The Wind Cannot Read is a 1958 British drama film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Dirk Bogarde, Yoko Tani, Ronald Lewis and John Fraser. It was based on a novel by Richard Mason.
Songwriter, Peter Hart received the 1958 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for the title song, performed by Vera Lynn.
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
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 tumor although the doctor initially gives her good odds of surviving; she dies after an operation.
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.
Filming took place on location in India in early 1958, with Dirk Bogarde in the main role.
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."