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A Passage to India (1984)

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Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

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(by), (based on the novel by) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Adela
... Aziz
... Mrs. Moore
... Fielding
... Godbole
... Ronny
... Turton
Antonia Pemberton ... Mrs. Turton
... McBryde
... Ali
... Hamidullah
... Major Callendar
... Mrs. Callendar
... Amritrao
... Stella
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Storyline

It's the early 1920s. Britons Adela Quested and her probable future mother-in-law Mrs. Moore have just arrived in Chandrapore in British India to visit Adela's unofficial betrothed, Ronny Heaslop, who works there as the city's magistrate. Adela and Mrs. Moore, who long for "an adventure" in experiencing all India has to offer, are dismayed to learn upon their arrival that the ruling British do not socialize let alone associate with the native population, such people as the Turtons - Mr. Turton being Ronny's superior - who openly thumb their noses at the idea in their belief that the Indians are an inferior peoples. They are further dismayed to see that Ronny adheres to that custom in not wanting to jeopardize his career. At the local white only club, Adela and Mrs. Moore find a like-minded Brit in the form of Richard Fielding, the school master at government college, he who offers to organize a small but truly inclusive social gathering with some natives for them, unlike the large ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

David Lean, the Director of "Doctor Zhivago", "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai", invites you on . . .[A Passage to India]


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasaje a la India  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,580, 16 December 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,187,653
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lean wanted Celia Johnson to play Mrs Moore, but she turned down the part and died before the film was released. See more »

Goofs

When Aziz arrives in the hill station train for his arrest, the inscriptions on the railway time table are in Tamil, whereas the whole story is supposed to have happened in Chandrapore, Bihar. Agreed, this shot was captured in Ooty, but Lean's cameras could not hide this!. See more »

Quotes

McBryde: [at the trial] Before we begin, I'd like to state what I believe to be a universal truth: the darker races are attracted to the fairer, but not vice-versa.
Advocate Amrit Rao: Even when the lady is LESS attractive than the gentleman?
[court breaks out in laughter]
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Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Music by Haydn Wood
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of Lean's Best
4 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

David Lean ended his illustrious career on a high note with this haunting love song to the exotic & sensual world of India.

The action takes place during the last days of England's rule over colonial England. Much of the emphasis in the movie is placed on the culture clash between the two countrys.

Judy Davis stars in one of her earliest films as a woman who travels to India on what she imagines will be a romantic adventure to meet up with and marry a waiting fiance.

The great Dame Peggy Ashcroft portrays the fiance's mother who accompanies Davis on her "Passage To India".

Alec Guiness is along for the ride in a culture-bending role as a Hindu spiritual man. Guiness's role is in turn played for laughs then for dramatic punch when needed.

The major conflict in the movies arrives from an ill fated tourist jaunt to the Marabar Caves some miles away.

What does or does not happen there becomes a legal and moral crisis that involves all the film's key players as well as the entire city.

The movie is played with sensitivity as well as allowing for the usual David Lean broad strokes of color and light.

It's one of my favorite movies and definitely appealing to more than the "Merchant & Ivory" crowd.


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