Flame Over India aka North West Frontier

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In British India, a young prince must be taken to safey across rebel-held territory, and an old train is the only way to do it. Two people trapped by fate. In a country with no destiny.

ACTORS :  Kenneth More, Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1959

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Flame Over India aka North West Frontier In northwestern India soon after the turn of the 20th Century, Moslem rebels seek to kill a six-year-old Hindu prince to end his family line. Captain Scott of the British Army is ordered to get the prince out of the region safely. Adventure ensues as Scott sneaks the child away, through Moslem-held territory, by train. Also on board are the boy’s American governess, an arms merchant, a cynical reporter, and two upper class Britons.

One of the best adventure movies

Flame Over India aka North West Frontier This film was screened last night on PBS. The title “Flame over India” caught my attention. Noting that the movie was made in 1959, I thought this would be one of the slow paced older movies. Surprise! The movie keeps you on the edge of your couch all the time. Some salient features:

1) The hero is more credible like the heroes and leaders you see in real-life – not huge and invincible like Arnold. Puts his own life at risk to save a young Hindu prince’s life from Muslim rebels all the while knowing that the kid will be coerced to fight against him should the British not cease the occupation of India. Nevertheless, his actions are based on his duty as a soldier and as a compassionate human being.

2) Effective portrayal of opposing views – the gullible British lady, Mrs. Wyndham commenting that peoples not under the British Empire were uncivilized and the extremely polarized view of the cynical Indian journalist who opposes killing in theory. The movie brings out the sentiments from both sides. Also well done was the scene of a train massacre in showing the courage of Ms Wyatt to walk among the slain and save a young child that was still alive.

3) Several thrilling moments and some moments of suspense. The ambushes feel very real.

4) The movie was shot in India and it gives a very realistic look – especially the trains and the rural stations. Contrary to what many in the Western Hemisphere believe, the movie shows that not all Indians in that time were illiterate (Gupta speaks reasonably good English).

All in all a great movie. I would love to watch it again.

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