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A Passage to India (1984)

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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.



(by), (based on the novel by) | 2 more credits »
Won 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonia Pemberton ...


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


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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasaje a la India  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$26,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The contract stipulated that Santha Rama Rau would write the screenplay. She had met with E.M. Forster; had successfully adapted A Passage to India as a play; and the author had charged her with preserving the spirit of the novel. However, David Lean was determined to exercise input in the writing process. He met with Santha Rama Rau in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, and over ten days they talked about the novel and discussed the script. See more »


Exiting the caves, Mrs. Moore sees a full moon overhead in the mid-day sky. This is an astronomical impossibility, but it is shown in the film to highlight the powerful effect that the caves have on the human mind. The caves would also deeply affect Adela a little while later, but with much more serious consequences. See more »


Mrs. Moore: My dear, life rarely gives us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate. Adventures do occur, but not punctually.
See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


God Save the King
Arranged by John Dalby
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A real disappointment
26 October 2008 | by (expat Brit in Turkey) – See all my reviews

I have had this film in my collection for a number of years and sat down last night to watch it for the first time - I should have left it on the shelf!! The plot was obvious, the themes of British Colonial buffoonery and repression were overdone and unrealistic. The performance of Dr Azziz which switched from his hand wringing subservience to proud but embittered nationalist was just totally unrealistic. But the worst was the totally miscast performance of Alec Guinness as a Indian professor - it was comical in the worst possible way, he would have been more at home in a Benny Hill episode! Any Indian person watching this film must feel insulted at this completely inept portrayal and is easily his worst performance. However, the casting manager must take the blame when there are so many good Indian actors hopelessly underutilized in the film. I have read many of the other reviews and have to agree that this is not one of David Leans best and the Academy must have either been drunk or high when they made their Oscar nominations. If you like well shot scenery, this is for you, otherwise avoid.

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