The Bamboo Prison

Did Sergeant Fall for Commie Cutie...Or Was He Pushed?

Drama War
79 min     6.4     1954     USA


A communist POW sides with his North Korean guards against his fellow prisoners.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Brian Keith is adequate here as the all-American "Brady" who is taken to a POW camp during the Korean War. It's there that encounters the ostensibly collaborative "Rand" (Robert Francis) who has befriended "Tanya" (Dianne Foster) who is, herself, married to another whose loyalties are distinctly questionable. Pretty quickly we learn that nobody is quite who they seem and with a backdrop of severe torture, manipulation and fear we find that each of the Americans now suspect the other and are constantly trying to vie for the upper hand - all under the outwardly benign gaze of "Fr. Dolan" (EG Marshall) who has, himself, been imprisoned by the communists. It's actually quite a simple story designed to highlight the atrocities carried out against the Allies by the commies despite the provisions of the Geneva Convention. It has plenty of plausibility issues, though. None of the prisoners look especially emaciated - clean shaven with Colgate smiles; the casting is pretty weak and the dialogue does little to develop the sense of peril that the imagery lays before us. There isn't much chemistry on display, either, and I found the on/off romance stuff just clogged up what could have been quite an intriguing fifth-column, who-to-trust affair. Essentially this is a piece of propaganda and though doubtless routed in aspects of truth, to some degree, it is just a bit too much of a blunt instrument for me.