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Son of India (1931)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  1 August 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

A wealthy Indian jewel merchant and an American woman fall in love, only for her family to stand in their way of getting married.



(adapted from the book "Mr. Isaacs" by), (continuty and dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: Son of India (1931)

Son of India (1931) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
Conrad Nagel ...
William Darsay
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Mrs. Darsay
Dr. Wallace
Mitchell Lewis ...
John Miljan ...
Nigel De Brulier ...
Rao Rama (as Nigel deBrulier)


Karim, a collector of jewels, is one of the richest men in Bombay, which belies his humble beginnings and being poor as little as ten years ago. His wealth was derived from a diamond he received from his jewel merchant father, who was killed by marauding bandits because of the jewels in his possession. Twice, ten years ago, Karim was saved from people who would kill, steal or lie to get the diamond. His two saviors were an Indian holy man, and an American tourist. When Karim and American tourist Janice Darsey meet, it is mutual love at first sight. Their interracial romance has many obstacles to happiness, including the disapproval by Janice's aunt, with who she is traveling through India. As Karim and Janice begin a courtship against all odds, two people from Karim's past may ultimately factor into whether it will be happily ever after for Karim and Janice together. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diamond | aunt | india | jeweler | wealth | See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Son of India  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ray Milland is in studio records/casting call lists for the role of "Captain," but he is not identifiable in the movie. See more »


Janice Darsey: [Speaking to the tiger cub] Would he grow up to be a big, big boy and eat the kind, kind lady?
Karim: Who could blame him?
Janice Darsey: I shall call him Oscar.
Karim: Oscar is a boy's name.
Janice Darsey: My error!
Karim: Forgiven.
See more »


Alternate-language version of The Son of the Rajah (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

MGM puts Ramon Novarro in India
22 July 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In India, boyish Ramon Novarro (as Karim) is blessed by holy man Nigel de Brulier (as Rao Rama) while traveling the countryside with father Mitchell Lewis (as Hamid), a jewel merchant. When bandits attack their mountain village, Mr. Lewis gives his son a huge, very valuable diamond. Then, Mr. de Brulier buries him alive. This saves Mr. Novarro's life, as most of the villagers are slaughtered. Rising from his "grave", Novarro learns his father died in the massacre.

In his turban and rags, beggar Novarro goes to Bombay, to sell the diamond. But, the jeweler is crooked; to get the gem for nothing, he yells "Thief!" About to lose his diamond, Novarro is assisted by American tourist Conrad Nagel (as William "Bill" Darsay). Mr. Nagel was in the jeweler's shop, and witnessed the incident. In gratitude, Novarro tries to give his Nagel the diamond, but he declines. Next, Novarro sells the diamond, and becomes a wealthy gentlemen.

Now playing polo, Novarro meets shapely young Madge Evans (as Janice Darsey), who is attracted to the handsome horseman. "I adore precious stones," she tells Novarro. The two begin a romance, which makes race-conscious mother Marjorie Rambeau uncomfortable. Novarro and Ms. Evans want to marry, despite ethnic and religious differences. Nagel, Evans' brother, re-enters the picture. He forbids the marriage, reminding Evans, "You're a white woman!"

While sometimes unsatisfying, this film winds up being more thoughtfully presented than you'd expect. The prejudicial issues are represented surprisingly well for the time. MGM production standards are high for star Novarro, who was assigned these (arguably) inappropriate "ethnic" roles frequently, and Evans is an attractive leading lady. In his last American film, director Jacques Feyder shines, subtlety introducing Nagel's character and staging scenes well.

****** Son of India (8/1/31) Jacques Feyder ~ Ramon Novarro, Madge Evans, Conrad Nagel, Marjorie Rambeau

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