Gunga Din (1939)
|Hollywood showpiece based on kiplings famous poem about three soldiers in the 19th century who meet adventure on the northwest frontier.|
Editor's NoteGeorge Stevens' classic action-comedy stars Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Victor McLaglen as a trio of carousing British army officers in 1890s colonial India. When the telegraph wires to one of the British outposts are found to have been cut, the three friends, Sergeants Cutter (Grant), Ballantine (Fairbanks), and McChesney (McLaglen), are sent to investigate. They encounter the Thugges, a cult of religious extremists intent on driving the British from their land, but are able to repel their attack. After the soldiers return to their posts, Ballantine decides to leave the service and marry his girlfriend, Emmy Stebbins (Joan Fontaine). His friends are horrified by this news, and try to concoct a ruse to keep him in the army. While waiting, the mercenary Cutter, led by Gunga Din--their loyal, native water-bearer, goes into the hills in search of gold. They find that the temple of gold is, in fact, the headquarters of the Thugges, who capture Cutter, but allow Din to escape. Stevens makes good use of his slapstick training here, putting a comic twist on the potential cliches of nearly every scene. In doing so, he creates of one of the most sheerly entertaining films every made. The three principals are perfectly cast, and the film boosted Grant to a new level of stardom. However, the unfortunate, "white man's burden" treatment accorded to Gunga Din must be seen in the context of the film's more benighted time.
Cast & Crew
|Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.|
|Alfred Newman - Musical Score|
|Ben Hecht - Writer|
|George Stevens - Producer|
|George Stevens - Director|
|Henry Berman - Editor|
|Joel Sayre - Screenplay|
|Joseph August - Cinematographer|
|Rudyard Kipling - Based On Poem By|
Plot SummaryA trio of army sergeants stationed in India during the 1890s spend their days carousing, womanizing, and protecting British colonialism from a native uprising. Assisting them in their official duties is the courageous water bearer, Gunga Din.
|Joseph H. August , Nominee, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White|