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Gunga Din (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, War | 17 February 1939 (USA)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Joel Sayre (screen play), Fred Guiol (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cary Grant ... Cutter
Victor McLaglen ... MacChesney
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Ballantine
Sam Jaffe ... Gunga Din
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Guru
Joan Fontaine ... Emmy
Montagu Love ... Colonel Weed
Robert Coote ... Higginbotham
Abner Biberman ... Chota
Lumsden Hare ... Major Mitchell
Learn more

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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RKO RADIO'S TOWERING SHOW OF SHOWS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening Tantrapur sequence, left-handed Cary Grant throws the dynamite sticks and his best punches lefty; however, he fires his sidearm right-handed. See more »

Goofs

When Din and Cutter first see the temple, it is in full sun. The next shot shows only the top of the temple in sun with dark shadows hiding the lower levels. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Thomas 'Tommy' Ballantine: You displease me greatly, and I ignore the both of you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits appear on a gong. Standing next to the gong is a Hindu man, and every time he strikes the gong, the credits change. See more »

Alternate Versions

German theatrical version was cut by approx. 12 minutes. This version was later shown on TV but never released on any home media format. Only in 2018 the film was released on DVD, with approx. 4 minutes restored. See more »

Connections

Featured in Touch of Pink (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the King!
(1744) (uncredited)
Written by Henry Carey
Incorporated into the music score
See more »

User Reviews

Rudyard Kipling's poem brought to life in a powerful, strikingly meaningful way...
28 August 1999 | by polygeneSee all my reviews

This old film just has some important elements the bulk of current films seem to lack: strength of character, genuine heroism and an understanding of what true altruism and sacrifice mean. And Sam Jaffe, a terrific (now-unfortunately-deceased) character actor breaks the viewer's heart as the "regimental bhisti, Gunga Din," who takes constant abuse and gives his all, including his life, to carry water to the men of the Queen's regiment even in the thick of battle.

Funny, I don't remember it as a comedy, though I think there may have been some spots of humor in it, but then, I was rather young the last time I saw it on the Late, Late Show... too many years ago to even want to think about.

It's a wonderful movie and I hope the animated version, coming out next year, does the poem and story the same good service the 1939 film managed to do.

Highly recommended.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gunga Din See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,910,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (reissue)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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