Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia. Based on Nevil Shute’s international bestselling novel A TOWN LIKE ALICE follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya – she an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rug
A moving film with captivating romance that you’ll never forget!
A TOWN LIKE ALICE first captivated me when I was only 14 and caught a re-run of it on T.V. in 1984. It has since remained one of my most favorite romances on film. It is a modest, understated and “un-Hollywood” (thank God!) work, yet it is epic in the way it depicts the two very likable main characters, Joe Harmon and Jean Paget (played by Bryan Brown and Helen Morse, respectively) meeting during a tumultuous backdrop of war and despair, falling in love in spite of it, and then becoming blissfully reunited. But don’t worry–I haven’t given away the “happy ending!” The last half of the film that follows is what gives this work its integrity. The lovers then have to overcome the adversity of the differences of their cultures and beliefs–her being English and he being Australian. Jean Paget is an admirable, headstrong character, who when placed in the backwards Australian outback of the 1940’s, is put to the test with her lover Joe, making one realize that love relationships don’t go perfectly, but if the love is strong, it will persevere.
This movie truly pulls the viewer into the romance between Jean and Joe and you feel every heartache and every joy that they share in your heart as well. But these are not shallowly constructed “romance novel characters.” They are complex and imperfect and through their hardships, show the audience that any love such as theirs is truly worth fighting for.
So, as long as this movie is on tape (being a two- part mini-series), please be patient with it (like you would with an E.M. Forster novel-to-film adaptation) because I guarantee the reward will be ever so sweet. It will draw you in and be compelling from start to finish with a story you will really care about. A wonderful, wonderful picture! Plus, the soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous and moving.