The Brigand of Kandahar

1965

Adventure / History

33
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 465

Synopsis


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May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes
Yvonne Romain as Ratina
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
752.83 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
81 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.36 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
81 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by spookyrat1 5 / 10 / 10

Kandahar Calling!

An interesting little Hammer offering story wise. You'd think the red coats of the British Army would be the heroes of this Raj story set in 1850. But as it turns out in a welcome twist, they're more the villains, doing the colonial nasty on the local tribespeople, made up generally of black-faced English actors. Had to laugh at the indignant shock of a couple of reviewers here expressing amazement that more Indians didn't feature in the cast. This is a Hammer production made in around 1964/65 and as such was made on the smell of an oily rag in England. For goodness sake, check out those vintage painted back drops of the castle in the mountains. There is absolutely no Indian location footage and in fact, footage was "borrowed" from a couple of other films to round out the battle scenes. Before we get all lathered up about the casting in a 55 year old "B" grade supporting feature, let's also remember that a bare 3 years before, it was perfectly acceptable for Alec Guinness to play an Arab in Lawrence of Arabia. In fact a couple of years after this, Lawrence Olivier played the Mahdi in Khartoum with little criticism. As mentioned the only really stand-out feature of this film was the anti-colonial perspective of the British Raj. The villains of the piece were the senior British Officers who fitted up a fellow officer Case for a court-martial, because besides supposedly having "a touch of the tar brush", he had also had an affair with another officer's wife. He ends up running with the local rebel alliance, though their leader, Eli Khan (an hilariously black-faced Oliver Reed), is also depicted as being somewhat cruel and untrustworthy. It all ends up in a gloriously romantic tragedy of near -Shakespearean proportions, as bodies litter a paper-mache cave hideout and accusing fingers are afterwards pointing in the British establishment direction. Cue the casting credits for this little oddity. I'm sure the production only ever had pretensions to being a support feature, but I give it a 5 for trying something a little different with the story line.

Reviewed by dinky-4 6 / 10 / 10

A weak central character, poorly cast

Even those with a fondness for those "Northwest Frontier" movies set in the British Raj of the 1800's will probably be disappointed by this minor, unpersuasive, and somewhat uncharacteristic entry from Hammer Films. The costumes have that clean, new look -- as if they just came from a rental shop -- and the handful of sets are too tidy and well-lit to be anything other than studio creations. Even the rocks have a fiberglass look. More troubling than the film's skimpy budget, however, is the casting of its main character. He's supposed to be half-English, half-Indian -- one of those chaps who's worked his way up in the ranks of the British Army but who feels he's still regarded with hostility and suspicion by his colleagues. Not only does Ronald Lewis lack the face for this part, (there's nothing at all Indian about him), but he's also short of the darkly-compelling charisma which might make this character "work." He comes across as a provincial English actor who's dressed up in left-over garb from a production of "Kismet." In his defense, however, it must be said that the script gives him little to work with since his character is poorly developed and too often seems simply like the victim of events going on around him. Oliver Reed might have been a better choice for the lead but here he plays the villain -- a rebellious chieftain who's said to be "half-mad." Unfortunately, this gives him license to indulge in some theatrical behavior which is more embarrassing than enlivening. At one point a captured British soldier is whipped by the rebels but even this sure-fire scene is too poorly staged to arouse much interest. (Why didn't the rebels tear the soldier's shirt all the way off? Didn't they take Flogging 101?)

Reviewed by EdgarST 6 / 10 / 10

Hammer India

Hammer Film returned to India (at Elstree Studios) with this production, but this time the project lacked the punch "The Stranglers of Bombay" (1959) had. It is a moral tale about ethnic pride, patriotism, military honor and love, but surprisingly it lacks passion. While John Gilling handled the story with vivid action scenes, as he did in previous adventure films he made for Hammer, his rather literate script proved too ambitious to be fully developed in 78 minutes. The previous Hammer attempt to describe India under British rule was a darker story by American scriptwriter David Zelag Goodman, dealing with evil followers of goddess Khali, but in this occasion Gilling directly entered the political field and added an adultery subplot with passable results. On the acting side, while Ronald Lewis is at his usual adequate efficiency level as hero, Oliver Reed is bland and noisy in the role of a ruthless rebel chief, easily overshadowed by Yvonne Romain as his wicked sister. (As she had left for Hollywood to work with Samuel Fuller, beautiful "Stranglers" actress Marie Devereux is sorely missed here). Gilling would turn out his best works for Hammer a year later, when the remarkable "The Plague of the Zombies" and "The Reptile" were released.

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