The Hindu (1953)

81, 83 or 89 mins | Adventure | 1953

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was Gunga Ram . Although this film was reviewed in 1953 under the title The Hindu , no 1953 release date has been found. An MPH review in 1955 indicates that The Hindu was released in Feb of that year as Sabaka , the title of the viewed print. The film opens with the following written acknowledgment: "We gratefully acknowledge that this picture, filmed in India, could not have been produced without the kindly cooperation of his Highness,....Maharajah of Mysore." The Maharajah can be seen in the background at this point in the credits. The film then opens with the character "Gunga Ram" introducing himself to the viewing audience and describing his country. Music credits in the viewed print were partially obscured; however, they appear to read as either "An Maia Orchestra" or "All Maia Orchestra" with the added location credit "Salem, South India."
       An 11 Dec 1951 LAT news item noted that RKO Pictures protested the working title of the film because it closely resembled their 1939 release Gunga Din (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). According to an article in the 10 Jun 1953 Var , The Hindu was shot over a period of five months on location in Mysore, and includes scenes of the Maharajah of Mysore's palace as well as his army and elephant troupe. The Hindu marked the feature film debut of producer-director-writer Frank Ferrin. ... More Less

The working title of this film was Gunga Ram . Although this film was reviewed in 1953 under the title The Hindu , no 1953 release date has been found. An MPH review in 1955 indicates that The Hindu was released in Feb of that year as Sabaka , the title of the viewed print. The film opens with the following written acknowledgment: "We gratefully acknowledge that this picture, filmed in India, could not have been produced without the kindly cooperation of his Highness,....Maharajah of Mysore." The Maharajah can be seen in the background at this point in the credits. The film then opens with the character "Gunga Ram" introducing himself to the viewing audience and describing his country. Music credits in the viewed print were partially obscured; however, they appear to read as either "An Maia Orchestra" or "All Maia Orchestra" with the added location credit "Salem, South India."
       An 11 Dec 1951 LAT news item noted that RKO Pictures protested the working title of the film because it closely resembled their 1939 release Gunga Din (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). According to an article in the 10 Jun 1953 Var , The Hindu was shot over a period of five months on location in Mysore, and includes scenes of the Maharajah of Mysore's palace as well as his army and elephant troupe. The Hindu marked the feature film debut of producer-director-writer Frank Ferrin.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Jul 1953.
---
Daily Variety
20 May 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 May 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 1954.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Dec 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald
5 Feb 1955
p. 315.
The Exhibitor
9 Feb 1955
p. 3916.
Variety
27 May 1953.
---
Variety
10 Jun 1953.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Salem, South India
[Orch]
Salem, South India
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
DANCE
Dance of Fire
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Gunga Ram
Sabaka
Release Date:
1953
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA
Color
Eastman Color
Lenses/Prints
print by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
81, 83 or 89
Countries:
India, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17313
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In India, Gunga Ram works as a mahout, or elephant driver, for the Maharajah of Bakore. When an older mahout named Koobah confesses to leaving the body of his dead elephant in the jungle and allowing her baby to escape, Gunga rescues the elephant baby and brings it to the delighted Maharajah. The Maharajah then fires Koobah, who threatens that the fire-demon Sabaka will avenge him. Outside the city, farmer Taru sends his wife to get Gunga because two followers of Sabaka, a dangerous fire-worshiping cult, are lurking outside their home. After the worshipers knock out Taru and burn down his house, the fire spreads throughout the area. With the help of his elephant Tilah, Gunga rescues Taru’s baby from the crook of a tree, where the wife left him for safekeeping. The Maharajah later surveys the fire damage and gives Taru money to restore his home. The Maharajah then orders Gen. Pollegar to rout out Sabaka worshippers, but Pollegar is unable to find them. At Pollegar’s insistence, the Maharajah orders Gunga to release his pet tiger Paku into the jungle, after which the boy visits his older sister Indira and her husband Kumar. Gunga is delighted to learn that Indira is pregnant. Soon after, Kumar is captured and strung up by the Sabaka leader Ashok because he and Taru have been trying to expose the cult. Ashok’s assistant Luba then burns Kumar’s home, and the fire kills Indira. Although the Sabaka High Priestess protests Ashok’s violence, he insists that only fear will compel villagers to join with them. The Priestess then kills Ashok ... +


In India, Gunga Ram works as a mahout, or elephant driver, for the Maharajah of Bakore. When an older mahout named Koobah confesses to leaving the body of his dead elephant in the jungle and allowing her baby to escape, Gunga rescues the elephant baby and brings it to the delighted Maharajah. The Maharajah then fires Koobah, who threatens that the fire-demon Sabaka will avenge him. Outside the city, farmer Taru sends his wife to get Gunga because two followers of Sabaka, a dangerous fire-worshiping cult, are lurking outside their home. After the worshipers knock out Taru and burn down his house, the fire spreads throughout the area. With the help of his elephant Tilah, Gunga rescues Taru’s baby from the crook of a tree, where the wife left him for safekeeping. The Maharajah later surveys the fire damage and gives Taru money to restore his home. The Maharajah then orders Gen. Pollegar to rout out Sabaka worshippers, but Pollegar is unable to find them. At Pollegar’s insistence, the Maharajah orders Gunga to release his pet tiger Paku into the jungle, after which the boy visits his older sister Indira and her husband Kumar. Gunga is delighted to learn that Indira is pregnant. Soon after, Kumar is captured and strung up by the Sabaka leader Ashok because he and Taru have been trying to expose the cult. Ashok’s assistant Luba then burns Kumar’s home, and the fire kills Indira. Although the Sabaka High Priestess protests Ashok’s violence, he insists that only fear will compel villagers to join with them. The Priestess then kills Ashok with a bite from a poisonous snake. After Kumar is burned to death on a flaming pyre, Gunga is grief-stricken by the loss of his family. The Maharajah, who is like a father to the boy, assigns Gunga to work on preparations for the festival of Dasara. Gunga, however, is intent on revenge, and learns that a villager named Domjik could identify his sister’s killer. Gunga then incites Pollegar’s ire by illegally entering military barracks to beg Pollegar to search the festival crowds for the murderer. Although the Maharajah is reluctant to punish Gunga because the boy’s father died in the Maharajah’s service, he orders him not to disrupt the festival. Nevertheless, while the Maharajah presides over the festival and entertains his British guest, Sir Cedric, Gunga gets Domjik to identify Sabaka worshiper Luba as Indira’s killer. Gunga confronts Luba and the Priestess, who are disguised as entertainers, and imprisons them in the stables. The next day, however, the Maharajah releases them because Gunga has no proof of their crimes. He then punishes Gunga by demoting him to be a kitchen servant in the palace. After some time passes, the Maharajah allows Gunga to go to the jungle camp and give his elephant Tilah’s new mahout some pointers. Gunga is still anxious to bring the Sabaka cultists to justice, and when he is reminded of Koobah because the new mahout has the same name, he sets out alone for Koobah’s village. He is forced to kill a leopard in self-defense, and then discovers that Tilah has followed him. As they draw near the village, Gunga finds the Priestess and Luba in the midst of a ceremony. Luba captures Gunga, however, and the Priestess orders Koobah, who blames Gunga for his dismissal, to capture Tilah as well. Gunga is left tied-up in the vicinity of a ravenous tiger, but cuts through the ropes with a rock and discovers that the animal is his own loyal Paku. Gunga disrupts the Sabaka ritual when he appears with Paku, and informs the followers that the Priestess has deluded them. Luba is killed by Paku when he attacks Gunga, and the boy uses his survival as proof that the supposedly vengeful fire-demon does not exist. Gunga then takes the Priestess hostage and burns the statue of Sabaka. He returns to the city dressed in finery and, seated next to the Maharajah on his elephant, earns a bow from Pollegar. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.