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Escape to Burma1955

  • 2.9
"Tropic heat… and human hate!" squealed the posters for this entertainingly off-the-cuff B-movie, which finds a quartet of film noir veterans (director Allan Dwan, cinematographer John Alton and stars Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan) tearing loose amidst an old-fashioned adventure yarn set in Burma. Pachyderm aficionado and teak-plantation maven Stanwyck wisely rules over both performing elephants and native workers in her jungle compound. But she is quickly interrupted by a handsome yet dubiously truthful stranger (Ryan) who is on the run from a local Burmese overlord and a dutiful British security official. "Love… or a hiding place? Which did he want?" queried the film's advertisements. "It all takes place in the hot green hell of the Burma jungle…" (technically, the World Jungle Compound of Thousand Oaks, California, which proved a willing stand-in). "There’s no escape from the sun… or the sin!" A strange mix of Kipling-esque adventure tale, adult romance and circus movie, the film offers plenty of opportunities to admire the willing Stanwyck and Ryan far out of their comfort zones, tenderly kissing in silk pajamas at one moment, bemusedly watching an elephant perform tricks in another. Even on the lowest budget or the strangest fake-tropical stage, however, Alton performs his usual miracles with shadow and light, giving the film a color-noir flair that’s entirely his own. - Jason Sanders

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Member Reviews (4)

After enjoying "Pearl of the South Pacific" recently, I was up for another jungle adventure. When I saw Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan in the cast, I was excited about the possibilities.

Unfortunately, we didn't get their best efforts here. I'm used to seeing Ryan as the tough, take-charge man of action. Stanwyck is reliably charismatic on screen. Both seem lethargic with little to no chemistry. David Farrar displayed more passion than either of the names on top of the bill.

Having said that, it's still an entertaining film. The big cats, elephants and monkeys provide lots of exciting action. I just couldn't help but think how much better the film would have been if there had been more effort put into it.

You can tell that there was a sizable break between the scene where Ryan is whipped (dead on his feat) and just a moment later when he is standing before The Sawbwa. He looks fresh and relaxed. Not like he had just been whipped within an inch of his life.

To see what these two fine actors are capable of try:

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity

Robert Ryan in Crossfire or The Set Up

You can enjoy both in a better film:

Clash By Night

1 member likes this review

This film was a big disappointment. The team of Stanwyck and Ryan, so memorable in Clash By Night, promised some real chemistry and conflict. Stanwyck is wooden,puffy and robotic, with none of her characteristic fire and drive. Ryan tries, but just seems tired and worn out. The pacing is glacial, the plot predictable, and the film appears faded and padded with stock footage. Skip this one, even if you're a fan of both actors.

1 member likes this review

I was about to write a somewhat similar review, comparing this film to Clash By Night but a previous reviewer has beat me to it.

I was about to write a somewhat similar review, comparing this film to Clash By Night but a previous reviewer has beat me to it.

Instead I'll comment on the kitschy B-movie Orientalism. This can work with a director who knows how to handle it but it's not easy to do. Just ask Debra Paget.

I can almost almost imagine Sam Fuller pulling this off but Dwan is just going by rote. here.I was impatient for it to end.

I can almost almost imagine Sam Fuller pulling this off but Dwan is just going by rote. here.I was impatient for it to end,

director nor the lead actors provide in this film.

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top reviewer

Woefully underwritten; the dialogue is stiff as a teak plank.

Escape to Burma isa welltold story of complex loyalty and love. It is a story filmed in the background of an British colony in Souteast Asia; in a landwhere tigers, and leopards and deadly cobra snakes are a constant threat.Jim(played by Robvert Ryan) is a opportunist travling the world in search of a fortune. He befriends the son of the local King, and loyally helps the prince in his dying days. Jim, tryin g to get word to the King that his son has died, he is charged and pursued for murdering the prince, The British track Jim, and so do the soldiers of the King. Jim finds refuge in the home of the ":granMar" (Barbara Stanwyck) Jim falls in love and discovers that he is being piursued by the two forces,his future seems doubtful if he cansurvive the false charges, A young boy from the village who saw the prince die and was given a letter to deliver to the King,The GranMar gets to the King in time to save Jim. Jim stays inBurma and marrys thelovely GrandMar. An exzciting adventure, portraying strength of character of all characters as they try to fulfil their tasks and maintain integrity.