Gunga Din

Gunga Din

George Stevens (1939)

112min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This absolutely spiffing action adventure, probably the best of its kind, is loosely based on the imperialist poem by Rudyard Kipling, but actually takes its plot premise from the Broadway classic The Front Page, and it's no surprise that both the play and this story were written by the same team, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Casting couldn't be bettered, as Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Victor McLaglen swashbuckle their way across the 19th-century Indian frontier, only to be ultimately rescued by water boy Sam Jaffe. First-choice director Howard Hawks was unavoidably detained, but replacement George Stevens (Shane, Giant) makes a superb job of handling the rumbustious squaddies in his biggest budget movie to date. Dateless and timeless, this immensely enjoyable epic has stubbornly resisted any attempt at a remake, although Frank Sinatra's clan proffered a crude westernisation with Sergeants Three.

Summary

Two British soldiers stationed in 19th-century India are shocked to learn their comrade-in-arms is planning to quit the service and get married. However, their efforts to keep him in the army have to wait when a fanatical cult launches an uprising, leaving an unassuming water carrier with the task of saving the day. Action adventure, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's classic poem, starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Joan Fontaine and Sam Jaffe.

Cast & Crew

Cutter Cary Grant
MacChesney Victor McLaglen
Ballantine Douglas Fairbanks Jr
Gunga Din Sam Jaffe
Emmy Joan Fontaine
Guru Eduardo Ciannelli
Colonel Weed Montagu Love
Higginbotham Robert Coote
Chota Abner Biberman
Major Mitchell Lumsden Hare
Mr Stebbings Cecil Kellaway
Director George Stevens
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Radio Pictures LtdAvailable on: video
Drama