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Superintendent Stafford of the United Provinces Police, has his men arrest an entire tribe on vague allegations of poaching and theft in British India. Their leader, Sultan, father of a young boy, Munnu, whose wife, Tara, is expecting their second child, is also arrested and held in a cell with criminals in Fort Najibabad. Sultan, Tara, and many others manage to break out, but Tara and the newborn both pass away. Sultan, with the help of his men, decides to revolt against the oppressive British - who create a mobile unit, led by Freddy Young, to counter this revolt as well as announce a reward of Rs.500.00 - but Sultan manages to elude them. Then amidst clashes between Freddy and Stafford, and the entry of Jane Stafford, it is made known that Sultan's tribe will be transported by train to a compound in Delhi. This news reaches Sultan and he prepares to attack the train and free his people - little knowing the trap he and his men will soon be walking in to. Written by
When Sultan ambushes the police, the long shot of the machine gun shows it positioned on top of a flat cliff. When Young climbs up to attack it, there is a smooth rock formation behind the position. Later long shots (when Young is firing the machine gun) show a lower, less vertical cliff face with a ragged rock formation behind the machine gun position. See more »
These fellers - I've known a few of them. T.E.Lawrence is one of his kind. We need 'em for times like this but by God they're hard to live with!
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Flawed but occasionally engaging British adventure
THE LONG DUEL is a British adventure film about an Indian uprising in the 19th century presided over by a bandit leader played by the inimitable Yul Brynner. Watching it these days, it's clear that this is a very dated production, and perhaps the film was picked out for merciless spoofing in the excellent CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER.
However, it isn't a bad film, just not one of the best of the genre. It suffers from being overlong and too slow, with long scenes that drag out between the important bits. Still, the viewer is treated to the spectacle of Brynner doing his patented action man routine and Trevor Howard acting against him as the classic stiff-upper-lip Brit with a heart. Supporting actors include Harry Andrews as the idiot in charge, more minor roles for Hammer players including Andrew Keir, George Pastell, and the lovely Imogen Hassall, and the appearance of a surprisingly young Charlotte Rampling.
The action elements of the film are handled pretty well with the usual excitement. A set-piece attack on a train is a highlight here, as is the fiery ambush on the British barracks, but the film only really kicks into top gear at the excellent large-scale climax. Moments of occasional heart and poignancy make this worth a watch, meanwhile.
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