Brittany Runs a Marathon
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Just watched it again on TCM. VG. Great plot twist at end... stay awake for the two second shot of the train coach!
Excellent re-creation of 1947 India. Gardner's portrayal of the Anglo-Indian girl is quite compelling. This is one of the best films which I have ever seen.
Bhowani Junction is a decent film. It is about the Anglo-Indian Victoria Jones who seeks her true identity amid the chaos of the British withdrawal from India. Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. George Cukor did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the adventure and drama plus romance.
Good film set in a rarely visited time in Indian history, at least for Hollywood. I guess Gandhi is the other major film dealing with some of the same issues of the disentanglement of Britain from what had been the jewel in the crown of its empire and the consequences for those that felt neither fully British nor fully Indian, but had to choose whether to stay or go.
The John Masters book on which the film is based was written in the early 1950s, the events are of the late 40s and so the language and attitudes are of that time. it also features several British actors 'blacked up' to play Indians and Anglo-Indians. I suspect this sends TV schedulers into all sorts of dithers over political correctness, which means that the film isn't shown very often these days, which is a shame.
"Bhowani Junction" starts with General Savage(Stewart Granger) and Victoria Jones(Ava Gardner) having an emotional farewell at a train station in India in 1947. On the train ride to Calcutta, Savage explains to General Ackerby(Ronald Adam) how they came to be together, starting with a railroad strike when he extended her service as a WAC. The Communists use that peaceful disruption as a way of stealing a train load of dynamite.
For its time, "Bhowani Junction" is a sensitive and nuanced look at India at indpendepence with a particular respect for the non-violent protests.(I remember a history teacher mentioning the trick involving the untouchables. I hope this isn't where he got it from.) Of particular interest is Govindaswami's(Marne Maitland) statement about missing the British which is beautifully dripping with sarcasm. Plus, the movie seeks to explore identity in such complicated times and even takes a couple of shots at sexism. Granted, this was made at the height of the Cold War, so of course the Communists get to be the baddies, with a couple of performances out of the Raymond Massey school of melodramatic evil acting, but with no mention of the bloody mess that partition would soon make of the subcontinent.
good historical pic kinda departure from Cukor's usual movie fare.
The most expensive movie the studio made that year, but it doesn't work overall. A romance set against a backdrop of international turmoil, ala Casablanca, but not nearly as good. Obvious overdubbing to tell the story is needed, but falls short of intersting drama. Melodramatic, although beautiful Ava Gardner holds interest, but not enough. Train wreck scene is fantastic, and the Ghandi cameo is shocking. Should be redone now, good story, bad translation.
Interesting study on what it is to be a half caste - don't miss the scene where the protesters lie on the railroad track
George Cukor 1950's epic with an intelligent sense of storytelling.
I enjoyed this movie all the way through. I think Ava gave a pretty good performance. You can understand how's it like to be a half blooded, doesn't belong anywhere...