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The Stranglers of Bombay (1959)

In the 1830s, a captain in the East India Company lobbies to investigate the criminal Thugee Cult of Kali, an organized crime group of stranglers and thieves.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writer:

David Zelag Goodman (as David Z. Goodman)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Guy Rolfe ... Capt. Harry Lewis
Allan Cuthbertson ... Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Col. Henderson
George Pastell ... High Priest of Kali
Marne Maitland ... Patel Shari
Jan Holden ... Mary Lewis
Paul Stassino ... Lt. Silver
Tutte Lemkow ... Ram Das
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Storyline

A murderous religious cult is way-laying travellers and stealing goods in nineteenth century India. As the disappearances mount and trade becomes difficult, the British East India Company is forced to act. But they give the job to an upper-class officer completely out-of-touch with the country rather than the obvious candidate who has been in India for years and well understands the people and culture. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Strangloscope! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Würger von Bombay See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The script was written in two weeks. See more »

Goofs

The pistol used in several scenes by Captain Lewis and Captain Connaught-Smith was a revolver. The time frame for this film was set in the 1820's. The revolver wouldn't be invented and patented until 1836. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith: [wakes and finds that his entire company have been strangled in their sleep] IS ANYBODY ALIVE? ANYBODY?
See more »

Alternate Versions

For its UK cinema release the film was cut by the BBFC with edits to the kicking of Lewis by thuggees in an alleyway, and the removal of 'reaction' shots of Karim watching men being branded and strangled. The same print was then cut by a further 7 secs for the 1996 video release with additional edits to remove a scene of a mongoose fighting a snake. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing
4 August 2013 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY is one of Hammer's last black-and-white movies but, being set in the exotic locales of 19th-century India, it really needs some colour to liven it up. As it stands it's a rather lifeless and stagy affair, clearly hampered by a low budget and an almost singular lack of action, incident and spectacle. Hammer would later do the whole pulp adventure type format much better with the likes of the truly gripping TERROR OF THE TONGS.

The story sees the British East India Company finding themselves menaced by sinister members of a thuggee cult with a predilection for strangulation. Said cult members are headed by the memorably zany George Pastell, whose role seems to have provided inspiration for Spielberg in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Watch out for an uncredited Roger Delgado (DR WHO's Master) as an evil henchman and Marie Devereux as a mute but arresting thuggee follower.

All this is fair enough, but the film really lets itself down when it comes to the lifeless characters. Guy Rolfe's heroic leading man is adequate, but way too much screen time is given over to the stuffy character Allan Cuthbertson plays. The whole narrative stagnates for minutes on end only to be rushed when it comes to the climax. STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY has promise at times, but with the pedigree behind it (such as Terence Fisher's direction) it should have been a lot better than it actually is.


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