Entertainment Weekly - 09/22/1995
"Hands down the best British-in-India movie, not to mention perhaps the best guys' adventure flick of all time..." -- Rating: A+
USA Today - 01/05/1989
"...One of the best adventure films..."
Premiere - 02/01/2005
"With its beautifully choreographed battles scenes, sublime chemistry between the leads, and breathtaking stunts, GUNGA DIN is a benchmark in action-packed cinema."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din." In that same vein, fans of classic action-adventures won't find any better film than this exhilarating tale, directed by George Stevens. Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. star as cheeky soldiers of Queen and Empire who never run short of battlefield gallantry and chin-up heroics as they combat a murderous sect in colonial India. Stevens skillfully orchestrates teeming battle sequences and boisterous humor. And Sam Jaffe memorably plays the title role of the lowly water-bearer who yearns to be a soldier...and seizes the chance to prove his mettle.
George 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.
Description by Warner Home Video:
The British send three of their best men to investigate when a patrol is massacred by Hindu fanatics intent on reviving the ancient murder-religion of the Thuggee. Sergeants MacChesney, Cutter, and Ballantine and their water-carrier, young Gunga Din barely escape their first encounter with the bloodthirsty enemy. After they are captured they employ a clever ruse to escape, and take the Thuggee leader as their prisoner. With British reinforcements approaching, they discover their comrades are walking into a trap. In an incredible act of bravery, Gunga Din, wounded from battle, crawls to a temple dome and blows his bugle to warn the soldiers.
A 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.
Great Family Fare, but not Childish
Movie Lover: Hanley Harding from
Sunny Isles Beach, FL US -- November, 28, 2005
Gunga Din is one of Rudyard Kiplings most celebrated poems. This movie classic does it justice. Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. are the happy-go-lucky Britsh "three musketeers", serving in India. And the venerable Sam Jaffe (remember Dr. Zorba, on the TV series Ben Casey?) is magnificently endearing as the not-to-bright, crippled, eager soldier wanna-be, waterboy Gunga Din. With Eduardo Cianelli as a deliciously evil fanatic leader, the movie only gets better and better until its magnificent battle climax and heart-rending tribute to the heroic Din; and to Kipling's work, as he travelled across India with Her Majesty's soldiers, writing about all he saw. This is a classic must-see for the whole family.