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Gunga Din (1939)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 5,938

My Rating

Movie Info

Though Rudyard Kipling's poem Gunga Din makes a swell recital piece, it cannot be said to have much of a plot. It's simply a crude cockney soldier's tribute to a native Indian water boy who remains at his job even after being mortally wounded. Hardly the sort of material upon which to build 118 minutes' worth of screen time-at least, it wasn't until RKO producer Pandro S. Berman decided to convert Gunga Din into an A-budgeted feature film. Now it became the tale of three eternally brawling


Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy

Fred Guiol

Dec 7, 2004

Turner Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (2) | DVD (8)

Stevens's deliberate pacing serves the comedy remarkably well, although the action scenes are blunted by too-careful compositions and artsy cutting.

November 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a pretty spiffing adventure yarn, with some classically staged fights, terrific performances.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An entertaining, if antiquated feature made all the better by the three well-appointed leads.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

One of the better adventure movies from the 1930s.

February 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Classic George Stevens adventure starring Cary Grant, and great cast.

March 8, 2008

As breezy as the pipe playing Seaforth Highlanders marching to battle without a care in the world.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A little jingoistic today, the film is nonetheless a critical standard-bearer of historical adventure flicks, and a quite funny one too.

March 27, 2005 Full Review Source:

If PC backlash makes such classics like Gunga Din difficult to revisit, so be it. At this point, there's no getting around it.

March 7, 2005 Full Review Source:

The best one could ever say for it is that its hinges were once merely creaky instead of frozen.

February 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

This hugely exciting adventure film was one of director George Stevens' last pure entertainments before he went off to war and came back as a 'serious' filmmaker.

February 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Gunga Din has served as the inspiration for countless adventure yarns over the decades.

December 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Like the poem, the movie is sentimental and corny and totally absurd, and we wouldn't want it any other way. This is grand and exhilarating filmmaking that's hard to resist.

December 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

It is mostly tongue-in-cheek.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

The touchstone of grand adventure.

August 30, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A really good movie. Watch this and 'Temple of Doom' back-to-back and you'll see a striking similarity!

August 29, 2002
Juicy Cerebellum

Classic action adventure--maybe the best ever.

August 7, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Gunga Din has a bit of everything -- humor, suspense, spectacle, action and a heavy dose of racism, imperialism and xenophobia.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Gunga Din

Cary Grant and company ruin a lot of brown peoples' days, 1800s-style. Loosely based on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, follows three british military officers as they party and fight their way through Indian deserts. When they're not getting drunk and beating up each other, the three army pals are taking on the thugee cult, fist-pummeling dozens upon dozens of angry thugs. Gunga Din is a fun movie, and it was apparently a huge inspiration to Steven Spielberg, as it was a source of major inspiration for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".
August 31, 2011
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

This movie was better than I expected, and I loved Cary Grant in the movie, it was the ending that I liked best. The movie has some boring scenes, and the story is a bit silly. I wasn't sure what to rate this movie, you'll have to see it for yourself.
September 20, 2010

Super Reviewer

Rudyard Kipling's poem is translated to the screen by the pulsatile direction of George Stevens.
The best thing about this classic adventure is the chemistry between the great actors involved in it, they are all charming and funny, a magnificent triumvirate formed by Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Victor McLaglen; with special mention to Sam Jaffe as their humble and valiant waterboy Gunga Din.
Along with 'The man who would be king' this is probably the peak of the "colonial" adventure movies, in both are explored always relevant themes like greed, vital quest and the value of friendship.
Sheer and unadulterated joy.
February 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Now you're all under arrest. You too, and you know why. Her Majesty's very touchy about having her subjects strangled.

Cary Grant stars in this 30s adventure flick based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It involves a few British soldiers in India during the 19th century who act more like musketeers.

They mainly want to have a good time together, getting into squabbles, fighting there way out of things. Grant plays the one who seeks treasure, and finds the key to getting it, except for a ruthless cult that gets in the way.

This is just a great movie about having fun. Very old school, but there's no school like the old school.

Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Well if it ain't young toad face. Fancy meeting you here.
Guru: Vile dog! For that insolence you shall grovel before my son. You shall grovel, I say!
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Look here! I'm a soldier of her Majesty, the Queen. I don't grovel before any 'eathen.
Guru: Tabul, take him to the tower and teach him the error of false pride. Take him away!
June 28, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Guru: I want to find out about your Army.
    2. Archibald Cutter: Why don't you enlist, mate!
    – Submitted by Carla D (18 months ago)
    1. Archibald Cutter: You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Gunga Din (1939) (DE)
  • Gunga Din (1939) (UK)
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