Gunga Din (1939)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, War  |  17 February 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 8,428 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 41 critic

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.



(screen play), (screen play), 9 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Montagu Love ...
Robert Coote ...
Abner Biberman ...
Lumsden Hare ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Armies and elephants...Love and laughter...Breathless adventure tuned to the rolling thunder of red drumfire in seething India. See more »


Adventure | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aufstand in Sidi Hakim  »

Box Office


$1,910,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (reissue)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bits and pieces of the film's use of Lone Pine's boulder-strewn area remain, including the anchors for the rope bridge across the "chasm". Some judicious referencing of the film, and stills from it, make for an interesting tour of the area to locate where a number of the scenes were shot. See more »


The level of the gin bottle that Cutter carries from the veranda. See more »


Guru: You seem to think warfare an English invention. Have you never heard of Chandragupta Maurya? He slaughtered all the armies left in India by Alexander the Great. India was a mighty nation then while Englishmen still dwelt in caves and painted themselves blue.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits appear on a gong. Standing next to the gong is a Hindu man, and every time he strikes the gong, the credits change. See more »


Referenced in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Scottish poet Robert Burns
Played as part of the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

or The Three Musketeers go to India...great fun...
15 April 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

'Gunga Din' is the kind of film you cherish after the first viewing and then want to revisit from time to time. It stays in the memory and for valid reasons--the casting is perfect with the three buddies entering into the spirit of the whole thing--the perfect buddy movie. Cary Grant gave many fine performances on film but this is one of his greatest--heroic and funny at the same time. Sam Jaffe is excellent as the water carrier who eventually saves the regiment in what has to be one of the most thrilling endings ever conceived for an action movie. Today some of it is politcally incorrect but this is a minor flaw in a great movie. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Victor McLaglen and Eduardo Ciannelli are all perfectly cast. Joan Fontaine has a couple of brief scenes as the only femme in the story--but fails to ignite any interest in her bland role. Based on the famous Rudyard Kipling poem, it deserves a place at the top of the list of great adventure films produced in the 1930s. I'd love to see a technicolor version today with someone like Brendan Fraser leading the "musketeers". A real gem.

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