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The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) Poster

Quotes

Mohammed Khan: We have ways to make men talk.

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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!

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Lieutenant Alan McGregor: He's in there all right, no doubt about that. And doing rather well, too.

Lieutenant Forsythe: Clicquot. I saw the label. Iced. If that's the way Mohammed Khan tortures his victims, I'd like to change places with him for ten minutes.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: That guard's got a key all right. If we can last till night, hit the guard over the head, get the kid out, and try and steal some horses -

Lieutenant Forsythe:

  • jump them over the 40 foot wall, and then that mad dash for the border!

[imitates hooves clomping]

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Well, you think of something better!

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Colonel Tom Stone: [Repeated line] You're improperly dressed.

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Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Who's she?

Lieutenant Forsythe: I met her on the train, if you don't mind.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Bad business talking to strange people out here. You know, this is India, you don't who they are, and you might...

Lieutenant Forsythe: Oh, I see. Beautiful spy meets young Lancer officer, makes him give away important military secrets. The Empire goes smash! Melodrama, my dear McGregor, melodrama!

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: It might not be as funny as it sounds, Mr. Stone.

Lieutenant Forsythe: I don't suppose it matters to you, but my name isn't Stone.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: [Confused] No?

Lieutenant Forsythe: No. It's Forsythe.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: [Points to well dressed man walking down the platform] Well then, that must be Stone right there.

Lieutenant Forsythe: That's very good you know, really very good. It's almost brilliant.

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Major Hamilton: McGregor, you'll meet the two replacement officers this morning. lieutenants Forsythe and Stone.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Yes, sir. Stone?

Major Hamilton: His son.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: His what?

Major Hamilton: I said, his son.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: [chuckles] I can't imagine the old Ramrod ever having been that human.

[imitating Col. Stone]

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Madam, you'll marry me Tuesday the 29th. Be at the church at 10:00. That's an order!

[pause]

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Furthermore, you're improperly dressed!

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Major Hamilton: [the men are arguing over Col. Stone's refusal to disobey orders in order to go after his captured son] He'll have nothing, if his boy doesn't carry on in this regiment.

Lieutenant Forsythe: Then he'd have everything?

Major Hamilton: Of course he would! That's what it means to him. But d'you think he'd let that make any difference to his orders, to his job?

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Well, why shouldn't it? Why can't he be a little less of a soldier and more of a man? Why can't he forget his blasted duty for once?

Major Hamilton: Man, you *are* blind! Have you never thought how, for generation after generation here, a handful of men have ordered the lives of 300 million people? It's because he's here, and a few more like him! Men of his breed have *made* British India. Men who put their jobs above everything. He wouldn't let death move him from it. But he won't let love move him from it. When his breed of man dies out - that's the end. And it's a better breed of man than any of us will ever make. Good night, gentlemen.

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Lieutenant Forsythe: Well, I must say you spoke your mind, old colonial... If there's any virtue in that.

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Lieutenant Alan McGregor: I'm fed up with this cat and mouse business. Let's talk sense. You've got us here, and now what are you going to do with us?

Lieutenant Forsythe: Oh Mac - manners, manners.

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Lieutenant Alan McGregor: I suppose if it were your son, you'd sit here too, like a dummy.

Major Hamilton: No, I should probably ordered the regiment out. But that's because I'm not the man the Colonel is. Nor the soldier.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Well, if that's what you call being a man, or a soldier, I don't want any part of it.

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Lieutenant Alan McGregor: That kid needs him, it's his own blood, and if he cared a hang for him...

Major Hamilton: Oh, of course he cares! But what's that got to do with it? He loved his wife too, and he lost her. She was American. Couldn't stick the service, couldn't understand. So he chose the regiment then, just as he's doing now. But that doesn't mean he didn't care.

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Lieutenant Donald Stone: [Semi-hysterical after having broke under torture] He left me here, didn't he? He knew what they'd do. He wouldn't come after me, not him. Regiment, Service, Duty. Why should I stand what you did for them? Why should I? Why should any of us? Why?

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: [McGregor hits him] I told you to forget it.

Lieutenant Donald Stone: All right Mac. But I still don't understand why.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Why? Well - well, there's some think things they don't teach you in military college - can't, I guess. India is big, you know, there's over three hundred million people, and run by just a handful of men. The - the job comes first. Like old ramrod. You can't let death move you, nor love. And it's like - and how can I tell you what it's all about when I don't know myself?

Lieutenant Forsythe: The time had come, the walrus said, for many things. Ships, shoes, and ceiling wax, and cabbages and kings.

Lieutenant Alan McGregor: Oh, shut up!

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, break us, we are 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 / England / To the stars on your bugles blown." If I'd known I was going to say all this, I'd have brought my violin.

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