Movie Details

Elephant Walk was several weeks into production when the film's original leading lady, Vivien Leigh, was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor (you can still see Leigh in a few long shots). Based on a novel by Robert Standish, the film casts Taylor as Ruth Wiley, the new bride of solemn plantation owner John Wiley (Peter Finch). At first thrilled at the prospect of living in the wilds of Ceylon, Ruth rapidly becomes a beautiful bird in a gilded cage. When American overseer Dick Carver (Dana Andrews) arrives on the scene, Ruth falls in love. Before she can leave her husband, though, the region is devastated by cholera. Making things worse, the local elephants go on a rampage, destroying her husband's mansion, which his father had maliciously built in the middle of the pachyderm's ancient right of way. Fraught with sexual symbolism, Elephant Walk works on a high-gloss soap opera level. The climactic stampede, however, is disappointingly filmed on a studio interior set, robbing what should have been a rousing climax of much of its credibility. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi