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Sabaka (1954)

Approved | | Adventure | 2 February 1955 (USA)
In India, a young elephant trainer vows revenge against the cult that killed his family and, when the local Maharajah refuses to help, sets out alone to battle his enemy.




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Cast overview:
Nino Marcel ...
Gunga Ram
Gen. Pollegar
Lou Krugman ...
Maharajah of Bakore
Sir Cedric
Marku Ponjoy, High Priestess of Sabaka
Lisa Howard ...
Louis Merrill ...
Koobah (as Lou Merrill)
K.K. Sinha ...
Fire Dancer


Gunga Ram, a young elephant trainer, swears vengeance on the killers of his sister Indria and her husband on the orders of the religious fire-cult leaders, the High Priestess and Ashok. The Maharajah of Bakore disbelieves him and Gunga Ram is also opposed by the Maharajah's General Pollegar. Gunga Ram sets out to expose and destroy the fire shrine of Sabaka. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

2 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hindu  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Big name actors play dress up in cameo roles in the story of a young boy seeking revenge for the death of his sister
13 August 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Gunga Ram, a boy in the employ of a maharajah vows revenge against the cult of Sabaka, the god of fire. The cult had burned his older sister and her husband alive in their home in order to help win converts.

Set in India, with a cast made up of entirely Hollywood vets, it was supposedly shot in India, its more dress up day at the back lot rather than a real shot on location film. Clearly much of the film, the animal and travelogue sort of stuff was shot on location, however I doubt any of the name actors stuff was.

The cast is for the most part is wasted in their small roles. Reginald Denny as a British Lord basically sits in a chair and watches a parade, top billed Boris Karloff plays a disapproving general, and while he's very good in his scenes has a role that means nothing to the proceedings. Only Victor Jory and June Foray as the heads of the fire cult have anything to do. (And its nice to have more than just Ms Foray's voice to keep us entertained.) The movie itself is okay. An unremarkable adventure for kids, its the sort of thing I could have seen my parents dropping me off at on a Saturday afternoon when I was a kid.Its not particularly scary, actually its not particularly anything, it just sort of is. It doesn't help that after an involving first third, where we meet all the characters and have a good number of possible plots set up, the film shifts gears and becomes primarily interested in the revenge story. This would be okay if it wasn't the only thing going on, but as the sole focus of the film its not enough to sustain the last 45 minutes to an hour.

An okay time killer this would be worth seeing if a decent, unfaded and worn print could be found. Its a good example of what family films used to be (and why they went out of favor). Frankly if it wasn't for the stars this film would have been lost to time.

5 out of 10.

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