• PG
  • Richard Attenborough (1982)
  • UK
  • 183 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Richard Attenborough's stately biopic of Mahatma Gandhi has all the hallmarks of David Lean: historical scope; sure command of thousands of extras; and, most of all, an ability to focus on individual endeavour amid the spectacle. For this is one of the 20th century's most remarkable stories, that of the righteous Indian lawyer (a quietly inspirational performance by Ben Kingsley) who returned from racially segregated South Africa to drive the British out of his home country through successive acts of non-violent protest. The film begins with his assassination and flashes back to the key moments in a 30-year struggle. While Kingsley (who took one of eight Oscars) is the glue that holds this epic piece together, you must relish a cast that includes John Gielgud, Edward Fox, John Mills, Martin Sheen and Roshan Seth as Gandhi's protégé and future leader Pandit Nehru.

Plot Summary

Epic biographical drama starring Ben Kingsley. Southern Africa, 1893: a young lawyer is thrown off a train for refusing to travel second class because of the colour of his skin. Spurred on to liberate his oppressed countrymen, Gandhi engages in a long struggle to change the system by peaceful revolution. His subsequent return to India in 1915 begins a course of events that will shape world history and affect the lives of millions.

Cast and crew


Mahatma Gandhi
Ben Kingsley
Margaret Bourke-White
Candice Bergen
General Dyer
Edward Fox
Lord Irwin
John Gielgud
Judge Broomfield
Trevor Howard
The Viceroy
John Mills
Martin Sheen
Kasturba Gandhi
Rohini Hattangadi
Charlie Andrews
Ian Charleson
General Smuts
Athol Fugard
Herman Kallenbach
Gunther Maria Halmer
Sardar Patel
Saeed Jaffrey
Geraldine James
Mohammed Ali Jinnah
Alyque Padamsee
Amrish Puri
Pandit Nehru
Roshan Seth
Senior police officer
Ian Bannen
Principal Secretary
Michael Bryant
Advocate General
John Clements
Richard Griffiths
Nigel Hawthorne
Bernard Hepton
Sir George Hodge
Michael Hordern
Lord Mountbatten
Peter Harlowe
Lady Mountbatten
Jane Myerson
Professor Gokhale
Shreeram Lagoo
Om Puri
Maulana Azad
Virendra Razdan
Sir Edward Gait
Richard Vernon
Nathuram Godse
Harsh Nayyar
Prabhakar Patankar
Colin, South African street tough
Daniel Day-Lewis


Richard Attenborough

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Columbia-Emi-Warner Dists Ltd
Contains violence.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG