The Wind Cannot Read
|The Wind Cannot Read|
Original British quad poster
|Directed by||Ralph Thomas|
|Produced by||Betty E. Box|
Earl St. John
|Written by||Richard Mason (novel)|
|Music by||Angelo Francesco Lavagnino|
|Edited by||Frederick Wilson|
The film takes place in Burma and India during World War II.
A British officer falls in love with his Japanese instructor at a military language school. They start a romance, but she is regarded as the enemy and is not accepted by his countrymen. They marry in secret and plan on spending his two weeks' leave together. When one of the other officers is injured, he is sent into the field as an interrogator. Later he is captured by the Japanese army when he is patrolling with a brigadier and an Indian driver in a Japanese-controlled zone. He escapes and returns to his own lines, only to discover that his wife is suffering from a brain tumour. Although the doctor initially gives her good odds of surviving, she dies after an operation.
- Dirk Bogarde as Flight Lieutenant Michael Quinn
- Yoko Tani as Sabbi
- Ronald Lewis as Fenwick
- John Fraser as Peter Munroe
- Anthony Bushell as Brigadier
- Heihachirô Ôkawa as Lieutenant Nakamura
- Marne Maitland as Bahadur
- Michael Medwin as Officer Lamb
- Richard Leech as Hobson
- Tony Wager as Moss
- Tadashi Ikeda as Itsumi-san
- Yôichi Matsue as Corporal Mori
- Donald Pleasence as Doctor
- Joy Michael as First nurse
- Avice Landone as Second nurse
- Jasdev Singh Soin as Indian soldier
In 1955 David Lean agreed to film Richard Mason's novel The Wind Cannot Read, the story of a romance between a British officer and a self-exiled Japanese woman in India circa 1943, during World World II.
Originally Lean considered making the lead character a Canadian and offered the part to Glenn Ford. Lean also offered the role to Kenneth More, who was unsure about whether the public would accept him in the part and turned it down. It was a decision More later regarded as "the greatest mistake I ever made professionally". Lean had completed a script in collaboration with Mason and cast Kishi Keiko as the girl, but disagreed with Alexander Korda, who was to have produced the film and the project fell through.
Lean had already entered into discussions with Sam Spiegel, regarding a film version of Pierre Boulle's novel The Bridge on the River Kwai. After Korda's death in 1956, the rights to Mason's novel were sold to Rank Film Productions, who assigned the project to the team of Betty Box and Ralph Thomas.
Ralph Thomas later said he thought Sir John Davis of Rank "very bravely" authorised location-filming in India "because he trusted David Lean's judgement that it was a splendid book. It was a real three-handkerchief picture, which I thoroughly enjoyed making, and Dirk was very good in it."
The film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1958.
- Lister, David, Pop ballads bite back in lyrical fashion, The Independent, 28 May 1994
- SCANNING THE CURRENT BRITISH SCREEN SCENE: DIRECTOR DAVID LEAN MOVES EASTWARD -- WAR EPIC --COLUMBIA'S AGENDA By STEPHEN WATTS LONDON.. New York Times 19 June 1955: X7.
- Monroe Specifications Named for 'Karamazov,; Lean Offers Ford Film Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Oct 1956: A11.
- Kenneth More, More or Less, Hodder & Staughton, 1978 p 228
- ON BRITAIN'S VARIED MOVIE FRONTS: AMERICAN STAR PROBLEM --CHAPLIN'S ROCK 'N' ROLL--CRITICISM POSER UP-TO-DATE "KING" GALLIC CRITIQUE HEADED FOR INDIA OUT OF THE PAST By STEPHEN WATTS. New York Times 3 March 1957: 113
- JAPANESE FILM STARS FOR INDIA: SHOOTING OF PICTURE The Times of India 18 Jan 1958: 11
- British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference by Sue Harper, Vincent Porter Oxford University Press, 2003 p 53
- Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema 1997 p 558
- Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.