The novelty of the Ceylon backgrounds and pictorial beauty are recommendable points in Elephant Walk, an otherwise leisurely-paced romantic drama.
Robert Standish’s novel about life among the pekoe-planters rates a sprawling script and direction that lacks attention-holding pace from William Dieterle. Of interest is the fact that in some of the Ceylon-filmed longshots, Vivien Leigh is still seen, although not noticeably so. Illness forced the English star out of the picture after about a month of lensing, with Elizabeth Taylor replacing.
Elephants are the sympathetic heavies in this story of a bride who comes to Ceylon from England and finds her husband, the natives and the tea plantation still under the dominance of a dead man’s memory. Added to this tradition worship is the always present threat that the pachyderms may eventually succeed in wrestling back from the white usurpers the trail they had used for centuries in coming down from the wilds to water. The plantation mansion had been built across the trail by the bridegroom’s strong-willed late father, who had bowed to nothing, man or beast.