Gunga Din

1939

directed by: George Stevens

First action movie. Here we go.  Cary Grant movie #33 of 74.  Grant plays a British Sergeant in India in the late 19th century.  Along with his two fellow Sgts. Grant is always causing trouble, getting into fights, causing a raucous in the barracks, etc.  He’s also convinced there is gold and treasures out there to be had.  Very reminiscent of Three Kings with George Clooney, mixing lots of humor in a military film.  So anyways, there’s this tribe of cultish Indians that have been raiding towns and taking out communications and just causing a lot of mayhem.  So the Sgts. are deployed to the latest town and they come upon an ambush from the cult, but narrowly escape.  Enter Joan Fontaine as the love interest of one of the Sergeants about to finish his active duty.  They should have at least tripled her screen time.  (ggggrowl)  Anyways, Gunga Din , this Indian servant of the British Army, tells Grant where there’s tons of gold and treasure and they set off to find it.  The other two dudes follow after they disappear.  Turns out they all get captured by the cult who worships Kali (Think Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).  Although no one’s still beating heart gets ripped out, these dudes are evil (and the 2 main ones , along with Gunga Din, played by an Italian, a guy from Milwaukee, and a Jew, respectively).  So after all 3 go missing, they send out the entire battalion or regiment or whatever, complete with bagpipes.  But these cult guys have hidden an army of their own waiting to ambush them.  However, the 3 and Gunga Din manage to break out of their cell, and Gunga Din warns the oncoming Brits of the ambush, ultimately causing his demise.

Let’s see, this film was okay.  I didn’t expect the level of comedy it had (or at least attempted to have).  It seemed like there should have been a ton more British casualties at the end/ throughout the movie, and Grant got STABBED in the back with a BAYONET, yet walked off on his own a couple minutes later.  Talk about a warrior.  At the end of the day, the sets and battles were pretty neat, enough to get you through the attempts at humor.  And Joan Fontaine was in it.

Underrated Actors: besides Joan Fontaine, Sam Jaffe was pretty likeable and good as Gunga Din

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