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A Passage to India (1984)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,589 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 48 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.

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Title: A Passage to India (1984)

A Passage to India (1984) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Plot Keywords:

doctor | india | mosque | english | magistrate | 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:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Passage to India  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first David Lean film not made in an ultra widescreen process since "Summertime" in 1955, and only the second one to premiere in the age of multiplex cinemas ("Ryan's Daughter", made in 1970, was the first). "The Bridge on the River Kwai" was made in Cinemascope, "Lawrence of Arabia" in Super Panavision 70, and "Doctor Zhivago" in Panavision. Both "Lawrence" and "Zhivago" were shown in 70mm at their world premieres, and all three films had aspect ratios wider than that of "A Passage to India". See more »

Goofs

When Stella gets out of the car to view the Himalayas, she turns her head slowly from left to right to view each summit, then finally looks in the middle. However, each summit that she looks at has a shadow on a different side, and the final shot of a summit has no shadow at all. See more »

Quotes

Das: [Ali is carrying on during the trial] Please, this is no way to defend your case!
Ali: I am not defending a case - and YOU are not trying one! We are both slaves!
Das: Mr. Mahmoud Ali, if you don't calm down, I will have to exercise my authority.
Ali: Do so! This trial is a farce!
[throws papers off the desk]
Ali: I'm going! I've ruined my career!
[to Aziz]
Ali: Farewell my friend!
Ali: Mrs. Moore! Where are you, Mrs. Moore?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Punjaub March
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Payne and Charles LeThière
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There'll Always Be a Raj-------NOT
25 October 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A Passage Through India tells a story about the radicalization of a native Indian who happens to be a Moslem. This was in the days before the idea of a separate Pakistan took hold in the independence movement.

Victor Bannerjee plays Dr. Aziz Ahmed and as you see by his title he's a professional man. But he's still looked down upon by most of the British who are ruling India. He's befriended by Peggy Ashcroft who is visiting India with her daughter-in-law to be, Judy Davis. Peggy's son is a magistrate. Bannerjee is also friends with James Fox who is an administrator at a local college.

He's warned against fraternizing with the British by his friends and family, but Bannerjee goes on a picnic with Ashcroft and Davis and Davis has a horrifying experience in the historic caves at Marabar. It's only her claustrophobia acting up, but Bannerjee winds up accused of rape. And his trial becomes a cause celebre for the Congress Party. Note that Bannerjee has two defense attorneys, a Moslem and a Hindu.

E.M. Forster who wrote A Passage to India brought two elements of his background to the writing of this novel. He served as a private secretary to a local maharajah so he knew the customs of India as well as the political scene. Most in the United Kingdom wanted to see India free after World War I. A few very powerful folks like Winston Churchill and some influential press lords, most prominently Lord Beaverbrook did not. There opposition kept India a British colony until after another World War.

Secondly Forster was a closeted gay man. His homosexuality was not publicly revealed, he wasn't 'outted' until after he died in 1970. One of his relationships was with a Moslem Indian who died at a young age. He's the model for Dr. Aziz. The India Forster writes about is not Rudyard Kipling's India. A place where the native population is made to feel like outsiders. Forster identified with them in a way Kipling could never conceive.

Peggy Ashcroft won a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as the kindly Mrs. Moore. I've got a sneaking suspicion that Forster modeled her character on his own mother who lived with him until she died in 1945. Judy Davis got a nomination for Best Actress and A Passage to India was nominated in a whole bunch of technical categories.

A Passage to India is a disturbing look at a bygone era in a place where you can see a lot of the problems we face today being nurtured.


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