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The Bronze Bell (1921)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  19 June 1921 (USA)
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In the 1850s, a young prince in India promises his dying father he will lead a revolt against the English colonial masters of India. However, since he is half-European himself, he can't ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Courtenay Foote ...
Har Dyal Rutton / David Ambert
Doris May ...
Sophia Farrell
John Davidson ...
Salig Singh
Claire Du Brey ...
Noble Johnson ...
Otto Hoffman ...
La Bertouche
Gerald Pring ...
Capt. Darrington
C. Norman Hammond ...
Col. Farrell
Howard Crampton ...
Fred Huntley ...


In the 1850s, a young prince in India promises his dying father he will lead a revolt against the English colonial masters of India. However, since he is half-European himself, he can't bring himself to do it and flees to America, to live in obscurity. He finds, however, that he can't outrun his obligations, and he soon meets a messenger sent from India to remind him of the promise he made to his father. Complications ensue. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

19 June 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il codardo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A Early Colonial Adventure-Melodrama of India
16 October 2011 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Producer Thomas Ince's East-West thematic preoccupation reappeared in various forms, as I outline in my Ince biography. The interest was evident as he planned a spectacular production set in India, contemplating a recent Talbot Mundy story, before deciding to again film a Louis Joseph Vance novel, The Bronze Bell, published in 1909.

Ince had previously used the Indian rebellion of 1857 as the background of his Kay-Bee movie The Beggar of Cawnpore (1916), relating an Englishman finding his redemption from drug debauchery. India had also been the setting for The Beckoning Flame (1916) and The Toast of Death (1915), in which a ballet dancer who loves an Englishman and an Indian prince continues her relationship with both men after marrying the prince, until he learns the truth and inflicts retribution on the deceivers.

The Bronze Bell opens in Kuttapur where, as the Maharajah lays dying, Prime Minister Salig Singh tries to force his son, Prince Har Dyal Rutton, into endorsing a call for war. Instead, Rutton flees to the United States, where he meets David Amber, an authority on India, who bears a strong resemblance to him (both are played by Courtenay Foote). Rutton dies from fever, knowing his country is in danger because he has been "summoned" to undergo the "Ordeal of the Bell" and declare a revolt against the English. Amber goes back to India, taking his friend's identity, and exposes the fakir who is the real voice of the bell. Through their separate actions, the best of both lands, Rutton and Amber, have brought peace in a manner that would become the filmic convention for supporting colonialism.

James W. Horne directed The Bronze Bell from September 8 to October 23, 1920. Publicity emphasized the spectacle: costumes, décor, and opulent set filling studio stages. Equally, authenticity was also promised in presenting the Indian atmosphere. The six reel movie cost $128,025, but grossed a mere $162,404, dampening Ince's intentions to present similar subject matter.

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