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City of Joy (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 April 1992 (USA)
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Independent of each other, the Pal family - parents Hazari and Kamla, and their three offspring Amrita, Shambu and Manooj - and Max Lowe arrive in Calcutta, their initial dealings there ... See full summary »

Director:

Roland Joffé

Writers:

Dominique Lapierre (book), Mark Medoff (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Swayze ... Max Lowe
Om Puri ... Hazari Pal
Pauline Collins ... Joan Bethel
Shabana Azmi ... Kamla H. Pal
Ayesha Dharker ... Amrita H. Pal
Santu Chowdhury Santu Chowdhury ... Shambu H. Pal
Imran Badsah Khan Imran Badsah Khan ... Manooj H. Pal
Art Malik ... Ashok Ghatak
Nabil Shaban ... Anouar
Debatosh Ghosh Debatosh Ghosh ... Ram Chander
Suneeta Sengupta Suneeta Sengupta ... Poomina
Mansi Upadhyay Mansi Upadhyay ... Meeta
Shyamanand Jalan Shyamanand Jalan ... Ghatak - Godfather
Shyamal Sengupta Shyamal Sengupta ... Gangooly - Con man
Rudraprasad Sengupta ... Chomotkar
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Storyline

Independent of each other, the Pal family - parents Hazari and Kamla, and their three offspring Amrita, Shambu and Manooj - and Max Lowe arrive in Calcutta, their initial dealings there being less than positive. After losing their farm in the nearby countryside to the "money lender", the Pals are in the city in search of a better life, especially in wanting to build a dowry for Amrita who is now of marrying age. Max, a Houston based surgeon who fell into the career as a matter of family obligation, quit his job unable to cope with the emotional toll especially of losing patients, and has come to Calcutta in search of spiritual enlightenment. Their lives converge by chance in the slum neighborhood nicknamed the City of Joy, most specifically at the makeshift City of Joy Clinic and School opened and operated by Irishwoman Joy Bethel who came to Calcutta on a whim and never left. While the Pals eventual settle in the City of Joy, Joy herself tries to convince Max to provide his much ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a man who couldn't care less... until he met a man who couldn't care more. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of brief strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ciudad de la alegría See more »

Filming Locations:

Calcutta, West Bengal, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,405,890, 15 April 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,683,921
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffé approached India's leading director, Satyajit Ray, to condone the production. Joffé tried four times to meet with Ray, but he refused each time. See more »

Goofs

The school girl in the rickshaw gets dropped daily to St. Xavier's School on Park Street - which is an all boys school. See more »

Quotes

Hasari Pal: The gods have not made it easy to be a human being.
Max Lowe: No they haven't. But I guess that's why it feels so goddamn wonderful to beat the odds.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blonde Poison: The Making of 'Basic Instinct' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Original folk score
Richard Blackford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My favorite Patrick Swayze film
13 May 2003 | by editorbobSee all my reviews

I think City of Joy is one of those films you either do or don't connect with. It's a study of growth, of friendship, of acceptance. It's a coming-of-age film. It's a study of how similar humans everywhere are in spite of vast cultural differences. It's a well-shot location piece. It's a character study. It's an action film, in its own way. Patrick Swayze and Om Puri put their hearts into their roles. The supporting cast is interesting and effective. The script has drama and emotional depth.

Although the plot certainly can't claim absolute originality, director Joffé's nuanced look at the cultural milieu and the care with which he portrays the characters' relationships and internal struggles make this a worthwhile, enjoyable film.

"Roadhouse" and "Dirty Dancing" were both lots of fun, but for me this is Patrick Swayze's best performance, and one of my favorite films of its kind.


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