Never let timing get in the way of a good story. Queen Victoria is mentioned and shown as reigning monarch dating the period to before her death. Yet, khaki Service dress was not adopted until after the end of the second Anglo-Boer more than a year later. While some units has used similar dress earlier, none was issued in Britain. See more »
In this period picture set in the Indian "raj" in the mid-1800s, Peter Lawford is a British army officer framed for espionage by Russian spies and drummed out of the army. He escapes from the police on his way to prison and makes his way to India to gather evidence to clear himself, a task he figures to accomplish by enlisting in the army under a different name. A variation on the old "Four Feathers" story, this low-budgeter from MGM can't make up its mind whether it's a thriller (Lawford trying to clear his name and find the real spies) or an action picture (the British fighting rebellious Afghan tribesmen in the Khyber Pass) and doesn't really succeed at either--you know that Lawford's going to clear himself (he does) and that the British army will win the day (they do). There's some odd casting (Janice Rule is Lawford's British sweetheart but doesn't even try to hide her American accent, Australian actor Michael Pate plays a Cockney soldier with a laughably exaggerated Cockney accent, American actor Richard Hale--who often played Indian chiefs in westerns--plays a Russian spymaster in the same kind of chopped, singsong manner in which he played Indians), and the picture overall is stiff and mechanical; a burst of action at the end isn't particularly well done (although it was filmed on location at the Khyber Pass and uses hundreds of extras), and even Lawford's charm, good looks and way with a line can't really save it.
It's a bit better than most of the innumerable period "action" clunkers Sam Katzman was churning out at Columbia--several of them with the same setting as this picture--at around the same time, but that's about all that can be said for it.
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