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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Gunga Din (1939) ... Cary Grant ... George Stevens (Director) (2004)"
RKO Radio Pictures presents "GUNGA DIN" (1939) (117 min/B&W) -- Starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Sam Jaffe, Eduardo Ciannelli, Joan Fontaine, Montagu Love & Robert Coote

Directed by George Stevens

RKO producer Pandro S. Berman surprised all and sundry by converting Rudyard Kipling's poem Gunga Din into an A-budgeted...
Published on 15 April 2011 by J. Lovins

versus
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Picture Quality
This film is good and I really did enjoy it. But I warn you not to buy this DVD copy, because the picture quality is disappointing, especially scenes which are set at night, which is very hard to see what is going on. You are probably better off buying the Warner Brothers region 1 version, because the picture quality will probably be good and also they usually have...
Published on 26 May 2011 by Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Though I've belted you and flayed you, by the living God that made you, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.", 14 Nov. 2013
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gunga Din [DVD] [1939] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This very old classic of cinema, made in 1939, aged a lot but is still a nice and interesting watch. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This film was inspired by the short poem "Gunga Din", written in 1892 by Rudyard Kipling and telling the story of a wounded British soldier and Gunga Din, a humble auxilliary (non-combattant) belonging to the Bishti water-bearers community and therefore routinely called "regimental Bishti". The action of the film is situated in colonial India, somewhere in the beginning of XXth century and begins with a series of small scale attacks against British soldiers. A patrol is send to investigate the situation of an outpost, under the command of three sergeants. As they have to travel through some dried up hills, the soldiers take also with them the "regimental Bishti", Gunga Din. And then the film really begins.

In principle the main stars of the film were the three already famous actors playing the three sergeants, namely Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Sergeant Ballantine), Victor McLaglen (Sergeant MacChesney, the most senior of the three) and Cary Grant (Sergeant Cutter). The first of them was already more or less on his way out of stardom, as after his service in the military during World War II his career stalled and declined. Cary Grant on another hand was a rising star and he would still shine until 1960. Victor McLaglen is today mostly remembered for his secondary roles he played after 1945 in John Ford films, especially westerns but also the wonderful "Quiet Man", but in the 30s he was a real star and he already got an Oscar for his stellar performance in the drama "The Informer".

Those three swashbuckling NCOs are of course excellent, but ultimately they are outshined by two other characters.

Humble Gunga Din, played wonderfully by Sam Jaffe (yes, the same guy who played Dr. Riedenshneider in "Asphalt Jungle"!), a man on the deepest bottom of the hierarchy in the martial society, steals almost every scene in which he appears and the more the film progresses, the more important he becomes. The antics and adventures of the three sergeants are of course amusing, but both humor and action shown in this film aged a little with time - on another hand the humble, even slightly pathetic but very human and impossibly brave Gunga Din is a character which I think will never grow old...

And then there is of course ZE BAD GUY, in this case a mysterious guru, priest of Kali, played splendidly by Eduardo Cianelli, an actor little known but who played secondary roles in no less than 153 films (cinema and TV) between 1917 and 1970(!), including big hits like "Helen of Troy" and "Mackenna's Gold". In this film he gives the performance of his life as a perfect mixture of a brave anti-colonialist freedom fighter and leader of a murderous, merciless, totalitarian cult! From the first moment he and his minions appear it becomes clear that the whole second part of Indiana Jones adventures ("Temple of Doom") was in fact a vibrant homage to this movie! The mastery of camera work and lights manipulation in the scenes in which the guru preaches his murderous teachings is a UNIQUE MOMENT OF CINEMA!

Bottom line, this is a film still worth seeing, because even if it got a little old, it clearly is part of history of cinema and the two "native" characters (Gunga Din and the guru) certainly didn't age at all! I am glad that I bought this film and I will keep my DVD preciously. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Gunga Din (1939) ... Cary Grant ... George Stevens (Director) (2004)", 15 April 2011
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gunga Din [DVD] [1939] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
RKO Radio Pictures presents "GUNGA DIN" (1939) (117 min/B&W) -- Starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Sam Jaffe, Eduardo Ciannelli, Joan Fontaine, Montagu Love & Robert Coote

Directed by George Stevens

RKO producer Pandro S. Berman surprised all and sundry by converting Rudyard Kipling's poem Gunga Din into an A-budgeted feature film. It's the tale of three eternally brawling British sergeants stationed in colonial India: Cutter (Cary Grant), McChesney (Victor McLaglen) and Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Ballantine intends to break up the threesome by marrying lovely Emmy Stebbins (Joan Fontaine), while Cutter and McChesney begin hatching diabolical schemes to keep Ballantine in the army. All three sergeants are kept occupied with a native revolt fomented by the Thuggees, a fanatical religious cult headed by the napoleonic Guru (Eduardo Ciannelli). Unexpectedly coming to the rescue of our three heroes is humble water carrier Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe), who aspires to become the regimental trumpeter.

Oscar Nominated for Best Cinematography

Special footnote: -- When Sergeant Cutter receives an invitation to Sergeant Ballantine's wedding, he announces his full name is 'Archibald Cutter.' Cary Grant's real name was 'Archibald Leach.'

Was second only to Gone with the Wind (1939) as the biggest money-maker of 1939.

BIOS:
1. George Stevens [aka: George Cooper Stevens] - (Director)
Date of Birth: 18 December 1904 - Oakland, California
Date of Death: 8 March 1975 - Lancaster, California

2. Cary Grant [aka: Archibald Alexander Leach]
Date of Birth: 18 January 1904 - Horfield, Bristol, England, UK
Date of Death: 29 November 1986 - Davenport, Iowa

3. Victor McLaglen (aka: Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen)
Date of Birth: 10 December 1886 - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, UK
Date of Death: 7 November 1959 - Newport Beach, California

4. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. [aka: Douglas Elton Ulman Fairbanks Junior]
Date of Birth: 9 December 1909 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 7 May 2000 - New York City, New York

5. Sam Jaffe [aka: Shalom Jaffe]
Date of Birth: 10 March 1891, New York City, New York
Date of Death: 24 March 1984, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 117 min on DVD ~ RKO Radio Pictures ~ (12/07/2004)
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Picture Quality, 26 May 2011
By 
Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice "RR" (sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
This film is good and I really did enjoy it. But I warn you not to buy this DVD copy, because the picture quality is disappointing, especially scenes which are set at night, which is very hard to see what is going on. You are probably better off buying the Warner Brothers region 1 version, because the picture quality will probably be good and also they usually have special features.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is grand film-making!, 30 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Gunga Din [VHS][1939] (VHS Tape)
Whatever your political views and correctness levels might be you will be missing out on one of best action epics ever if you do not watch GUNGA DIN. So DO NOT miss it! The best way to watch it is to put on the late 1930's mindset or you might feel offended by some of the things characters say -- still, there is such lively fun at the heart of this flick that even the most sensitive souls are bound to be swept off their feet! Grant, McLaglen and Tone all in top form, direction of the highest order, and unforgettable action sequences make this a unique movie experience. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 28 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
No CGI just great actors and a great storey Loved it frame to frame This was a good quality aprint as well Getting the English language version up was not as easy as I thought.. Otherwise 8++++++++
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4.0 out of 5 stars When we were the Good Guys!, 11 Mar. 2015
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
Made in those far off days before the Second World War, when thirties Hollywood rewrote the history books with epic charges straight into the teeth of the guns. It was an age when the Brits were the good guys and had a damn fine stiff upper lip, and imperialism was umm...err...not such a awful thing. In light of this it should be remembered it was very much a child of its time! This one followed the illustrious templates of “Lives of a Bengal Lancer” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, with lots of action and pageantry. Therefore we get an all bugles blaring charge and some memorable parade ground scenes. All ripping good stuff old boy!

This one adapts Kipling’s poem and elements of his short stories “Soldiers Three”. Victor McLaglen plays the heroic square jawed rock. Douglas Fairbank’s jnr is torn twixt duty and the woman he loves, shades of “The Four Feathers” there! Cary Grant provides the comic relief, even managing to wisecrack under torture, his range of facial expressions going well beyond the call of duty. The three provide a typical Hollywoodian little band of brothers ready to fight all evils in the name of good, and evil does indeed rears its ugly head. They are aided by the humble Indian water carrier Gunga Din who has aspirations to be a part of the proud British Army. Yes, he could be seen as a traitor to his people these days! Throw in the thuggees who are a very bad lot indeed and we have a recipe for action and derring do aplenty!

Filmed in Hollywood’s Alabama Hills which substitute nicely for the North West Frontier, there is plenty of large scale action and buttoned up tunics despite the heat and dust. All we lack is C Aubrey Smith to lend the very stiffest of upper lips to proceedings! The director George Stevens handles his first large scale production with some skill. The immaculately dressed Joan Fontaine manages to escape from the clutches of Errol Flynn to be wooed by his lookalike Douglas Fairbanks jnr this time round. It all looks rather grand and will bring back floods of nostalgia to the old cine buff weaned on boys own style action. Nothing wrong with that m’lad!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they don't make them like this anymore., 8 April 2014
By 
M. Slipman "MOVIE BUFF" (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
just watched this dvd with new cover as pictured three faces bottom left hand corner,looks like this has been renewed sometime or other,very good picture....and great movie..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fast quick service many thanks, 16 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
fast quick service and a good price thank you, purchased for friend for xmas present so no feed back from them till then
cheers paul
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Gunga Din (DVD)
Good film, came on time and my husband has really enjoyed watching it as he had not seen it for many years
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By the living God that made you, 30 April 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gunga Din [DVD] [1939] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
You're a better man than I Gunga Din

RKO Radio Pictures presents Gunga Din as told through the lives of three famous comrades in Her Majesty's Service. Sergeant MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), Sergeant Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), and Sergeant Cutter (Cary Grant).

After 50 years of dormancy the Thugs (worshipers of the goddess Kali) raise again. They threaten to run the British out of India. Let's put it this way they are the bad guys. Their layer is stumbled upon by three adventuring shoulders. Helping them in their pursuit fights and potentially saving the day is a water boy by the name of Gunga Den (Sam Jaffe.)

The movie is fast paced with lots of marching and saber rattling. This presentation is accompanied with music only could be described as swashbuckling. The music is by Alfred Newman.

The Man Who Would Be King
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