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Staying On (1980)

A british colonel and his wife decide to remain in India after the departure of the British raj in the 1940s.


Silvio Narizzano


Julian Mitchell (adaptation), Paul Scott (novel)
4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Howard ... Col. Tusker Smalley
Celia Johnson ... Lucy Smalley
Saeed Jaffrey ... Frankie Bhoolabhoy
Pearl Padamsee ... Mrs Bhoolabhoy
Fida Bai Fida Bai ... Minnie
Zia Mohyeddin ... Ibrahim
Ajit Saldanha Ajit Saldanha ... Joseph
Habib Tanvir Habib Tanvir ... Dr Mitra
Raj Bharti Raj Bharti ... Colonel Tiny Menektara
Sushma Seth ... Codcod Menektara
Corina Corina ... Hot Chichanya
Rinoo Chhoi Rinoo Chhoi ... Mr Pandey
Dinoo Kotwal Dinoo Kotwal ... Prabhu
Dwarka Prashad Dwarka Prashad ... Acupuncturist
Surekha Sikri ... Susy Williams


A british colonel and his wife decide to remain in India after the departure of the British raj in the 1940s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

raj | colonel | british raj | india | 1940s | See All (14) »




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Featured in Stuart Wagstaff's World Playhouse: Staying On (1982) See more »

User Reviews

A sorrry sequel
18 December 2020 | by Sir_Oblong_FitzoblongSee all my reviews

The novel Staying On was written as a coda to the Raj Quartet but this film was made 4 years before The Jewel in the Crown (1984), apparently partly as a trial run to see if Granada could handle the complexities of Jewel. Thank goodness they didn't do it the other way round.

Jewel was a memorable rendition of an excellent series of books. This film is not memorable. Having read the Quartet but not Staying On I can't say for certain how much this film's shortcomings are down to the book and how much to the rendition but I strongly suspect the latter is the more culpable. In any case the outcome is a pretty depressing 90 minutes.

It is a near contentless story, set in 1972, about a couple of the Raj who stayed on in India after independence and are now having to face the consequences. The picture of several unhappy lives is clear in the first 10 minutes and from then on it is pretty much padding to drag out the film and lay on the point with a trowel. There is none of the complexity, subtlety, politics, or variety of characters to be found in Jewel.

Trevor Howard pretty much rolls out his tried and tested Trevor-Howard-retired-colonel routine while Celia Johnson draws on years of experience of playing frustrated and miserable women.

Saeed Jaffrey livens things up a bit, as he usually does, with his own stock-in-trade convivial Indian, and Zia Mohyeddin gives a well-run-in lovable loyal Indian rogue performance but it isn't enough to dispel the feeling that there is less here than meets the eye. Whether true to the book or not this is not a great piece of TV. It is remarkable that Granada still felt able to go on and do the Jewel and do it so well.

If you enjoyed Jewel, be prepared for a let down with this.

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Release Date:

11 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Great Performances: Staying On See more »

Filming Locations:

Simla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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