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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
Handsome Ramon Novarro and beautiful Madge Evans play a pair of unlikely star-crossed lovers in old India, in this pleasant MGM sleeper-romance, Son of India (1931).
Madge plays a progressive American girl visiting India with her aunt as chaperon. She slowly falls for Ramon's character, an Indian prince, trained by his father to be a jewel connoisseur and merchant.
Conrad Nagel plays Madge's American brother, who befriends the Indian prince and helps him out of a jam, thereby turning his life around and guaranteeing him his fortune.
Although there is genuine fondness between the brother and the prince, problems arise when the young couple decide they are both in love with one another and want to get married. The old Indian caste system threatens to intervene and separate the young couple. Will the races mix and love conquer all, or will old world tradition rule the day through the caste system, and send the American girl back home? This is a not to be missed treat for the Ramon Novarro fan. I also enjoyed Madge Evans' performance quite a bit; usually she was in secondary supporting roles, but here she finally has a romantic part she can really sink her teeth into. I liked her chemistry with Ramon.
Shown occasionally on TCM and worth the wait. Recommended. 9 out of 10.
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