7.2/10
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North West Frontier (1959)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 20 November 1959 (Ireland)
In British India, a young prince must be taken to safey across rebel-held territory, and an old train is the only way to do it.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (adapted from a screenplay by) (as Frank Nugent), Patrick Ford (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More ... Capt. Scott
Lauren Bacall ... Catherine Wyatt
Herbert Lom ... Van Leyden
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Bridie (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
I.S. Johar ... Gupta
Ursula Jeans ... Lady Windham
Eugene Deckers ... Peters
Ian Hunter ... Sir John Windham
Jack Gwillim ... Brigadier Ames
Govind Raja Ross Govind Raja Ross ... Prince Kishan
Basil Hoskins Basil Hoskins ... A.D.C.
S.M. Asgaralli S.M. Asgaralli ... Havildar - 1st. Indian Soldier
Sam Chowdhary Sam Chowdhary ... 2nd. Indian Soldier (as S.S. Chowdhary)
Moultrie Kelsall ... British Correspondent
Lionel Murton Lionel Murton ... American Correspondent
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Storyline

In northwestern India soon after the turn of the 20th Century, Moslem rebels seek to kill a six-year-old Hindu prince to end his family line. Captain Scott of the British Army is ordered to get the prince out of the region safely. Adventure ensues as Scott sneaks the child away, through Moslem-held territory, by train. Also on board are the boy's American governess, an arms merchant, a cynical reporter, and two upper class Britons. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two people trapped by fate. In a country with no destiny.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

20 November 1959 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

North West Frontier See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"DVD Talk" said of this film that it " . . . has a lot in common with John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) in that it's essentially a tale of a motley mix of Anglos confined in a train car, racing across an Indian plain trying to evade 'bloodthirsty savages'. It may be a blatant reworking of Stagecoach (1939), as the original story was co-written by John Ford (I)'s son Patrick Ford and Maureen O'Hara's husband Will Price. The final screenplay was adapted from a script by screenwriter Frank S. Nugent, the writer of 11 Ford films." See more »

Goofs

Early steam engines without a water tender could only travel 10-15 miles between water stops. See more »

Quotes

Captain Scott: You're the first American woman I've met. Are they all like you?
Catherine Wyatt: Why? How do I seem?
Captain Scott: Well, shall we say a little bit more independent than most?
Catherine Wyatt: Is that the tactful English way of saying you think I'm pig-headed?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The American release, entitled "Flame Over India", gives Lauren Bacall top billing. The British release, which is entitled "North West Frontier" and is the one on DVD, gives Kenneth More, a popular star in England, top billing. See more »

Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut by ca. 19 minutes. For the TV version, another 15 minutes were deleted from the film. See more »

Soundtracks

The Eton Boating Song
(uncredited)
Music by Algernon Drummond and lyrics by William Johnson
Sung by Kenneth More and heard as a theme
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Exciting adventure movie finely performed by a good star cast and colorfully directed
26 October 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

1905 India , riots try to overthrow the Maharaja from Norhwest frontier on a rebel-held county . The film portrays a British group on a stronghold being besieged by Indian rebel tribes, banded together against the Brits and they're led by Muslim leaders. The English people are surrounded by Moslems army which spent time in the siege . The governor( Ian Hunter) assigns captain Scott (one of Kenneth More's best) as responsible of protection the young prince , undertaking a dangerous escape . Scott has to save the Maharaja's son , attempting to get the heir to safety and getaway by commandeering a steam train . Along the way they encounter bandits , attackers , treason and sabotage . The Brits contra-attack displaying on the train a machine-gun , making a brutal slaughter . Scott takes the action by aiding the passengers (Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom, Ursula Jeans ,Deckers, Wilfred Hyde White) throughout four hundred miles of risked travel .

This is a British attempt to match the US adventure's spectacles of the mid-sixties, containing derring-do, romance , old-fashioned action set mostly aboard a train, spectacular battles, gorgeous outdoors and resulting to be quite entertaining . It's a fiery early 20th-century adventure yarn with political connotations that some moments makes little sense but bulges with emotion that keeps coming at you, as action and adventures is maintained throughout . It's one of several adventures-action pictures made in Britain in the sixties that starred such Hollywood stars as Lauren Bacall and previously in the fifties as Victor Mature and Robert Taylor. There are strong performances from Herbert Lom as suspicious journalist and Wilfred Hyde White as feisty old man , who have made few bad films . Lauren Bacall as understanding governess, plays with some of sensitivity , and still successfully acting . Personable interpretation by I.S. Johar who steals the show as likable driver. Latterly, as very secondaries appear Ian Hunter , Alan Cuthbertson and Jack Gwillin, among others . But the main protagonist is the old machine called Empress of India Victoria . Luminous cinematography in rich Eastmancolor by Oscar-winning Geoffrey Unsworth, though with abuse of transparency . The movie was glamorously shot in Guadix , Granada , Andalucia , Spain and interior filmed in Pinewood studios. Emotive and atmospheric musical score by Spoliansky and conducted by the habitual Muir Matheson.

The motion picture is well and blazingly directed by J. Lee Thompson, he's a skill and successfully craftsman . He has directed numerous films ,British comedies, drama , suspense but his most successful films are the fresh and diverting adventures . Lee Thompson directed good Western ( McKenna gold , White Buffalo) and all king of genres as Sci-Fi (Conquest and Battle of planet of apes), terror (reincarnation of Peter Proud, Eye of the devil), adventures (King of the sun, Taras Bulba, and Northwest frontier also titled Fire over India) and Warlike ( Guns of Navarone, Von Braun). J. Lee Thomson working from the 50s in England, finished his career making Chuck Norris (Firewalker) and Charles Bronson vehicles (Evil that men do, Messenger of death, Death Wish 4 : Crackdown, Caboblanco, St Ives) and a string of TV movies until his demise at 2002 . Watchable results for this good adventure movie .


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