The perilous passage
in J. Lee Thompson
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For the first twenty-three years of his career, J. Lee Thompson's film-making activities were confined to England. The nearest he came to an overseas location was visiting J. B. Priestley on the Isle of Wight. Given the popularity of the genre during the 1950s, it is surprising that it took until 1957 for J. Lee Thompson to make a war film. Sea of Sand has a small platoon with a mission, feuding officers, battle scenes, a largely unquestioning commitment to the war, and a faceless enemy interested only in the destruction of the film's protagonists. North West Frontier opened at Rank's flagship Odeon in Leicester Square, London, to a chorus of approval from the popular press which saw it as a worthy successor to The Bridge on the River Kwai. Manchester Guardian gives '"fair do's" all round' in the classic liberal manner, while acknowledging the untenable nature of imperialism.

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