Based loosely on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, this takes place in British India during the Thuggee uprising. Three fun-loving sergeants are doing fine until one of them wants to get married and leave the service. The other two trick him into a final mission where they end up confronting the entire cult by themselves as the British Army is entering a trap. This is of the "War is fun" school of movie making. It has the flavour of watching Notre Dame play an inferior high school team.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gunga Din is first seen at about 11:00 into the film, as the detail marches out of the fort. His first line comes in the Tantrapur skirmish at about 26:00 into the film. See more »
During the dance honoring Ballantine's wedding announcement, music is provided by a cylinder phonograph, which was not invented till the late 19th century, and available for sale till the early 20th century (1903) some 20 years after the Thuggee revival uprising in India. See more »
In the most general of terms Gunga Din not only qualifies as a classic but more or less defines the term "classic" in every respect. I wouldn't know how to fault this film, as it succeeds on every level.
You begin with a workable idea for a story. Then you follow that up with superb script writing, direction and photography, and wonderful performances by the entire cast. The end result of that collaboration of successful effort is, as it must be . . . a classic.
And not only does Gunga Din succeed as a mere action adventure, which would be impressive enough, but it's comedic relief serves as a virtual workshop for aspiring directors who, lamentably today, just don't seem to get that part of the equation in all too many cases--you know, as in movie-making is an art? Or at least it used to be.
There's seems to be a gap in our society's culture when it comes to the enjoyment of art which attempts to communicate on various intellectual levels. I would put this down to dubious education all around if I had to pick just one culprit, but I don't know, maybe that's too simplistic. I experience fear, though, when I read negative comments from viewers of films as rich in various, and to me obvious, qualities as is Gunga Din. All I hear in these cases, at best, is a fundamental lack of artistic appreciation at base.
Well, for these people I imagine that all that's left is to simply go out and buy the cheap remakes of the classic films, which are, of course, a dime a dozen nowadays. And then I suppose they will get what they need: presumably a package of questionable casting, incompetent direction, in many instances virtually no attempt at intelligent character development whatsoever, along with x-many minutes of gratuitous violence and endless smash-ups, replete, of course, with plenty of LFE icing for this new-age filmic cake.
Meanwhile, I hope that my daughter will come to appreciate the great films such as Gunga Din for the classic productions they were upon release, and which they certainly remain today.
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