IMDb > The Deceivers (1988)
The Deceivers
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The Deceivers (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Masters (novel)
Michael Hirst (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Deceivers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 September 1988 (USA) See more »
Fact-based account of a secret society of murderers, and of the man who exposed them in British India 1825. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Under-appreciated gem See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Pierce Brosnan ... William Savage
Shashi Kapoor ... Raja Chandra Singh

Saeed Jaffrey ... Hussein
Helena Michell ... Sarah Wilson
Keith Michell ... Colonel Wilson

David Robb ... George Anglesmith
Tariq Yunus ... Feringea
Jalal Agha ... The Nawab
Gary Cady ... Lt. Maunsell
Salim Ghouse ... Piroo
Neena Gupta ... Gopal's Wife
Nayeem Hafizka ... Sepoy

Bijaya Jena ... Harlot (as Bijoya Jena)
H.N. Kalla ... The Nawab Servant
Kammo ... Official
Goga Kapoor ... Shor Dil
Manmohan Krishna ... Old Rajput
Harish Magon ... Sepoy
Giles Masters ... Captain Devril
Ramesh Ranga ... Rajput's Son
Dileep Singh Rathore ... Sowar (as Dilip Singh Rathore)
Hilla Sethna ... Chandra Singh's Maidservant
R.P. Sondhi ... Prisoner
Kanwaljit Singh ... Gopal
Shanmukha Srinivas ... Hira Lal
Dalip Tahil ... Daffadar Ganesha

Tim Van Rellim ... Reverent Matthias
Rajesh Vivek ... Priest
Amin ... Thugs
Akbar Bakshi ... Thugs
Ramesh Goyal ... Thugs
Shyam Kaushal ... Thugs (as Kaushal)
Haroon Khan ... Thugs
Nileish Malhotra ... Thugs
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Manmauji ... Ferryman

Directed by
Nicholas Meyer 
Writing credits
John Masters (novel)

Michael Hirst (screenplay)

Produced by
Leon Falk .... associate producer
Ismail Merchant .... producer
Tim Van Rellim .... co-producer
Michael White .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
John Scott 
Cinematography by
Walter Lassally 
Film Editing by
Richard Trevor 
Production Design by
Ken Adam 
Art Direction by
Franco Fumagalli  (as Gianfranco Fumagalli)
Ram Yedekar 
Costume Design by
Jenny Beavan 
John Bright 
Makeup Department
Colin Arthur .... makeup assistant
Gordon Kay .... makeup artist
Vera Mitchell .... chief hair stylist
Mariam Samuel .... hairdresser assistant
Mustaque Sheikh .... makeup assistant
Mussa Sohlaee .... hairdresser assistant
Lisa Tomblin .... hair stylist
Production Management
Deepak Nayar .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Carreras .... first assistant director
Marcia Gay .... second assistant director
Nayeem Hafizka .... third assistant director
Shah Jehan .... first assistant director
Rakesh Mehra .... second assistant director
Alex Rooks .... crowd co-ordinator
M.R. Shahjahan .... first assistant director
Art Department
Letitzia Adam .... set dresser
Sunil Chhabra .... property master
Kishor Dang .... assistant property master
Agnes Fernandes .... properties buyer
Agnes Goveas .... prop buyer
Agnes Goveas .... set dresser
Giles Masters .... assistant art director
Pradip Redij .... construction manager
Harveer Singh .... props
Raffaele Vincenti .... property master
Sound Department
Graham V. Hartstone .... sound re-recording mixer
Claude Hitchcock .... sound recordist
Nicolas Le Messurier .... sound re-recording mixer
Dileep Subramanian .... sound assistant (as Dilip Subramanium)
Robert Taylor .... sound engineer
Special Effects by
Dave Eltham .... special effects technician
Brian Smithies .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Alan Church .... optical camera operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mukul Abhyankar .... still photographer
Mikki Ansin .... still photographer
Jim Boorer .... camera grip
Denise Brassard .... clapper loader
Arish Fyzee .... clapper loader
Tony Garrett .... focus puller
Rajesh Joshi .... camera operator: second unit
Gyanchand Rikki .... camera grip
Tony Woodcock .... camera operator
Casting Department
Jennifer Jaffrey .... casting: India
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lovleen Bains .... costume coordinator (as Loveleen Baines)
Steve Hubbard .... wardrobe supervisor
William Pierce .... costumes: uniforms
Sally Turner .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Dave Pultz .... color timer (uncredited)
Other crew
Paul Bradley .... liaison: London
Sue Field .... script supervisor
Denny Martin Flinn .... choreographer
Dominic Fysh .... assistant to director
Pauline Hume .... graphic artist: titles
Alex Matcham .... production accountant
Vans Pradeep Singh Rathore .... location assistant
Dileep Singh Rathore .... production coordinator
Luca Ward .... voice dubbing: Pierce Brosnan
Natasha Wellesley .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

One of nine productions that Indian actor Shashi Kapoor made with Merchant Ivory Productions. The films include Bombay Talkie (1970), Side Streets (1998), In Custody (1994), The Deceivers (1988), Heat and Dust (1983), The Householder (1963), Shakespeare-Wallah (1965), In Ismail's Custody (1994) (V), The Wandering Company (1984) (TV).See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) (V)See more »


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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Under-appreciated gem, 1 June 2005
Author: drmality-1 ( from Illinoize

This is a highly entertaining historical film that had the great misfortune to be released during the height of Schwarzenegger/Van Damme/"Lethal Weapon" era. It is a film about cultures in collision and the people who are crushed by that collision.

Pierce Brosnan, in one of his best roles, plays Captain Savage, an honorable British soldier in India who is dissatisfied with the "do nothing" policies of his superiors. One day, he and his fiancée see a gathering on a riverbank. They learn that a young woman is preparing to burn herself alive in the authentic practice of "suttee"...her husband has been missing for a year and custom demands she immolate herself. Savage's girl is horrified and begs for him to think of a way out. He disguises himself as a native man and hopes the widow will see a brief glimpse of him and believe it is her husband. The suttee can thus be postponed. The scheme works, but a mob then chases Savage to ask why he has not appeared earlier. He frantically avoids the mob, but then sees a horrible sight. A band of wealthy Hindu travelers is suddenly strangled, robbed and buried. Savage has seen the secret cult of Thuggee at work! He appeals to the base commander (also the father of his intended) to apprehend the Thugs but bureaucracy prevents him from doing so. Savage becomes obsessed with uncovering the Thugs and hits upon a scheme where he will "go native" and infiltrate the Thugs himself. That way he can get incontrovertible proof of their existence. He enlists the reluctant help of a captured Thug (superbly played by Saeed Jaffrey) and goes undercover.

Savage finds himself immersed in the strange and deadly world of the Thugs. As time goes by, he is forced to participate in the ritual murders to keep his cover. His identity is starting to give way. Will his sanity last long enough to reveal the secrets of "The Deceivers"? There's a huge amount of tension in the movie. Its attention to historical and cultural detail is excellent. Doing some research on the Thugs, I discovered the exact words of their "Sugar of Kali" ritual are used in the movie. Most confusing for Savage is the fact that, when not killing innocents, the Thugs appear to be normal and even kind people. The interesting contrast is that the former Thug feels his own loyalty to his people weakening as he sees Savage losing his way.

The ending is bittersweet and not sugarcoated at all. I highly recommend this film to anyone who likes tense historical drama as well as those who want a glimpse inside a forbidden, exotic culture.

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