IMDb > Gunga Din (1939)
Gunga Din
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Gunga Din (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Gunga Din -- Cary Grant leads the way in this action-packed adventure about three rowdy British soldiers who defeat a murderous cult in India with help from native water boy, Gunga Din.
Gunga Din -- Trailer for this historical drama

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   8,118 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Joel Sayre (screen play) &
Fred Guiol (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Gunga Din on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 February 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Barbaric Splendor - Gasping Magnitude - Adventure ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(46 articles)
Grant Not Gay at All in Gender-Bending Comedy Tonight
 (From Alt Film Guide. 15 December 2014, 7:40 PM, PST)

The Party | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 23 September 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

Why Was 1938 “Motion Pictures’ Greatest Year”?
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 3 July 2014, 2:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Hollywood's Greatest Message Movie? See more (98 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Cutter

Victor McLaglen ... MacChesney

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Ballantine

Sam Jaffe ... Gunga Din
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Guru

Joan Fontaine ... Emmy
Montagu Love ... Colonel Weed
Robert Coote ... Higginbotham
Abner Biberman ... Chota
Lumsden Hare ... Major Mitchell
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Alban ... (uncredited)
Charles Bennett ... Telegraph Operator (uncredited)
Joe De La Cruz ... (uncredited)
George Du Count ... Pandu Lal (uncredited)
Ann Evers ... Girl at Party (uncredited)

Richard Farnsworth ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Olin Francis ... Fulad (uncredited)
Bryant Fryer ... Scottish Sergeant (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... (uncredited)
Jamiel Hasson ... Thug Chieftain (uncredited)

Cecil Kellaway ... Mr. Stebbins (uncredited)
Frank Leyva ... Merchant (uncredited)
Audrey Manners ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Joe McGuinn ... (uncredited)
Fay McKenzie ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Lal Chand Mehra ... Jadoo (uncredited)
Thom Metzetti ... (uncredited)
Art Mix ... (uncredited)
Clive Morgan ... Lancer Captain (uncredited)
Satini Pualoa ... (uncredited)
George Regas ... Thug Chieftain (uncredited)
Allen Schute ... (uncredited)
Reginald Sheffield ... Rudyard Kipling - Journalist (uncredited)
Paul Singh ... (uncredited)
Leslie Sketchley ... Corporal (uncredited)
Tom Tamarez ... (uncredited)
Carlie Taylor ... (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... Lt. Markham (uncredited)
Bruce Wyndham ... (uncredited)

Directed by
George Stevens 
 
Writing credits
Joel Sayre (screen play) &
Fred Guiol (screen play)

Ben Hecht (story) &
Charles MacArthur (story)

Rudyard Kipling (poem "Gunga Din")

Lester Cohen  contributing writer (uncredited)
John Colton  contributing writer (uncredited)
William Faulkner  contributing writer (uncredited)
Vincent Lawrence  contributing writer (uncredited)
Dudley Nichols  contributing writer (uncredited)
Anthony Veiller  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
George Stevens .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph H. August (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Henry Berman 
John Lockert 
John Sturges (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
James R. Barker .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Dan Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Irving Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Mel Berns .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Layne Britton .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Russell Drake .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Abe Haberman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Joe Hadley .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Walter Hermann .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Dick Johnson .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Ben Libizer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Harry Pringle .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Louis Saintly .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Al Senator .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Howard Smit .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Armand Triller .... makeup artist (uncredited)
William Woods .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Pandro S. Berman .... in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Killy .... assistant director
Dewey Starkey .... assistant director
Robert Parrish .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Perry Ferguson .... associate art director
Nathan Barragar .... props (uncredited)
Claude E. Carpenter .... set dresser (uncredited)
Thomas Grady .... props (uncredited)
Maxwell O. Henry .... props (uncredited)
James Lane .... props (uncredited)
Kenneth J. Marstella .... props (uncredited)
Gene Rossi .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
James G. Stewart .... sound recordist (as James Stewart)
John E. Tribby .... sound recordist
George C. Emick .... sound (uncredited)
John C. Grubb .... sound (uncredited)
S.G. Haughton .... sound (uncredited)
Aubrey C. Lind .... sound (uncredited)
Jack Mark .... sound (uncredited)
Gordon McLean .... sound (uncredited)
Eric Meisel .... sound (uncredited)
Arthur C. Robbins .... sound (uncredited)
Fred Rodgers .... sound (uncredited)
Cecil Shephard .... sound (uncredited)
Jean L. Speak .... boom operator (uncredited)
Kenneth C. Wesson .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Russell A. Cully .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
P. Brook .... photographic effects (uncredited)
William Collins .... assistant camera: camera effects (uncredited)
Horace L. Hulburd .... photographic effects (uncredited)
Mario Larrinaga .... camera effects artist (uncredited)
Roger Shearman .... photographic effects (uncredited)
Clifford Stine .... second camera: camera effects (uncredited)
G. Swartz .... photographic effects (uncredited)
M. Zamora .... photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Barlow Simpson .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph A. August Jr. .... second camera operator (uncredited)
H. Barrett .... grip (uncredited)
Pete Bernard .... grip (uncredited)
H.J. Brandon .... grip (uncredited)
Charles Burke .... camera operator (uncredited)
Tom Clement .... grip (uncredited)
William H. Clothier .... camera operator (uncredited)
T. Connelly .... grip (uncredited)
Charles Davis .... camera operator (uncredited)
Thomas East .... best boy (uncredited)
Earl Gilpin .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
George Marquenie .... gaffer (uncredited)
C. Noren .... grip (uncredited)
W. Norton .... grip (uncredited)
Eddie Pyle .... second camera operator (uncredited)
William Record .... grip (uncredited)
F. Reed .... grip (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Straumer .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Leon Turen .... camera operator (uncredited)
William Whitaker .... camera operator (uncredited)
Joe Zaslove .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ray Camp .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Harold Clandenning .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Bill Durant .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Harry Lawrence .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Bill Rabb .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Fred Starns .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Wesley Trist .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Pat Williams .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Robert Russell Bennett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
William Briers .... technical advisor (as Sergeant Major William Briers)
Robert Erskine Holland .... technical advisor (as Sir Robert Erskine Holland)
Clive Morgan .... technical advisor (as Captain Clive Morgan)
Art Bruggerman .... stand-in (uncredited)
Phoebe Campbell .... stand-in (uncredited)
Gordon B. Clarke .... stand-in: Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (uncredited)
Hilda Grenier .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Sam Harris .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Mal Merrihugh .... stand-in (uncredited)
Barlow Simpson .... elephant trainer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
117 min | 96 min (reissue)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1939) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #4452) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Upon release a campaign was launched by the Indian magazine "Filmindia" against the misrepresentation of Indian caricatures in the film, and the displaying of insensitivity towards Hindu customs. Following riots in India and Malaya the film was withdrawn by the censors.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: McChesney's bandolier is empty on the ride to the Gold Temple.See more »
Quotes:
Sgt. Archibald Cutter:Eight feet away from where I'm sitting, right here, there's enough gold to make me sole owner and proprietor of a pub as big as the Crystal Palace. Best pub in Hampshire.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Will Ye No Come Back Again?See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
62 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
Hollywood's Greatest Message Movie?, 30 April 2005
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

Anyone with a young boy in the house who won't watch black & white movies should put this on their television set. When the child walks by, wondering what all the on screen shouting and shooting's about, tell him this is a picture for adults and that he isn't big enough to watch it yet. That'll hold him there for a few minutes; director George Stevens and his team will keep him to the end.

I think my father did that to me, anyway, and I'm the better man for it. This classic adventure yarn, set in India during the British occupation, features a trio of Army sergeants who find their tight union facing dissolution as one prepares to marry his sweetheart. Help arrives in the form of a vicious Thuggie revolt that the soldiers find themselves united against.

"Gunga Din" was one of the great movies to come out of Hollywood's finest year, 1939. Even more than most great movies from that Golden year, it is entertaining in a very immediate and accessible way. The theme music is instant hummable nirvana. While shot in California, the camera work (the only thing in "Gunga Din" that got so much as an Oscar nomination) has a windblown grandeur that feels very much like the Raj of a hundred years before. The battle scenes are shot in a very realistic manner, not too violent but very messy as people fall and shoot and run in all corners of each frame in a way that feels real, not staged like some Cecil B. DeMille Biblical slaughter fest.

The script doesn't just set up action scenes, it also develops the relationship of the three sergeants with great dollops of humor. The main focus is on Sgt. Cutter, chasing after tall tales of golden treasures. It's a rare actioner for Cary Grant, and his lightness is just right for a film that never takes itself seriously even as it develops taut suspense.

Anchoring the trio is Sgt. MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), who dotes over his elephant Annie and tries to protect Cutter from his own hare-brained schemes. He's just as funny in his own way, leaving Sgt. Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr., displaying some nice Errol Flynnish dash) as the one with the love interest and grounding enough to know he needs to chuck his boyish pals and grow up.

If "Gunga Din" was a Lifetime movie, it would be about Joan Fontaine's efforts to save her man from his two loser friends and their skull crushing hijinks. But since it's a guys' film, the accent here is on how the threesome must stay together and save Ballantine from a fate worse than death, not only marriage, but as Cutter indignantly exclaims several times, the tea business, too.

The political correctness police are hard on this film, not so much for the gender issue but the idea of British soldiers saving poor Indians from the vicious Thuggies. It reeks of colonial apologia. Thankfully, this film was made back when, and the producers thus felt no need to spell out the obvious liberalism at the heart of the film, that these three sergeants, so full of derring-do and false racial pride, have to be saved along with the rest of their army by a humble bhisti that only one of the three had any time for when he sought their approval. After all, for all their swashbuckling glory, the film's true sacrifice involves the title character, played so heart-wrenchingly by Sam Jaffe.

Back when this film was made, movie mogul Jack Warner had a saying: You want to send a message, use Western Union. Still, it seems like the messages were flying fast and furious in "Gunga Din." I watch the film now and wonder if audiences back then were meant to wonder what Gunga Din was really up to when he led Cutter to the golden temple. Was he really plotting revenge against his British overlords? Would he have been justified in doing so, especially given MacChesney's cold treatment of him? When Col. Weed delivers that eulogy, the poem by Rudyard Kipling on which the film is loosely based, was it with a nod in the direction of imperialism's folly, of lording it over someone who proved "a better man than I am" in the end? What did they make of the Guru's great speech, delivered in perfect clipped English: "You have sworn an oath as soldiers to maybe die for a faith, which is your country, England. Well, I can die for my country and my faith as readily as you...India, farewell."

Of course, the same character also instructs his brutal followers: "Kill for the love of killing! Kill for the love of Kali! Kill! Kill! Kill!" Which means we are allowed to hate him and root for the British, and save the questions about what it all means for later.

What "Gunga Din" means to me, most of all, is the quickest, surest 90-minute thrill ride on video. Cutter never found his golden temple, but there's one for all of us watching "Gunga Din."

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A Classic csu16387
Reading the Poem Aloud movie_crazy999
why did they use the tune to 'Auld Lang Syne'? Krista2882
'Like . . .' Sengali? Singali? What? LDThompson-998-811981
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