Review: The 7th Dawn - intrigue, romance and action

David Parkinson

William Holden stars in this 1964 tale of patriotism, friendship and revenge…


It may not be the most memorable film that William Holden made in the Far East, but this thriller set against the Malayan Emergency capably combines intrigue, romance and action, as it follows the fortunes of an American plantation owner whose loyalties are divided when wartime comrades Capucine and Tetsuro Tamba become key players in the revolt against British rule.


However, things get more complicated when Capucine is sentenced to death for terrorism and Holden has just seven days to rescue governor's daughter Susannah York after she allows herself to be abducted by Tamba to prove to Holden she isn't just a silly little girl. Considering he was drinking heavily during the shoot, Holden holds the picture together capably. But, while the British stalwarts in the supporting cast steal several scenes, the real star is the dense jungle locale, which is photographed with a clammy Technicolor authenticity by Freddie Young.

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