Gunga Din – 1939 – English
Adventures film directed in 1939 by George Stevens, and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Fontaine, Eduardo Ciannelli, Montagu Love, Sam Jaffe…
Synopsis: Based loosely on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, this takes place in British India during the Thuggee uprising. Three fun loving sergeants are doing fine until one of them wants to get married and leave the service. The other two trick him into a final mission where they end up confronting the entire cult by themselves as the British Army is entering a trap. This is of the “War is fun” school of movie making. It has the flavour of watching Notre Dame play an inferior high school team.
Review: Obviously a film that has had great influence not only on the buddy genre but action genre as well. George Lucas had to be a fan of this flick as so much of his Star Wars series seems to a homage to Gunga Din. The characters that Grant, McLaglen, and Fairbanks play are just precursors of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca. Even Sam Jaffe’s Gunga Din morphed into C-3PO and R2-D2 and like him or not: Jar Jar Binks.
This was a great film. Three strong male leads and only a hint of romance. There was a time when young boys deemed kissing the girl in Saturday matinee film was just mush. Not like today when the more skin is greeted with delight. Too late to lament lost innocence.
Hopefully this film will not be forgotten and a few who are channel surfing will stop at IEVENN and catch a film with action, adventure, and a cast of thousands instead of CGI actors.