Saturday, May 28, 2011

GUNGA DIN (1939)

I’ve seen a number of the classic Hollywood movies of the 1930’s.But going over some of the titles in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, I noticed more than a few omissions from my movie viewing resume. For two weeks I’m going to try to fill in some of those gaps as well as re-watch some old favorites. I’ll list my expectations for each film going in and state whether these expectations are reached or not. And I’ll give each film my Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award strictly for the reason that I think it would be fun to do so.

Expectations:I saw it years ago and mostly remember the courageous bhisti bugle boy Gunga Din played by Sam Jaffe.

After viewing: Is it even apporpriate to like this movie in this day and age? Hold on a minute while I check my political correctness study guides.

Well, one of my PC books says that it is a yet another story of self-righteous Western imperialists that feel their way is the right way and that the only brown man worth living is one that wants to follow in the footsteps of those that adhere to the values of her majesty, as Mr. Din wishes to do. My other PC book says to just enjoy the rollicking adventure, great stars, the funny non-action scenes (Director George Stevens learned a few things about comedy when he mentored under Hal Roach), and of course the dramatic final scene. It may take awhile for me to determine which book is correct.

And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to…Sam Jaffe as the courageous bhisti bugle boy, who else?

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