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 people. 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
The contract stipulated that Santha Rama Rau would write the screenplay. She had met with E.M. Forster, had successfully adapted "A Passage to India" as a play, and the author had charged her with preserving the spirit of the novel. However, Sir David Lean was determined to exercise input in the writing process. He met with Santha Rama Rau in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, and over ten days, they talked about the novel and discussed the script. See more »
At the end of the film, as Dr. Aziz writes a letter, a festival with fireworks is going on outside his window. The colors red, green, and purple all appear simultaneously at two separate intervals, indicating studio lights instead of fireworks. See more »
Multi-layered masterpiece from the great David Lean
E.M. Forster's multi-layered masterpiece is on the surface the story of a young woman and her passage through India. On another level it's the story of India's independence from British rule. And there are other themes as well: mysticism, reincarnation, the clash of eastern and western cultures and religion. Only master director David Lean could reveal all the levels and he succeeds in this film.
You can watch this film once for each of the levels and always see something new. The sequence of the trip to the Marabar Caves and what happens there is one of the most mysterious in all of film.
Like Kubrick and Hitchcock, Lean can tell a story yet somehow depict things beneath the surface which ads to the richness of the film and gives it a depth all other films lack. It's not an epic like Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia but it's still a terrific film.
Alec Guinness is superb as Professsor Godbhole, teacher/guru/who is he really?. With Judy Davis as Adela Quested, Victor Banerjee as Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed, Peggy Ashcroft as Mrs. Moore, and James Fox in a terrific performance as Richard Fielding.
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