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The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, War | February 1935 (Germany)
Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Waldemar Young (screen play), John L. Balderston (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Lt. Alan McGregor
Franchot Tone ... Lt. John Forsythe
Richard Cromwell ... Lt. Donald Stone
Guy Standing ... Col. Stone (as Sir Guy Standing)
C. Aubrey Smith ... Maj. Hamilton
Kathleen Burke ... Tania Volkanskaya
Douglass Dumbrille ... Mohammed Khan (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Monte Blue ... Hamzulla Khan
Colin Tapley ... Lt. Barrett
Akim Tamiroff ... Emir
J. Carrol Naish ... Grand Vizier
Noble Johnson ... Ram Singh
Lumsden Hare ... Maj. Gen. Sir Thomas Woodley
Jameson Thomas ... Hendrickson
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Storyline

The 41st Bengal Lancers are stationed on the Northwest Frontier of British India, guarding against Afridi invaders led by wily Mohammed Khan. Experienced (though insubordinate) Lieut. McGregor is joined by two new arrivals, haughty Forsythe and callow Donald Stone...son of the commanding colonel. We follow the three through varied adventures and hardships. Will they uphold the honor of the regiment? Will Stone and the Colonel come to terms with their difficult relationship? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Set in the spectacle of mystic India with its glittering mosques, oriental palaces, weird music, bronzed nautch dancers See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1935 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

More Lives of a Bengal Lancer See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was criticized for showing soldiers not taking cover when under fire. See more »

Goofs

During the final battle, Khan's men form a defensive line, and several who are killed are not seen in later shots. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Forsythe: You don't like poetry?
Lieutenant Alan McGregor: How should I know? I never read any.
Lieutenant Forsythe: Perhaps something more rugged. "Ever the faith endures, England, my England, take and break us we're yours, England my own. Life is good, joy runs high, between English earth and sky. Death is death, and we shall die, to the song on your bugles blown, to the star on your bugles blown.
Lieutenant Forsythe: [pause] If I'd known I was gonna say all this I would have brought my violin!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mafia! (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Pomp and Circumstance
(1901) (uncredited)
Music by Edward Elgar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rousing And Well Made Indian Frontier Adventure!
21 November 2000 | by sherlock-34See all my reviews

I picked this little beauty up simply because of Gary Cooper and the subject matter. Having loved Gunga Din, this seemed like a good choice. Cooper as Macgregor, the top billed hero of the piece gives a strong, warm and wry performance. The stand-out surprise of the piece though, is that he is up-staged at nearly every turn by Franchot Tone. The banter between the two is great and takes full advantage of the witty and cynical dialogue. Young Richard Cromwell on the other hand makes very little impression until the final scenes of the picture. The British institution that is C. Aubrey Smith, makes a wonderful patriotic speech from under his formidably bristling eyebrows that brings the house down.

The story-line is pretty standard stuff, three heroes in the face of overwhelming odds fight to uphold British dominance on the Indian Frontier. The strength of the film lies in the characterizations of the leads and the incredible settings and action sequences. A good deal of first rate horsemanship is also in evidence as we are treated to a full Lancer charge and scenes of tent pegging and pig sticking. The final battle is a glorious and exciting sequence that modern film makers would learn a great deal from. The script does have its goofy moments in the later torture sequences as we are treated to lines like "We have ways of making men talk" and are shown the old bamboo under the fingernails bit, but even the cliches seem fitting.

If grand adventure with an emphasis on style is your idea of a good time, you'd be hard put to find a better example than this film!


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