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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 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

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 (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

Exiting the caves, Mrs. Moore sees a full moon overhead in the mid-day sky. This is an astronomical impossibility, but it is shown in the film to highlight the powerful effect that the caves have on the human mind. The caves would also deeply affect Adela a little while later, but with much more serious consequences. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed: [to Ali and Hamidullah when Fielding visits] No, he does not need THREE chairs! He is NOT THREE Englishmen!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I nyhta me ti Silena (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Freely Maisie
Written by John Dalby
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As an Indian i believe i may help you to understand
3 January 2010 | by ashishjuyalinSee all my reviews

In 1885 Lord Macaulay in very planned way introduced English as an official language of India, a plan equally dangerous like thousand years of third Reich in Europe. Macaulay himself explained during a speech in Kolkata in 1885 that "I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. He added "with such a high moral, spiritual cultural heritage and ancient Aryan education system (Language Sanskrit) I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of education system of this nation.

However Macaulay's language experiment resulted very strange. It not only fractured the complex Indian society but divided the schools of thought into fraction. In movie Dr.Aziz symbolically represents the agonised face of so called modern educated Indians.

The director of this movie is very talented person who exactly know this problem. Now what exactly happening in the movie is a British young woman fascinated with ideas of elephants, snakes, tropical forests and mysteries is travelling across India. Moreover she is young and deep inside she is contemplating the true meaning of love. While in India she meets Dr. Aziz who on other hand is a product of Macaulay's language experiment. Dr Aziz is an educated person who has nothing to with Indian national movement (background is of decade of 20's) or in other words he is a simple nice Muslim man who do his job, earn comparatively better than other poor Indians and has a good social status in the local community. However he remains depressed with the surrounding atmosphere which is full of dirt, poor people etc. Symbolically he is a face of new crop who thinks and if given a chance, act like elite English. Unfortunately since he is just an average person and not an intellectual, he can not see that a British who is a foreigner in his country do not see any difference between him and other poor. He works hard and do not miss any opportunity to proof that their is a difference and it exist.

Movie reaches to the height of climax when Dr. Aziz gets an opportunity to take Ms Quested to an excursion to Malabar caves. And then comes the most beautiful, suspenseful and artistic scene of the movie. For few moment in that silent lazy afternoon, Ms Quested learn during an exceptional personal interaction (An interaction which was not supposed to be happened between an Indian and a English) about Dr. Aziz's love for his wife who died few years back. Already hypnotised and surprised with the Indian culture she gets locked with a strange feeling when she learn that Dr, Aziz never saw his wife before getting married. Back to her life she never imagined if being in love/marriage with someone whom you have never seen was possible. After all due to her basic human tendency, she for a fraction of moment imagined Dr. Aziz as a perfect man. Her extreme imagination takes her to indefinite trauma and suddenly everything looks ugly, horrible, dark and hopeless. Now gushed with guilt feeling she can not justify her imaginations in a real world.

In case of Dr. Aziz he is again in a gloomy world because Ms Quested without giving any notice is now out of his reach. An innocent human to human interaction becomes a case of racial dominance & national extremism.

Fanatic Indians have coloured it with Indian national moment whereas British are convinced that Indians doesn't matter educated or uneducated are on same line. Ironically Dr. Aziz who is surprised, frustrated due to silence of Miss Quested is no longer an old simple man. He too now believes that English are corrupting his country. Ms. Nobody knows the internal truth.


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