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The Stranglers of Bombay (1959)

In the 1830s a captain in the East India Company lobbies to investigate the criminal Thugee Cult of Kali, an organized crime group of stranglers and thieves.

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(as David Z. Goodman)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Captain Harry Lewis
...
Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Colonel Henderson
George Pastell ...
High Priest of Kali
...
Patel Shari
Jan Holden ...
Mary Lewis
...
Lt. Silver
Tutte Lemkow ...
Ram Das
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Storyline

A murderous religious cult is way-laying travellers and stealing goods in nineteenth century India. As the disappearances mount and trade becomes difficult, the British East India Company is forced to act. But they give the job to an upper-class officer completely out-of-touch with the country rather than the obvious candidate who has been in India for years and well understands the people and culture. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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In Strangloscope! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Würger von Bombay  »

Company Credits

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,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fight between the snake and the mongoose wasn't in the original script. See more »

Goofs

The pistol used in several scenes by Captain Lewis and Captain Connaught-Smith was a revolver. The time frame for this film was set in the 1820's. The revolver wouldn't be invented and patented until 1836? See more »

Quotes

Patel Shari: Whoever rules decides the truth.
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Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good low-budget period thriller from Hammer
5 April 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Coming from many of the same team as Hammers dire 'The Terror of the Tongs' and bearing the same reputation for political incorrectness that has kept it out of distribution for years, you could be forgiven for expecting the worst. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.

Directed by Terence Fisher at the peak of his powers, it's slightly more accurate than expected – some nominal research has been done into the Thugs, which is more than can be said for Gunga Din – but is still closer in tone to Victorian melodrama than history. Guy Rolfe is typically low key as the oft-ignored British officer trying to persuade the apathetic East India Company to investigate a series of disappearances only to be ignored and ultimately replaced by the a particularly idiotic candidate who went to the right school. Investigating on his own, he soon comes up against the followers of Kali, with results that should entertain anyone who likes Fu Manchu and his ilk. It's particularly interesting just how critical the film is of the British mismanagement of India – rather than agents of civilisation, their concern is purely with the bottom line.

It's a fast-paced 80 minutes with many of the usual 'British foreign stock company' suspects – George Pastell, Roger Delgado, Tutte Lemkow and Marne Maitland - in black face in the supporting cast, and better production values than you might expect from the obviously low budget. It's strange that the film is such a rarity since there are many more politically incorrect films still in circulation: maybe its down to the fierce controversy that greeted it on its first release. Nonetheless, well worth a look if it crosses your path.


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