6.1/10
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9 user 10 critic

The Deceivers (1988)

Fact-based account of a secret society of murderers, and of the man who exposed them in British India 1825.

Director:

Nicholas Meyer

Writers:

John Masters (novel), Michael Hirst (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierce Brosnan ... William Savage
Shashi Kapoor ... Raja Chandra Singh
Saeed Jaffrey ... Hussein
Helena Michell Helena Michell ... Sarah Wilson
Keith Michell ... Colonel Wilson
David Robb ... George Anglesmith
Tariq Yunus ... Feringea
Jalal Agha Jalal Agha ... The Nawab
Gary Cady Gary Cady ... Lt. Maunsell
Salim Ghouse ... Piroo
Neena Gupta ... Gopal's Wife
Nayeem Hafizka Nayeem Hafizka ... Sepoy
Bijaya Jena Bijaya Jena ... Harlot (as Bijoya Jena)
H.N. Kalla H.N. Kalla ... The Nawab Servant
Kammo Kammo ... Official
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Storyline

In 1825, India lives under fear. A mysterious religion's followers murder everyone that stands against their plans. When William Savage, a tax-collector of a British-Indian company, discovers the sect and decides to solve the mystery... Written by S.W.P.er

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | India

Language:

English | Hindi | Sanskrit | Rajasthani

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Geheimnis der Ritualmorde See more »

Filming Locations:

India

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$346,297
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is a "historical action adventure tale, set in pre-Raj India circa 1825" and is an "homage to Alexander Korda adventure movies", according to "Variety". See more »

Goofs

The film set in 1825. Everyone carries and shoots cap lock (percussion lock) pistols ,rifles and muskets. Although percussion lock was invented about that time,but was not in widespread use until about 1840. Flintlock guns were the weapons of that era. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the introductory credits there is a note 'for my father'. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 1988 (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Merchant Ivory Does Historical Thriller That Doesn't Really Work
10 July 2013 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I'm sure every schoolboy knows where the word " Thug " originates from . If not I'll reeducate you by saying the word is derived from the word " thugee " which apart from being the Hindi word for " thief " is also the name of a notorious cult from India where a group of men would befriend travelers along the Indian sub-continent and then strangle them . THE DECIEVERS based upon the John Masters book tells of the story of a British army officer who infiltrated the group

It doesn't seem to be able to tell the story well and one can't help thinking that being a Merchant Ivory production this might be to blame . It's rather stodgy and director Nicholas Meyer seems to be more interested in exotic beauty and cultural diversity of 1820s India than he is in telling a tension filled cinematic thriller . Ironically enough when it does try to mirror the classic era of Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s it comes across as being clichéd

A great pity because there's so much potential here that the production gets right such as pointing out that in the 1820s it was the British East India company and not the British monarch or the British government who ruled India . If you're worried about corporate capitalism in the 21st Century I can guarantee you it was much worse two hundred years ago . As you'd expect with this production company the costume design is exemplary . It's also a film that makes good use of sound editing where when the Thugees commit their murders a spine chilling " SWISH " type sound blasts out from the screen and is so effective it left me truly puzzled why Meyer didn't more to make THE DECEIVERS a more enthralling film


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