Directed by George Stevens
This movie is based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling so you know you are in for a real politically correct treat. I think some time last year I popped in The Jungle Book to bring back fond childhood memories and was so disgusted by the "I Want To Be Just Like You" scene that I had to turn it off.
This movie is just as offensive. Just look at the premise. There is a massive cult uprising in British India and it is up to the British soldiers (who all have American accents) to quell it. Indians are treated as horrible savages. Strangely enough, this is easier to watch then when the soldiers (including Cary Grant) have a patronizing friendship with a "water bearer".
This is an adventure story. I usually love swashbuckler movies and escape literature. I love feeling like I am seeing characters live their lives to the limit. This movie, however, was cringe-worthy and boring. Part of the 1001 journey, I think, is to place yourself in another time period and place. Still, in 1939 we were not that far away from the Indian Independence Movement. Skip it!
Howard Hawks was going to be the director of this film until Bringing Up Baby did terribly at the box office and he was fired.
Sam Jaffe, who played Gunga Din, was actually a Jewish-Russian American. So pretty close!
Joan Fontaine fell in love with George Stevens during filming. At least something good came out of this.
Only Gone With the Wind earned more money at the box office in 1939.