The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

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{war, force, army}
{film, series, show}
{son, year, death}
{line, north, south}


Theatrical poster

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer is a 1935 American adventure film loosely adapted from the 1930 book of the same name by Francis Yeats-Brown. The plot of the movie, which bears little resemblance to Yeats-Brown's memoir, concerns British soldiers defending the borders of India against rebellious natives. It stars Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell, and Douglass Dumbrille. The film was directed by Henry Hathaway and written by Grover Jones, William Slavens McNutt, Waldemar Young, John L. Balderston and Achmed Abdullah.

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.[1]

Contents

Plot

On the northwest frontier of India during the British Raj, Scottish-Canadian Lieutenant Alan McGregor (Gary Cooper) welcomes two replacements to the 41st Bengal Lancers, Lieutenant Forsythe (Franchot Tone) and Lieutenant Donald Stone (Richard Cromwell), the son of the unit's commander, Colonel Tom Stone (Guy Standing). In an attempt to show impartiality, the colonel treats his son coldly, which is misinterpreted and causes resentment in the young man.

Lieutenant Barrett (Colin Tapley) has been spying on Mohammed Khan (Douglass Dumbrille) and reports that he has been preparing an uprising against the British. Khan kidnaps Lieutenant Stone in order to try to extract vital information about an ammunition caravan from him. When the colonel refuses to attempt his rescue, McGregor and Forsythe go without orders. Unfortunately, they are caught as well. Mohammed Khan says, "We have ways of making men talk" (a line which is frequently misquoted) and has his prisoners tortured. Stone cracks under the pain and reveals what he knows. As a result, the ammunition is captured.

The captives escape as the outmatched Bengal Lancers deploy to assault Khan's fortress. They manage to destroy the ammunition and Stone redeems himself by killing Khan, ensuring victory.

Cast

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