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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.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

E.M. Forster (by), E.M. Forster (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:
Judy Davis ... Adela
Victor Banerjee ... Aziz
Peggy Ashcroft ... Mrs. Moore
James Fox ... Fielding
Alec Guinness ... Godbole
Nigel Havers ... Ronny
Richard Wilson ... Turton
Antonia Pemberton Antonia Pemberton ... Mrs. Turton
Michael Culver ... McBryde
Art Malik ... Ali
Saeed Jaffrey ... Hamidullah
Clive Swift ... Major Callendar
Ann Firbank ... Mrs. Callendar
Roshan Seth ... Amritrao
Sandra Hotz ... 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 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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

india | doctor | cave | 1920s | small town | See All (72) »

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasaje a la India See more »

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed: You shouldn't walk alone, Mrs. Moore. There are bad characters about, and leopards may come down from the Marabar Hills - snakes also!
Mrs. Moore: You walk alone.
Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed: I am used to it.
Mrs. Moore: Used to snakes?
Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed: I'm a doctor - they dare not bite me!
See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Play of the Month: Passage to India (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Freely Maisie
Written by John Dalby
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Multi-layered masterpiece from the great David Lean
13 April 2006 | by StanleyStrangeloveSee all my reviews

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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