Cast & Crew
Wynford Vaughan Thomas
This documentary depicts the battles between British colonial forces and their Malayan allies against Communist guerrillas attempting to take control of Malaya. The sudden attacks perpetrated by the bandits upon rubber plantations, which are one of Malaya's leading sources of income, tin mines and villages are shown. In order to protect the villagers, they are resettled in other areas and are provided with better health care and education. Despite the difficulties in finding the enemy in the dense jungle, some bandits are captured. When one of them is sentenced to death by the Malayan High Court, however, he shows little concern.
Wynford Vaughan Thomas
According to the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the picture was approved for exhibition in Massachusetts on February 4, 1955, but it has not been determined if it was exhibited there or elsewhere prior to its October 25, 1955 national release. As noted by contemporary reviews, the picture was filmed in 1953 on location in Malaya, now called Malaysia. As depicted in the film, Communist guerrillas, who had gained power during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in World War II, fought against British colonial rule after the war. In 1957, Malaya gained independence and in 1963 combined with other countries to become Malaysia.
The film's running time in Great Britain was 68 minutes, with a footage of 6,120, while American reviews list the running time as 65 minutes. The Daily Variety review noted that the picture was shot with the full cooperation of the British government, and the Motion Picture Herald Prod Digest review added that it had "the appearance of having been compiled from newsreels, stock footage and perhaps from official archival sources." The Hollywood Reporter review stated that some of the sequences were staged, especially the sequences in which "[C]ommunist terrorists frighten Chinese laborers away from the tin mines and launch murderous and destructive raids upon the rubber plantations." About the film's narration, the Daily Variety critic complained: "Four commentators, repping different personalities coming into conflict with terrorists, give meaning to this action, but spectator is apt to become confused through the changeover."
In commenting on the film's merits, the Monthly Film Bulletin also disliked the staged murder sequences, and asserted: "A more serious weakness, though, is the lack of any major reference to the political and economic position in Malaya today."