The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

1935

Adventure / Drama / War

182
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 2,553

Synopsis


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November 27, 2020

Director

Cast

Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell
J. Carrol Naish as Commissioner of War Trotsky
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1001 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
109 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.81 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
109 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ron Oliver 10 / 10 / 10

Tale of Friendship & Adventure on the Khyber Pass

British India - the Northwest Frontier. Three comrades-in-arms, officers of the elite Lancers Corps, are part of the great Army machine that protects the Raj from warring princes & rebellious tribes. Of immediate concern is the black-hearted ruler conspiring to obtain two million rounds of ammunition. If he succeeds, war is inevitable. Meanwhile, the stern old Lancers colonel has difficulties in dealing with his energetic young officers, one of whom is his own alienated son. During the trials that lie ahead they will exhibit courage, camaraderie & competition, all qualities that make up THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER. Not just a great adventure epic, this film deals with the tough questions raised by bonds fraternal & familial. What does it mean to be loyal to one's friends? What affection should a father exhibit for his son? What does one do when duty & friendship collide? Beyond all that, the movie is simply fun... Gary Cooper, here playing a Canadian-Scots, is excellent as the veteran lieutenant, but Franchot Tone matches him in every way as the feisty new subaltern. Together they make a great pair of movie companions - their 'snake charming' scene is priceless. Richard Cromwell, as the military school graduate, is also very good. The fine supporting cast includes Douglass Dumbrille, Akim Tamiroff, Lumsden Hare, Nobel Johnson, J. Carroll Naish, Monte Blue, Mischa Auer & especially wonderful old Sir C. Aubrey Smith, as the major of the regiment. Comment should be made of Sir Guy Standing, tremendous here as the Regimental Colonel. Sir Guy was a distinguished stage actor from London, who, like many other British theatrical performers, came to Hollywood to make a living in the movie business. At Paramount Studios he quickly established himself as a very fine character actor and from 1933 to 1937 he appeared in 18 films. Tragically, all came to an end in 1937, when he died in the Hollywood Hills, the victim of a rattlesnake bite.

Reviewed by Ramses_Emerson 10 / 10 / 10

Forgotten Classic

You are unlikely to have heard of "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer." It has long been overshadowed by it's more popular contemporaries "Beau Geste" and "Gunga Din", though it is, in my humble opinion, a finer film then either of them. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start at the beginning. "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" is the story of a regiment of British soldiers in Imperial India. It's an adventure film first and foremost, but it is also an intimate drama about the life of a soldier in an age of Victorian honor, chivalry, and stiff upper lip stoicism. The characters are all interesting and complex and the dialogue is witty and literate. The film holds up very well for a movie made in 1935, largely due to the lack of any melodramatic romantic subplots, which have permanently marred other adventure films of the period. This is a man's film about men in desperate situations, it's about being willing to die for your country or your friends at a moments notice. It's about a concept that most people consider outdated, honor. How many films have you seen recently about honor, loyalty, and true courage? Probably not many. The action scenes are exhilarating, and the film really does a wonderful job of establishing it's Indian setting. The performances are all first rate, Gary Cooper stars as Lt. McGregor. I've always imagined Cooper as the quiet, serious, everyman characters he played later in his career. Here he gets to try his hand at comedy and complexity and gives arguably the most layered performance of his career. Franchot Tone is also perfectly cast, he won on Oscar the same year for his performance in Mutiny on the Bounty, but his performance in this film is equally deserving of acclaim. Tone was one of the best actors of the 1930's, though he never really hit it big as a leading man. He's wonderful here, his character exudes charm and wit, and he and Cooper bounce off each other wonderfully. Richard Cromwell is a little over the top, but he makes sense for the character. British stage actor Guy Standing plays Colonel Stone as being emotionless on the outside, and yet torn apart on the inside, having to make the impossible choice between loyalty to one's family and loyalty to one's country. It's a great performance for which he should have received an Oscar nomination. As for C. Aubrey Smith, he is wonderful as usual, the quintessential British officer, often imitated but never equaled, there is no one like the man himself. Douglas Dumbrille also gives a fine performance as the evil Muhammad Khan. "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" is a great film, that has been unfairly denied the classic status it so deserves. For years the only way to see it was on Turner Classic Movies, but recently it was released as one of the five films on the $25 "Gary Cooper Collection". Don't miss it. 10 out of 10 Also, though most people don't know it, this is the film in which the now famous line "We have ways of making men talk" is first uttered.

Reviewed by d1494 10 / 10 / 10

A Rousing adventure on the Northwest Frontier

In the very place where American and British troops are searching for Bin laden, the untamed Northwest frontier of modern Pakistan, the regiments of the Imperial British Raj ruled three hundred million with a hand full of men like Guy Standing and C. Aubrey Smith, who exemplified the very best of the military tradition. There are moments of this film that even transcend the story of outnumbered British soldiers, as when C. Aubrey Smith tells a hot headed Gary Cooper the meaning of honor and duty to the regiment. He explains that sometimes there may be a higher calling than fatherly love. Excellent portrayals by Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone and precise attention to detail ensure that this movie holds up nearly 70 years after it was made. This film should be required viewing for modern day Hollywood types, actors and directors alike who think they can make an action movie! This is one of the great films, I give it a 10!

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