Although made in 1956, A Town Like Alice
has remained enduringly effective and affecting. Based on Nevil Shute's novel the story revolves around a romance set against the unlikely backdrop of a forced march through the jungles of Malaysia by British prisoners--mostly women and children--captured by the invading forces of Japan. The title is a reference to the homesick yearnings of Australian soldier Joe Harman, played by Peter Finch. He forms a bond with one of the female prisoners, Jean Paget (Virginia McKenna), and their travails are depicted with a remarkable subtlety and commendable lack of corniness. It's a minor classic.
On the DVD: The black-and-white picture is presented in 4:3 format, with English subtitles if required. Extra features include a 25-minute "making of" documentary, a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs, potted biographies of the cast and crew and the original trailer. --Andrew Mueller