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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:
...
Capt. Harry Lewis
...
Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Col. Henderson
George Pastell ...
High Priest of Kali
...
Patel Shari
Jan Holden ...
Mary Lewis
...
Lt. Silver
...
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>

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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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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Thugee cult can be traced back to the 17th century, with roots going as far back as the 13th. It is estimated that they murdered 2,000,000 of their countrymen. According to the film's end credits, one thug allegedly claimed 700 victims. The cult's victims were often picked out beforehand, and their graves were dug before they were murdered. See more »

Goofs

When Captain Lewis is tied to the ground, a reflection is visible between him and the cobra, revealing that a pane of glass separates them. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith: [Interrogating witness through translator] Now tell him that no one can live anywhere for 40 years without seeing a great deal. What has he seen?
[the translator confers with the witness]
Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith: [Impatiently] Well?
Translator: He says he has seen 40 harvests and 160 changes of season.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing
4 August 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

THE STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY is one of Hammer's last black-and-white movies but, being set in the exotic locales of 19th-century India, it really needs some colour to liven it up. As it stands it's a rather lifeless and stagy affair, clearly hampered by a low budget and an almost singular lack of action, incident and spectacle. Hammer would later do the whole pulp adventure type format much better with the likes of the truly gripping TERROR OF THE TONGS.

The story sees the British East India Company finding themselves menaced by sinister members of a thuggee cult with a predilection for strangulation. Said cult members are headed by the memorably zany George Pastell, whose role seems to have provided inspiration for Spielberg in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Watch out for an uncredited Roger Delgado (DR WHO's Master) as an evil henchman and Marie Devereux as a mute but arresting thuggee follower.

All this is fair enough, but the film really lets itself down when it comes to the lifeless characters. Guy Rolfe's heroic leading man is adequate, but way too much screen time is given over to the stuffy character Allan Cuthbertson plays. The whole narrative stagnates for minutes on end only to be rushed when it comes to the climax. STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY has promise at times, but with the pedigree behind it (such as Terence Fisher's direction) it should have been a lot better than it actually is.


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