designs and gorgeous Edith Head creations. Of course, young Liz is stunning to look at. That said, if you want to check out a better plantation melodrama "The Naked Jungle" with Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker would be well worth your while."
ELIZABETH REPLACED VIVIEN
Henning Sebastian Jahre | Oslo, Norway | 06/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The casting of the female part in this film was a shaky one. Firstly, Taylor was cast but lost the part due 2 pregnancy. Then Vivien Leigh got the part(the industry shocked that she would accept this film - truly a programmer) and persuaded lover Peter Finch to undertake the male part. Vivien suffered severe breakdowns on location in Ceylon and was eventually fired. Taylor came 2 rescue but thanks to Vivien`s scenes didn`t have 2 go to Ceylon and shot her scenes in Hollywood. So it`s Vivien Leigh u see in the longshots in the location footage. A windmachine threw a splint into Taylor`s eye which supposedly could have been fatal. On the whole, an exciting film with a rousing finale concerning the title of the film. A must-see. Strangely, Taylor seems 2 be at her best in her not so-famous-parts."
Tea and Sympathy
Vince Perrin | Stockton, CA USA | 09/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Standish's novel "Elephant Walk" is about a tea plantation owner's bride doing battle with the hold his dead father has over him and her new life. It was to have been shot on location in Ceylon starring the iconic Vivien Leigh. She, Peter Finch (as her husband), and Dana Andrews (as his foreman) were dispatched to what is now Sri Lanka. Shooting had begun when the bi-polar Leigh sadly suffered another episode and what was to be a prestige production shut down. But the footage in the can was too good to waste, forget the money already spent, and Paramount resumed the film in Hollywood as an adult vehicle for the lovely young Elizabeth Taylor.
The result, regrettably, is what you'll see on this new DVD.
Leigh can be seen in many long and medium shots. She, Finch and Andrews appear in actual exotic locations, and some of those scenes are intact, such as the tea harvesting, a show of costumed dancers, and masses of elephants stampeding about. These sun-lit locations are in stark contrast to the studio-lit settings into which they have been edited. We see Leigh arriving at a jungle mansion, strolling onto a veranda and sitting down to tea, a mountain landscape behind her, only to cut to Taylor on a set with that landscape seen on a screen. It is tantalizing to wonder what kind of classy melodrama this might have been had Leigh not suffered a breakdown.
It's also very easy to mourn that non-movie while watching this one. Taylor is beautiful in Edith Head gowns and lavish interiors, but she is not yet the actress of "A Place in the Sun" or "Virginia Woolf" (one scene, in which men ignore her after dinner, is repeated later in "Giant.") Taylor is only as responsive as her director, and she's had some fine ones. Finch (Leigh's lover then) and Andrews (too old opposite Taylor) try hard, but the script and leading lady were not in their league. "Elephant Walk," patched together as it is, is still an interesting curio, pretty to behold, and perhaps that's how it should be remembered. It certainly won't be otherwise. "