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Based loosely on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, this takes place in British India during the Thuggee uprising. Three fun loving sergeants are doing fine until one of them wants to get married and leave the service. The other two trick him into a final mission where they end up confronting the entire cult by themselves as the British Army is entering a trap. This is of the "War is fun" school of movie making. It has the flavour of watching Notre Dame play an inferior high school team. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
In March 1939, the Kipling family objected to a reporter being called Rudyard Kipling, prompting RKO to eliminate that scene from the film when it was re-released. However, it is in the prints available today. The scheduled release date of December 1938 was postponed for retakes. John Sturges, an uncredited editor on this film, directed the remake, Sergeants 3. See more »
The rifle that Ballantine carries to the top of the temple is a M1896 Krag-Jorgensen. See more »
Obviously a film that has had great influence not only on the buddy genre but action genre as well. George Lucas had to be a fan of this flick as so much of his Star Wars series seems to a homage to Gunga Din. The characters that Grant, McLaglen, and Fairbanks play are just precursors of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca. Even Sam Jaffe's Gunga Din morphed into C-3PO and R2-D2 and like him or not: Jar Jar Binks.
Today this film is viewed as non PC but there is a speech by Eduardo Ciannelli as Guru the leader of the Indian opposition to the British raj that could can be echoed in the sentiments of many today.
To a young boy this was a great film. Three strong male leads and only a hint of romance. There was a time when young boys deemed kissing the girl in Saturday matinee film was just mush. Not like today when the more skin is greeted with delight. Too late to lament lost innocence.
Hopefully this film will not be forgotten and a few who are channel surfing will stop at TCM and catch a film with action, adventure, and a cast of thousands instead of CGI actors.
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