IMDb > The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
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The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   1,641 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Waldemar Young (screen play) &
John L. Balderston (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Lives of a Bengal Lancer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1935 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
1750 to 1! Always out-numbered! Never out-fought! These are the Bengal Lancers...heroes all...guarding each other's lives, sharing each other's tortures, fighting each other's battles... See more »
Plot:
Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against invaders...and themselves. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Forgotten Classic See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gary Cooper ... Lieutenant McGregor

Franchot Tone ... Lieutenant Forsythe
Richard Cromwell ... Lieutenant Stone
Guy Standing ... Colonel Stone (as Sir Guy Standing)

C. Aubrey Smith ... Major Hamilton
Kathleen Burke ... Tania Volkanskaya

Douglass Dumbrille ... Mohammed Khan (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Monte Blue ... Hamzulla Khan
Colin Tapley ... Lieutenant Barrett

Akim Tamiroff ... Emir
J. Carrol Naish ... Grand Vizier
Noble Johnson ... Ram Singh
Lumsden Hare ... Major General Woodley
Jameson Thomas ... Hendrickson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
F.A. Armenta ... Indian Officer (uncredited)

Mischa Auer ... Captured Afridi (uncredited)
James Bell ... Indian Officer (uncredited)
Ralph Bucko ... (uncredited)
Ray Cooper ... Assistant to Grand Vizier (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Sentry (uncredited)
Eddie Das ... Servant (uncredited)
James Dime ... (uncredited)
Sam Garrett ... Rider / Roper (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... British Officer (uncredited)
Abdul Hassan ... Ali Hamdi (uncredited)
Jamiel Hasson ... Indian Officer (uncredited)
Alexander Ikonnikov ... Indian Officer (uncredited)
Myra Kinch ... Dancer (uncredited)
Claude King ... Experienced Clerk (uncredited)
Leonid Kinskey ... Snake Charmer (uncredited)
Rollo Lloyd ... The Ghasi - a Prisoner (uncredited)
Lya Lys ... Girl on Train (uncredited)
Clive Morgan ... Captain Norton (uncredited)
Hussain Nasri ... Muezzin (uncredited)
Jack Padjan ... British Lancer (uncredited)
George Regas ... Kushal Khan (uncredited)
Reginald Sheffield ... Novice Clerk (uncredited)
Bhogwan Singh ... Naim Shah (uncredited)
Ram Singh ... Indian Officer (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... McGregor's Servant (uncredited)
Cuyler Supplee ... (uncredited)
Carlie Taylor ... British Officer (uncredited)
James Warwick ... Lieutenant Gilooley (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry Hathaway 
 
Writing credits
Waldemar Young (screen play) &
John L. Balderston (screen play) and
Achmed Abdullah (screen play)

Grover Jones (adaptation) and
William Slavens McNutt (adaptation)

Francis Yeats-Brown (suggested by the novel by)

Maxwell Anderson  contributing writer (uncredited)
Laurence Stallings  contributor to screenplay construction (uncredited)
Francis Yeats-Brown  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Louis D. Lighton .... producer
 
Original Music by
Herman Hand (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Lang (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Ellsworth Hoagland (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Roland Anderson (uncredited)
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Clem Beauchamp .... assistant director (uncredited)
Paul Wing .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Hansen .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Harold Lewis .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ernest B. Schoedsack .... camera operator: background shots, India (uncredited)
Ernest B. Schoedsack .... director of photography: background shots, India (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Rudolph G. Kopp .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
Robert M. Gillham .... press agent (uncredited)
LeRoy Prinz .... choreographer (uncredited)
Slim Talbot .... stand-in: Gary Cooper (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Rochfort John .... grateful acknowledgment for the technical advice and supervision of (as Capt. Rochfort John)
W.E. Wynn .... grateful acknowledgment for the technical advice and supervision of (as Lieut. Col. W.E. Wynn)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Adolf Hitler's favourite film, at least at one point. He watched this 3 times.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: McGregor lifts and moves the Vickers machine gun with no apparent effort. However, the gun with the tripod could weigh between 29 and 36 kg (65-80 lb) so it is unlikely that it would be moved as easily as it is in the film. The Vickers was a water-cooled machine gun. The ones seen in the film lack the water condenser can which was usually attached to the barrel.See more »
Quotes:
Lieutenant Forsythe:You don't like poetry?
Lieutenant Alan McGregor:How should I know? I never read any.
Lieutenant Forsythe:Perhaps something more rugged. "Ever the faith endures, England, my England, take and break us we're yours, England my own. Life is good, joy runs high, between English earth and sky. Death is death, and we shall die, to the song on your bugles blown, to the star on your bugles blown.
Lieutenant Forsythe:[pause] If I'd known I was gonna say all this I would have brought my violin!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Voyage to Nowhere (1986)See more »
Soundtrack:
Pomp and CircumstanceSee more »

FAQ

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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Forgotten Classic, 24 February 2006
Author: Ramses_Emerson from United States

You are unlikely to have heard of "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer." It has long been overshadowed by it's more popular contemporaries "Beau Geste" and "Gunga Din", though it is, in my humble opinion, a finer film then either of them. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start at the beginning.

"The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" is the story of a regiment of British soldiers in Imperial India. It's an adventure film first and foremost, but it is also an intimate drama about the life of a soldier in an age of Victorian honor, chivalry, and stiff upper lip stoicism. The characters are all interesting and complex and the dialogue is witty and literate.

The film holds up very well for a movie made in 1935, largely due to the lack of any melodramatic romantic subplots, which have permanently marred other adventure films of the period. This is a man's film about men in desperate situations, it's about being willing to die for your country or your friends at a moments notice. It's about a concept that most people consider outdated, honor. How many films have you seen recently about honor, loyalty, and true courage? Probably not many. The action scenes are exhilarating, and the film really does a wonderful job of establishing it's Indian setting.

The performances are all first rate, Gary Cooper stars as Lt. McGregor. I've always imagined Cooper as the quiet, serious, everyman characters he played later in his career. Here he gets to try his hand at comedy and complexity and gives arguably the most layered performance of his career. Franchot Tone is also perfectly cast, he won on Oscar the same year for his performance in Mutiny on the Bounty, but his performance in this film is equally deserving of acclaim. Tone was one of the best actors of the 1930's, though he never really hit it big as a leading man. He's wonderful here, his character exudes charm and wit, and he and Cooper bounce off each other wonderfully. Richard Cromwell is a little over the top, but he makes sense for the character. British stage actor Guy Standing plays Colonel Stone as being emotionless on the outside, and yet torn apart on the inside, having to make the impossible choice between loyalty to one's family and loyalty to one's country. It's a great performance for which he should have received an Oscar nomination. As for C. Aubrey Smith, he is wonderful as usual, the quintessential British officer, often imitated but never equaled, there is no one like the man himself. Douglas Dumbrille also gives a fine performance as the evil Muhammad Khan.

"The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" is a great film, that has been unfairly denied the classic status it so deserves. For years the only way to see it was on Turner Classic Movies, but recently it was released as one of the five films on the $25 "Gary Cooper Collection". Don't miss it.

10 out of 10

Also, though most people don't know it, this is the film in which the now famous line "We have ways of making men talk" is first uttered.

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