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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.

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

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Cast

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

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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasaje a la India  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,400,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The initial script by Santha Rama Rau pleased neither the producer, John Brabourne, nor David Lean. They considered it too worldly and literary, the work of a playwright, and unsuitable for a film. Most of the scenes took place indoors and in offices while Lean had in mind to film outdoor as much as possible. With India in the title of the film, he reasoned, audiences would expect to see many scenes filmed of the Indian landscape. Lean commented: "We are blessed with a fine movie title, A Passage to India. But it has built in danger; it holds out such a promise. The very mention of India conjures up high expectations. It has sweep and size and is very romantic". Lean did not want to present a poor man's India when for the same amount of money he could show the country's visual richness. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Turton: [in a club meeting] There is a certain member here present who is known to be in contact with the defense. One can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds - at least not in this country!
Richard Fielding: I'd like to say something.
Turton: Please do.
Richard Fielding: I believe Dr. Aziz is innocent. I will await the verdict of the jury. If he is found guilty, I will resign my post and leave India. I resign from the Club now!
[exits]
See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Play of the Month: Passage to India (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the King
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by John Dalby
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of Lean's Best
4 January 2003 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

David Lean ended his illustrious career on a high note with this haunting love song to the exotic & sensual world of India.

The action takes place during the last days of England's rule over colonial England. Much of the emphasis in the movie is placed on the culture clash between the two countrys.

Judy Davis stars in one of her earliest films as a woman who travels to India on what she imagines will be a romantic adventure to meet up with and marry a waiting fiance.

The great Dame Peggy Ashcroft portrays the fiance's mother who accompanies Davis on her "Passage To India".

Alec Guiness is along for the ride in a culture-bending role as a Hindu spiritual man. Guiness's role is in turn played for laughs then for dramatic punch when needed.

The major conflict in the movies arrives from an ill fated tourist jaunt to the Marabar Caves some miles away.

What does or does not happen there becomes a legal and moral crisis that involves all the film's key players as well as the entire city.

The movie is played with sensitivity as well as allowing for the usual David Lean broad strokes of color and light.

It's one of my favorite movies and definitely appealing to more than the "Merchant & Ivory" crowd.


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