Gunga Din

  • Gunga Din - Dummy +

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  • Gunga Din - Background +

    Gunga_Din_Lobby_CardGunga Din is a 1939 RKO adventure film directed by George Stevens and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., loosely based on the poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling combined with elements of his short story collection Soldiers Three. The film is about three British sergeants and Gunga Din, their native bhisti (water bearer), who fight the Thuggee, a cult of murderous Indians in colonial British India.

    The supporting cast features Joan Fontaine, Eduardo Ciannelli, and, in the title role, Sam Jaffe. The epic film was written by Joel Sayre and Fred Guiol from a storyline by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with uncredited contributions by Lester Cohen, John Colton, William Faulkner, Vincent Lawrence, Dudley Nichols and Anthony Veiller .


    On the Northwest Frontier of India, circa 1880, contact has been lost with a British outpost at Tantrapur in the midst of a telegraph message. Colonel Weed (Montagu Love) dispatches a detachment of 25 British Indian Army troops to investigate, led by three sergeants of the Royal Engineers, MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), Cutter (Cary Grant), and Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), long-time friends and veteran campaigners. Although they are a disciplinary headache for their colonel, they are the right men to send on a dangerous mission. Accompanying the detail are six Indian camp workers, including regimental bhisti Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe), who longs to throw off his lowly status and become a soldier of the Queen. Read more... Read More

  • Gunga Din - Exhibit +

    GUNGA DIN TOUR. Filmed here in the summer and fall of 1938, Gunga Din remains to this day the largest production ever filmed in the Lone Pine area. The production company created huge sets, hired over a thousand extras, and built a tent city to house the cast and crew. It is recognized as one of the rare films of its era to stand up well to modern sensitivities. Visit the site of the temple, the village of Tanta Pur, battle scene locations and see the location of the rope bridge crossed by the elephant. Read more... Read More
  • Gunga Din - Behind the Scenes +

    Anyone who has ever been on a set during the filming of a movie knows that things are never what they appear to be. The hectic activity, bordering on hysteria, can give way to hours of inertia. "Hurry up and wait" is the rule of the day. A lot of times the actors are waiting in their trailers, or in the case of GUNGA DIN, what we call our "Hallmark Film," the actors were living in tents, set up in a giant tent city in the rocks.A second saying, "An idle mind is the Devil's playground," also can be applied to behind the scenes at a movie location; Lone Pine's Alabama Hills was no different. So what was going on up there in those hot months of 1938?Read more... Read More
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Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545