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Thunder in the East (1952)

Approved | | Drama, War | 23 June 1953 (Sweden)
In 1947, in an independent India, Europeans are scrambling to evacuate Ghandahar which is besieged by a local warlord but sought-after by an American arms dealer.

Director:

Charles Vidor

Writers:

Jo Swerling (screenplay), George Tabori (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Steve Gibbs
Deborah Kerr ... Joan Willoughby
Charles Boyer ... Prime Minister Singh
Corinne Calvet ... Lizette Damon
Cecil Kellaway ... Dr. Willoughby
Marc Cavell ... Moti Lal (as Mark Cavell)
John Abbott ... Nitra Puta
Philip Bourneuf ... Newah Khan
John Williams ... General Sir Henry Harrison
Charles Lung Charles Lung ... Maharajah (as Charlie Lung)
Leonard Carey ... Dr. Paling
Nelson Welch Nelson Welch ... Norton
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Storyline

During India's first years of independence from Britain, Steve Gibbs lands his armaments loaded plane in Ghandahar province hoping to get rich. Pacifist Prime Minister Singh hopes to reach an agreement with guerilla leader Khan, the maharajah is a fool, and the British residents are living in the past. Steve's love interest is Joan Willoughby, the blind daughter of a parson. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TRAPPED...in revolt-riddled Ghandahar!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

23 June 1953 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rage of the Vulture See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Boyer starred in another film called Thunder in the East (1934). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Éden (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
some clichés, some miscasting, some politics, but it's still pretty good
13 June 2013 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I liked "Thunder in the East," a 1952 release for this film, made in 1949.

This film looks to have been made on a smallish budget and takes place in the first years of India's freedom from Britain. A man named Steve Gibbs (Alan Ladd) flies in a plane filled with armaments in the Ghandahar province in order to sell them. However, the Prime Minister, Singh (Charles Boyer) wants to achieve a peaceful resolution with the leader of the guerrillas, Khan.

The British living in India are delusional, not realizing that the guerrillas are about to attack. The ones who do get out end up dead en route. Gibbs meets Joan Willoughby (Deborah Kerr) and her parson father (Cecil Kellaway) and manages to meet the maharajah, who defers to the Prime Minister and then leaves the country for the winter.

Gibbs offers his plane, but he gouges the people wanting to leave, which angers Joan, who was falling for him. Now she turns against him and no one will give into what they call blackmail. They gather at the palace, waiting for the guerrillas to attack, and hope that the Prime Minister will let them use the guns he has.

There are a couple of problems with this film. One is the casting of Charles Boyer and his French accent and heavy makeup. I have to say, he was wonderful. He was an underrated actor, but miscast.

The script has a few clichés, particularly the hard core businessman falling for a sweet, altruistic woman. Nevertheless, it certainly held my interest.

I read some complaints about the ending, which for me was the best part of the film. Very dramatic and very exciting. As far as the Prime Minister's beliefs, he was a human being and acted on an injustice viscerally. His idealism went out the window, and that's okay. That's what happens sometimes.

Alan Ladd did a good job in a Bogart-type role. I never considered him much of an actor, but that monotone type of line reading works fine in this type of part, as it did in his film noirs. Deborah Kerr was lovely as a good woman who prides herself on her independence and fearful of losing it.

The film was probably trying to make the point that Gandhi was an idiot, and that following his principles wasn't a good idea. Not sure I'd conclude that in all cases. Maybe in this one.


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