The Long And The Short And The Tall

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In 1942, a group of British soldiers is sent on a mission in the Malaysian jungle and gets lost into the Japanese controlled zone.

ACTORS :  Richard Todd, Richard Harris, Ronald Fraser

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1961

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The Long And The Short And The Tall  A troop of British soldiers are out in the jungle to record jungle noises and troop noises in the jungle so that the recordings can be played back by other troops to divert the enemy to their whereabouts. As they progress to what they think is closer to the base camp they find themselves farther and farther from radio range until the only channel they can get clearly is that of a Japanese broadcast. They now realize they are probably only 10 to 15 miles from a Japanese camp! The tension is added to by rowdy and openly admitted “non-hero” Private Bamforth who has nothing good to say about anyone and especially Corporal Johnstone (who holds an equal dislike for Bamforth). When a Japanese soldier is taken as their prisoner, the true colors of each man comes to the surface …

a fine, underrated war movie

The Long And The Short And The Tall  An excellent character study of the effects of war on a small British patrol in the Burmese jungle during WWII. Things heat up when they capture a Japanese soldier and then find themselves pinned down by enemy troops. Sets are stagy but it’s the acting and writing that carry this story. An all star British cast lead by Lawrence Harvey and Richard Todd are first rate.Todd is the no nonsense leader trying to get his men out of a potentially deadly situation. Harvey plays a hard case enlisted man whose fundamental decency gives the movie it’s moral force. A young David McCallum (Man From UNCLE) plays a spineless radio operator in what must be his first role.And to top it off a theme song to rival the Bridge on the River Kwai. All in all a movie that should saved from obscurity because it’s so good.

A moving account of jungle warfare

 
Rarely does a movie transform from the stage to the screen successfully. The Long and the Short and the Tall is one of few exceptions. A harrowing and moving story of how a group of British soldiers find themselves engaged in combat with the enemy in the Burmese jungle. Not only does the imagery capture the intense feeling of fear engaging the soldiers as they realise the enemy forces are aware of their existence, it also takes the viewer into the minds and exposes the smell of death as it envelopes the humid moment of combat. Well worth watching. One of the best war movies ever made with an all star British cast delivering a perfect script.

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