Set in northwest India, this rousing adventure film was hailed by many as the greatest war movie ever made at the time of its release. Under Henry Hathaway's adroit direction, Gary Cooper stars as 41st Bengal Lancers member Lt. McGregor, a seasoned frontier fighter who doesn't hesitate to
speak his mind or violate orders--a man first and a soldier second. His commanding officer, Col. Stone (Sir Guy Standing), is his very opposite, a total military man who will soon be retiring. In order to keep alive the name of Stone in the regiment, a fellow officer, Maj. Hamilton (C. Aubrey
Smith), has Stone's son (Richard Cromwell) transferred into the unit, along with another new officer, Lt. Forsythe (Franchot Tone). The two new arrivals get a quick initiation, as Col. Stone and British intelligence try to prevent a planned Indian uprising by blocking a local chieftain's attempt
to steal two million rounds of ammunition from the friendly Emir of Gopal (Akim Tamiroff).
The script is filled with plenty of humor and builds two strong, honest friendships--McGregor and Forsythe have a great buddy rapport while the cold and stubborn Col. Stone opens up to his cub soldier son. The Indian atmosphere is lovingly captured by Hathaway's direction (his love of the exotic
appears to have been heavily influenced by his association with Josef von Sternberg) and by Charles Lang and Ernest B. Schoedsack's photography (incorporating some stock footage previously shot by Schoedsack). While the glorification of British imperialism hangs over the picture, the portrayal of
the Indians is fortunately less offensive than in other Hollywood films such as 1939's GUNGA DIN.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Set in northwest India, this rousing adventure film was hailed by many as the greatest war movie ever made at the time of its release. Under Henry Hathaway's adroit direction, Gary Cooper stars as 41st Bengal Lancers member Lt. McGregor, a seasoned frontie… (more)