The Lives Of A Bengal Lancer

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Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy – and themselves. 1750 to 1! Always out-numbered! Never out-fought! These are the Bengal Lancers…heroes all…guarding each other’s lives, sharing each other’s tortures, fighting each other’s battles…

ACTORS :  Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1935

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The Lives Of A Bengal Lancer  The 41st Bengal Lancers are stationed on the Northwest Frontier of British India, guarding against Afridi invaders led by wily Mohammed Khan. Experienced (though insubordinate) Lieut. McGregor is joined by two new arrivals, haughty Forsythe and callow Donald Stone…son of the commanding colonel. We follow the three through varied adventures and hardships. Will they uphold the honor of the regiment? Will Stone and the Colonel come to terms with their difficult relationship?1750 to 1! Always out-numbered! Never out-fought! These are the Bengal Lancers…heroes all…guarding each other’s lives, sharing each other’s tortures, fighting each other’s battles…

Tale of Friendship & Adventure on the Khyber Pass

The Lives Of A Bengal Lancer  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.

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