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- 117 min.
- George Stevens
- Adventure, War
- Rating *
- Votes *
- 4.5% (1:22)
dombrewerI think you'd have to be in a very forgiving kind of mood to really enjoy "Gunga Din" in this day and age. In the first instance there's Grant, McLaglen and Fairbanks Jr goofing around while natives and soldiers are being massacred on all sides which is a pretty strange tonal choice under the circumstances, the more slapstick it becomes the odder the drama seems. Then there's the fairly traditional usage of white actors in the leading Indian roles - middle aged Jewish American Sam Jaffe has a stab at playing the title role (a teenage Indian water carrier) in blackface and it's pretty embarrassing. They obviously wanted Sabu, seemingly Hollywood's only Indian, for the part - but he wasn't available. Frankly they should have waited until he was, although you'd think there must have been more than one competent Hindi actor out there somewhere. Never mind. Lastly there's the whole myth of the British Raj as a worthy heroic action in the first place and Gunga Din naively idolising the military bluster and arrogance of colonialism - the Thuggee cult probably have a point, the British probably deserved to be strangled in their beds. The action sequences are pretty good, although mostly sped up, and Annie the elephant is delightful. Just don't think too much the snakes bouncing around on wires in the snake pit, or British soldiers wielding American guns and saluting wrong way, or about how Grant can survive a lashing, being shot and then bayonetted right through the back in the final showdown. It's exceptionally silly. 10 years 6 months ago
LordKinboteThis movie has a high FFPM (face punches per minute) ratio. I approve! 11 years 11 months ago
eiriknielsenThis movie is bizarre to watch today. While I can't deny the script is fun and adventurous like an Indiana Jones script it's a film that nearly checks all the racist boxes for modern audiences. Blackface...check. Colonial masters putting down native rebels...check.Nobel savage that sacrifices self for exploiter...title character check.
But probably the craziest element is the fact that the villain is an unmistakable personification of Gandhi, who is shown not as a leader of independence but as a villainous murderous cult leader attempting to drive the British from India to build his own monstrous empire...i've never really seen anything like it. 1 year 8 months ago
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In 6 official lists
This movie ranks #74 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers
AFI's 100 Years...100 Ch…74
This movie ranks #122 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
1001 Movies You Must See…122
This movie ranks #218 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
David Thomson's Have You…218
This movie ranks #267 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
Library of Congress's Na…267
This movie ranks #354 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
The New York Times's Boo…354
This movie ranks #803 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…803