Elephant Walk

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

John Wiley (Peter Finch) owns a tea plantation in Ceylon, a sprawling estate that turned him into a very wealthy man. His lifestyle is one of relaxation and luxury, though he has been without a female companion, a situation that has now changed. His new bride is Ruth (Elizabeth Taylor), a beautiful woman is who is quite taken with him, as well as his ample wealth. She is thrilled to be able to live in such luxury, especially in the gorgeous tropical surroundings. Soon however, John begins to spend more and more time with his friends, who never hesitate to take advantage of his wealth. This leads Ruth to be bored and even with ample cash, she is unable to find any kind of happiness. But when she befriends the estate’s overseer (Dana Andrews), there is an instant spark and tension between them is intense. But if they are to give in to their feelings, they have to contend not only with John, but also numerous outside interferences.

This movie seems to have it all, an intense love triangle, an elephant stampede, and yes, even an outbreak of cholera. Not to mention a trio of gifted leads in Peter Finch, Dana Andrews, and Elizabeth Taylor, all within an epic tale of love, loss, and a cholera epidemic. Elephant Walk is best known for the bold finale, which involves a wild stampede of elephants. The scene is well crafted and is quite realistic for the time, but it does seem a little over the top, no doubt. But it also entertains and given that the storyline has a soap opera feel anyway, such an insane conclusion only seems appropriate. The melodrama is thick, but so thick that the movie almost feels like a satire at times. I don’t think this is one that people will watch over and again, but if you like elephant stampedes, then Elephant Walk is more than worth a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Elephant Walk is presented in full frame, as intended. This is the best I’ve seen the movie look, but it is still far from great, due to the somewhat lacking condition of the source material. The colors appear very bright and vivid, except in a few scenes where the colors are muted due to mild grain. Contrast levels can also be inconsistent, but remain solid in most scenes. This film could use some restoration, but given the film’s limited appeal, I understand why Paramount chose not to do so here.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is a little better than the video, although limited by the mono format. There are no major issues, with dialogue coming through well, and at a consistent volume. The music and effects sound good as well, but sometimes get mixed together, which impairs the clarity. This is due to the technical limitations of the time however, not this presentation. The stampede comes through loud and clear, while dialogue is mostly clean and easy to understand. So not a top tier soundtrack, but for what it is, the audio is fine here. This disc also includes English subtitles, should you need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

Disc Scores