MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 957 this week

A Passage to India (1984)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 10,974 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 49 critic

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (based on the novel by), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 14 Mar 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 21 Feb 2012
 
a list of 35 images
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Passage to India (1984)

A Passage to India (1984) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Passage to India.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Life of a Russian doctor/poet who, although married, falls for a political activist's wife and experiences hardships during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Madeleine (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick
Oliver Twist (1948)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during his World War I service in the Middle East.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Antonia Pemberton ...
Michael Culver ...
...
Ali
...
...
Ann Firbank ...
...
Sandra Hotz ...
Stella
Edit

Storyline

Circa 1920, during the Indian British rule, Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed was born and brought up in India. He is proficient in English, and wears Western style clothing. He meets an old lady, Mrs. Moore, at a mosque, who asks him to accompany her and her companion, Adela Quested, for sight-seeing around some caves. Thereafter the organized life of Aziz is turned upside down when Adela accuses him of molesting her in a cave. Aziz is arrested and brought before the courts, where he learns that the entire British administration is against him, and would like to see him found guilty and punished severely, to teach all native Indians what it means to molest a British citizen. Aziz is all set to witness the "fairness" of the British system, whose unofficial motto is "guilty until proved innocent." Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

india | mosque | magistrate | english | doctor | See more »

Taglines:

David Lean, the Director of "Doctor Zhivago", "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai", invites you on . . .[A Passage to India]


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasaje a la India  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lean had frequent on-set clashes with Judy Davis who accused him of having lost his touch, not having directed for 15 years. See more »

Goofs

When Aziz goes to the party after his trial, Fielding stands on or near the verandah and sees him off. In a later shot of Fielding, protest signs appear each side of Aziz's door that were not there earlier. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed: [to Ali and Hamidullah when Fielding visits] No, he does not need THREE chairs! He is NOT THREE Englishmen!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hill Street Blues: Passage to Libya (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Music by Haydn Wood
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sentimental Technicolor Cliff notes
2 January 2005 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

David Lean was unquestionably a great director, and 'A Passage to India' is one of his more entertaining productions, albeit homogenized and clichéd.

No complaints about the cinematography in 'A Passage to India', it's beautiful, almost too beautiful. You can't smell the place or feel the heat. For a fully rounded sensual portrayal of India watch Christopher Morahan's great television series 'The Jewel in the Crown' made about the same time as this film, and also starring Peggy Ashcroft and others in Lean's film. Having recently viewed that classic mini-series, Lean's Technicolor excess is diminished by comparison.

The casting of Lean's film is clever but doesn't always work. Alec Guinness does one of his "look what I can do" turns, and he does it very well. His Professor Godbolly is amusing and he performs all the trade motions of an ersatz guru with dead-pan aplomb, but he's not real at all. I kept thinking of Peter Sellars singing "Boom Titty Boom Titty Boom..." from an old joke record my parents had in the 60s.

Most of the cast is Masterpiece Theater calibre, that is, excellent, but predictable.

Judi Davis is by far the most effective performer. She fully captures the spirit of an Edwardian girl just venturing out into the world from her room of books back home. She's curious, has a mystical bent and is suffering under the burden of awakening sexual desires, and India sets her spirit on fire, to dire results.

Dame Peggy Ashcroft's character is as clichéd as the other Mem-sahibs only Mrs Moore (Ashcroft) is a liberal spirit vexed by the rigid hypocrisy of her own generation. She delivers one of the best lines in this film to chilling effect... (something like...) "I am old, and like old people I wonder if we aren't just random creatures in a Godless universe."

This is the kernel of the story, the difference between East and West is not one of race but of something greater than humanity, something the East perhaps appreciates more than we do in the West, where commercialism captures every new religious fad with a zeal.. note the "new age" movement and how lucrative it was for so many, something that would be incomprehensible to the Eastern mind, though they appear to be learning.

This film moves along at a placid pace, not boring, exactly, but somnolent. None of the characters, beyond Ms Quested (Davis) and, to a lesser degree, Mrs Moore, are developed very much beyond the "what you see is what you get" approach. Dr Aziz, well-played by Victor Banerjee, is presented as a sort of clown. Childish, adolescently over-sexed and immature in his emotional responses. It's a charming portrayal but not very believable. James Fox is the stiff-upper lipped liberal college professor who also abhors the Pukka Raj crowd at the club, but his character comes off as a bit soppy. I fault the script for this.

The screenplay covers most of the main bases of the book but interrupts itself too often with sentimental moments of travelogue. You can always tell when one of these scenes is coming because the sitar music stops and Maurice Jarre's banal musical score swoops in and the characters stop moving and take up nobly profiled stances, gazing in awe at the scenery. At these moments this film becomes a National Geographic Special and one is whisked back to 10th grade geography class. This sentimentalism of Lean's is often the cause of flaws in his films, but they are beautiful to look at, as is 'A Passage to India'.

Not a great film but a top-drawer "comfort" movie.


24 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Better without Sir Alec ... Romojo
Judy Davis clash shaguniitb
Confused by ending honeydmpln
The Actors that play the Advocates Noir-It-All
Mrs. Moore’s death dean-bensics
Judy Davis is phenomenal... Phoenix1982
Discuss A Passage to India (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?