6.4/10
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14 user 16 critic

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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May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Würger von Bombay  »

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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. Harry Lewis: [to Mary] This is some kind of organized conspiracy. I know it, and I'll find it out!
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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

 
Killing For The Love Of Kali
23 October 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If the British did accomplish one good thing in India it was getting rid of the strangling cult Thugee. It took years to eradicate them and there are some who would say they've not been completely eradicated. But if India had been another planet and the British were operating under the Prime Directive it would have made for some interesting history.

As it was this particular film, The Stranglers Of Bombay takes place in the early part of the 18th century when India was ruled not by the crown directly, but through the British East India Company. The soldiers you see report to them in London and the idea of course is take care of whatever is slowing down company profits.

Guy Rolfe who has played some really nasty villains in such films as Ivanhoe, Taras Bulba, and King Of The Khyber Rifles is a time serving captain in their army who has spent twenty years in India and is rather steeped in their culture. He's the right man for finding out what's at the bottom of a lot of mysterious disappearances, but Colonel Andrew Cruickshank selects the arrogant and fatuous Allan Cuthbertson, newly arrived in India for the job. Kind of dumb, but if he had given Rolfe a free hand we wouldn't have had much of a film.

Classic movie fans recall Eduardo Ciannelli as the Guru of the Thugs in Gunga Din who had some really ambitious goals for followers. The head of the cult here is far more local and a man not quite of Ciannelli's vision of eradicating the British and sweeping the world for Kali.

There were some plot holes in the script or otherwise I would have given The Stranglers Of Bombay a higher rating. Still it was an unusual subject for Hammer films, no unworldly demons or monsters to deal with, just some very human villainy.


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