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A Town Like Alice [VHS] (1981)

Helen Morse , Bryan Brown , David Stevens  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

Price: $19.59
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A Town Like Alice [VHS] + A Town Like Alice + The Flame Trees of Thika
Price for all three: $74.30

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Morse, Bryan Brown, Gordon Jackson, Dorothy Alison, Yuki Shimoda
  • Directors: David Stevens
  • Writers: Nevil Shute, Rosemary Anne Sisson, Tom Hegarty
  • Producers: Henry Crawford
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • VHS Release Date: July 30, 1992
  • Run Time: 301 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302796857
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia.

Based on Nevil Shute's international bestselling novel, A Town Like Alice follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya—she an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rugged outback of Australia—to face a challenge every bit as demanding as their wartime trials.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
198 of 198 people found the following review helpful
By Ukegirl
I simply cannot believe this outstanding Australian tv series is still not out on DVD. PLEASE, WHOEVER OWNS THE RIGHTS TO THIS FILM, PLEASE PUT IT ON DVD BEFORE I DIE? I AM SO TIRED OF MY OLD VHS! I am sure I am in good company.
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120 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would love this on a DVD playable in the US September 1, 2008
By Susan
The first time I saw "A Town Like Alice" with Helen Morse and Bryon Brown, I was sucked in from beginning to end. All five hours of it. I was able to purchase a full length version on (one) VHS tape many years ago and put on white gloves about once a year to bring it out of storage and watch it. I am never disappointed, it gets better every time and I have shown this masterpiece to family and friends who now love it as much as I do. A very well done, gripping, human interest story of love and war made so real by the wonderful cast without a lot of gratuitous flash and whiz-bang. My VHS copy is still watchable, but my heart's desire is a remastered, full length DVD, with any extras (interviews etc.) that might be available.
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148 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time faves January 7, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Joe Harmon (played by Bryan Brown) rocks! And so does this whole movie, based on Nevil Shute's superb novel of the same name. It starts well, picks up speed, and gets better and better. During WWII, Jean (who is her family's only survivor) is force marched back and forth across Malaysia by the Japanese, who don't know what to do with a bunch of English women and children. As their group dwindles from starvation, fatigue, malaria and dystntery, Jean becomes the leader of the little group, and she negotiates a deal with the headman of a small village whose men have been taken off to fight in the war: if the village will shelter them, the surviving English will work in the rice fields.
But it was during the months of wandering that Jean met Joe Harmon, an Austrailian prisoner of war who steals food for her, is crucified and left for dead by the Japanese.
After the war, when Jean is back in England, she comes into her family's money, and she has a dream: to return to Malaya to build a well for the village women. To her amazement, she learns that Harmon actually survived: when the Japanese could not grant him his last wish, they were honor bound to save his life. Jean goes back to find him at the same time he, having just discovered that she wasn't married when he met her (a deception she fostered for her own protection), flies to England to look for her. The two planes cross.
But, as with most good love stories, they meet - and things are awkward and stilted. When he knew her, her hair was loose and tangled, she was barefoot and wearing a sarong, and she had an orphan child balanced on her hip. Now when he sees her, she's an English lady - and he's still just a bloke from the outback.
Oh, I'm telling too much.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Anybody interested in purchasing this fabulous film on home video VHS should take a close look at which listing for it they are buying. The film was released 4 Different ways on VHS. By two different companies. STARMAKER which put out 3 Types and NEW WORLD which put out 1 version which is the most desirable. They are all the same film in various quality types. A Town Like Alice is NOT yet available on DVD. Here is the info on whats out there on VHS.

This version the first listed on AMAZON A Town Like Alice is for the One Tape EPmode STARMAKER release 301mins. EPMODE is the cheapest and also the lowest quality release! Since it is EP mode it will be hard to track on newer VCR's.
STARMAKER also put out a much higher quality 3 Tape 301min Release SPMode 3 VHS Tapes - A Town Like Alice

The Third is yet another STARMAKER Release A Town Like Alice 2tapes LP Mode. Still NOT great quality. This is OK but not near as good as the second 3 tape SPMODE option.

The BEST and most desirable release is this 4th release of A Town Like Alice is a NEW WORLD Home Video Release 301mins Uncut on 2 high quality SPmode Tapes. These are two T-160 videos which means they have longer reels then standard T-120 tapes. Thats why they can handle a combine 301mins. on 2 tapes. So, not as complicated or cumbersome as having to get the 3tape vers. The bad news is that this version is NOT listed on amazon. BUT you can still find it if you look at the marketplace seller descriptions.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT LOVE STORY OF THE CENTURY June 14, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is a movie to be viewed time and again. It encompasses several different cultures and spans several continents.
It is a love story that survives not only the nastiness of war but the trials of separation and the very unforgiving climate of Australia's outback.
When Jean and Joe, played admirably by Helen Morse and Bryan Brown, first meet, it is in the very trying conditions of war. After a separation of several years, they are reunited only to have their love tested again by the conditions of the land around them.
This movie was a TV mini-series based on Neville Shute's book and is quite long. However, it is worth it and I have watched it many, many times and never tire of it.
Beautiful scenery and great acting by everyone, especially Brown and Morse make this a thoroughly enjoyable must see movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This 3 reel version is better quality than the 1 reel version.
Published 3 days ago by David S. Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia
I saw this mini series years ago & haven't been able to buy it in Australia. I love this story & it was great to sit down & watch it again. Thankyou for making this possible
Published 24 days ago by Lorraine Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Hour Australian Mini-Series with Bryan Brown
When I viewed this film for the first time I hadn't planned to watch it for 5 hours in one sitting! However, I couldn't stop. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Grandy 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars Catpansies
Please make this a DVD with closed captions. It is such a wonderful movie but my VHS copy is now fuzzy and the speech is very hard to understand.
Published 1 month ago by catpansies
5.0 out of 5 stars Received as a VHS gift
Did enjoy the movie until the old VHS player decided to retire, I've checked to see if it was available on DVD...hurry! also, has better quality.
Published 2 months ago by Mitchell A. Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series. Sketchy transfer to DVD.
This has a great feel to the series. It's worth watching, even if the video transfer is less than stellar.
Published 3 months ago by G. Hansen
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a DVD of "A Town Like Alice."
The DVD arrived exactly as scheduled. The film is generally in good shape, except that there is a brief damaged part on the first disc. Read more
Published 3 months ago by gingerlee
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: The seller took my money and ran!
I'm sorry, there's no way to give minus stars. This crook cashed my check, gave a delivery date that was a month down the road, and then headed for the hills. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phantom Pilot
5.0 out of 5 stars When is this wonderful production coming to DVD?
My family and I treasure this production of "A Town Like Alice". Why, why is it taking so long to come to DVD?
Published 4 months ago by Enid
5.0 out of 5 stars A Town Like Alice
My VHS is dated 1982...It is WELL worn and hanging on by a slim grasp.....Please Amazon, I beg you to use your political
powers to get this precious Movie released in Disc... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Arlene Davidson
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Topic From this Discussion
A Town Like Alice DVD
Aye! Agree! We've lived in the Alice, we think the movie is great, and it needs to be released on DVD for regions outside of Australia.
Nov 6, 2007 by JAG |  See all 5 posts
Town Like Alice on DVD
I echoed the desire to have a copy of this fine movie on DVD (posted on 06 Nov), then I found an organization within the movie business that creates DVDs or tapes to order. It is called MovieLead and their primary business is for those in the business, but they provide movies for the rest of us... Read More
Dec 7, 2007 by JAG |  See all 7 posts
A Town Like Alice DVD---I'm BEGGING you.
I saw this miniseries on PBS many years ago and I've always wanted to own a copy. DVD would be a must because I would probably wear out a VHS tape from watching it over and over again.
Dec 26, 2006 by J. Conrad |  See all 14 posts
town like alice
I agree. I bought this new on VHS years ago, and still have it. I've watched it several times (and it's getting distant enough to watch again). Why this isn't on DVD is a crime.

This film is VASTLY underseen and underappreciated.
Jul 30, 2008 by Scott FS |  See all 6 posts
I have the sp version that is unavailable? ASIN B0032GQH56 Be the first to reply
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