6.4/10
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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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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Taglines:

This is true! This is real! This actually happened! 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

Production Co:

Hammer Films,Kenneth Hyman See more »
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

All scenes shot in the marketplace/village were shot at Bray Studios on the revamped set that was constructed for Horror of Dracula (1958). Once "Stranglers" was completed in 1959, the set was completely torn down. The sequences where Guy Rolfe's character goes to meet Allan Cuthbertson's character, the capture of two of the Thuggees in the process and the caravan sequences were shot at the sand-and0gravel quarry in Gerrard's Cross, Buckinghamshire. The tiger hunt and the scene where Rolfe's character finds more grave sites was filmed at the Callow Hill Sandpits in Virginia Water, Egham, in Surrey. 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. Harry Lewis: [to Mary] This is some kind of organized conspiracy. I know it, and I'll find it out!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Shots of reacting excitedly to the mutilation of Thuggee victims were cut for the U.S. release. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Whoever rules decides the truth.
25 May 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Stranglers of Bombay is out of Hammer Film Productions. It's directed by Terence Fisher and written by David Zelag Goodman. It stars Guy Rolfe, Jan Holden, Andrew Cruickshank, George Pastell, Marne Maitland and Paul Stassino. Music is by James Bernard and cinematography by Arthur Grant.

For hundreds of years there existed in India a perverted religious sect, dedicated to the wanton destruction of human life....

So secret was this savage cult that even the British East Indian Company, rulers of the country at the time, was unaware of their existence....

So it begins, a compact and often violent retelling of the Thuggee Cult in India in the 1820s. It was considered strong stuff back on release and had the head suits at the BBFC shifting uneasily in their office chairs. It's a film that has also fallen unfairly into the realm where political correctness dwells, where some folk are seemingly obsessed with decrying old movies for their outdated political portrayals. This deserves better, for it's a very good script, where although the history is difficult to pin down as being correct, it does at least show a care and attention to detail where the Thugee Cult is concerned.

It's also a good old adventure yarn, full of intrigue, peril and detective work. Fisher directs at a clip, never allowing the plot to stagnate, and the low budget afforded the project is barely evident amongst some very effective sets. Cast are mostly good value for money, with lead players Rolfe perfectly restrained as an officer desperately trying to be heard and Pastell owning the film as the High Priest of Kali; in fact he is revelling in the bad guy role. Bernard provides an ear banging effective musical accompaniment.

Torture, maiming, heroics and a clever mongoose, something for everyone here! 7/10


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