The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)




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Gary Cooper stars in this rousing adventure saga of three British officers of the 41st Regiment of Bengal Lancers of India. The story begins as Lt. McGregor (Gary Cooper) accepts two new officers to his company -- the brash Lt. Fortesque (Franchot Tone) and Lt. Stone (Richard Cromwell), the son of the garrison's commander, Col. Stone (Guy Standing). In an effort not to show favoritism, Stone's father barely acknowledges his son during a parade of the new officers. Lt. Stone resents this treatment by his father and becomes embittered at both his dad and the British army. McGregor is ordered to search for a British spy, Lt. Barrett (Colin Tapley), who has infiltrated the army of crazed chieftain Mohammed Khan (Douglas Dumbrille). The three officers find Barrett, who tells them Khan is planning an uprising against the British, utilizing the mountain tribes for a massive assault. Lt. Stone finds himself captured by the rebels and is taken to Mohammed Khan's mountain fortress to be tortured. Stone's father refuses to send in the lancers to save his son, reasoning that his son was captured to lure the British forces to their doom. Disguising themselves as Indian peddlers, McGregror and Fortesque go off to rescue Stone. But they are soon discovered and taken to Mohammed Khan's lair to be tortured, with Khan telling McGregor, "We have ways of making men talk." Mohammed wants the soldiers to tell him where a shipment of ammunition will be delivered. McGregor and Fortesque withstand the torture without divulging the location, but Lt. Stone cracks and tells Khan what he wants to know. The three officers see the ammunition delivered to Khan's fortress, but then they hear Col. Stone and 300 lancers have arrived outside of Khan's gates.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Gary Cooper
as Lt. Alan McGregor
Franchot Tone
as Lt. John Forsythe
Richard Cromwell
as Lt. Donald Stone
Guy Standing
as Col. Stone
C. Aubrey Smith
as Maj. Hamilton
Monte Blue
as Hamzulia Khan
Kathleen Burke
as Tania Volkanskaya
Colin Tapley
as Lt. Barrett
Douglas Dumbrille
as Mohammed Khan
Douglass Dumbrille
as Mohammed Khan
Jameson Thomas
as Hendrickson
Noble Johnson
as Ram Singh
Lumsden Hare
as Maj. Gen. Woodley
J. Carroll Naish
as Grand Vizier
Rollo Lloyd
as The Ghazi, a Prisoner
Charles Stevens
as McGregor's Servant
Bhogwan Singh
as Nuim Shah
Mischa Auer
as Afridi
Clive Morgan
as Lt. Norton
Eddie Das
as Servant
Leonid Kinskey
as Snake Charmer
Hussain Hasri
as Muezzin
James Warwick
as Lt. Gilhooley
George Regas
as Kushal Khan
Sam Harris
as British Officer
Carlie Taylor
as British Officer
James Bell
as Indian Officer
Jamiel Hasson
as Indian Officer
Ram Singh
as Indian Officer
Alexander Ikonnikoff
as Indian Officer
F.A. Armenta
as Indian Officer
Claude King
as Experienced Clerk
Ray Cooper
as Assistant to Grand Vizier
Myra Kinch
as Solo Dancer
Lya Lys
as Girl on Train
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

All Critics (5)

One of the most exciting action-adventures of the 1930s (perhaps of all time), catapulting Gary Cooper to major stardom.

Full Review… | March 18, 2009

A rousing adventure story in the Kiplingesque fashion.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Pretty good, but it should have been great.

June 23, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) Along the same lines as Gunga Din (1939) in British Imperial India only with other actors, Captain McGregor (Gary Cooper), and the new recruits who just arrived, Lt. John Forsythe (Franchot Tone) and Lt. Donald Stone (Richard Cromwell) who is the young son of the Commanding Officer, Colonel Stone (Guy Standing). There is humor, but this film lacks the comedy of Gunga Din. It deals more with serious maters of taming Northern India and interpersonal relations between the soldiers. Although it shows exotic Tania Volkanskaya (Kathleen Burke) who is sort of a spy, we really don't see much of her and it's mostly our gallant soldiers getting into mischief and doing some serious soldiering against the evil Hamzulla Kahn (Monte Blue) and his puppet Emir (Akim Tamiroff). And, I can't go without mentioning my favorite British stereotype, C. Aubrey Smith as Major Hamiiton. This film may have been doomed to the public domain but the DVD has been included in the Gary Cooper Collection box set.

Rick Rudge
Rick Rudge

Another tale of the heroic white guy in the midst of terrifying dark people. Not terribly great without the wooden Gary Cooper, pretty terrible with the block of wood.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

★★★1/2 (out of four) Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, and Douglas Dumbrille star in this captivating 1935 film loosely based on thr 1930 book by Francis Yeats-Brown. The plot focuses on a group of British soldiers defending the borders of India against rebellious natives. Cooper plays Lt McGregor. He and his soldiers are given the task to find a British spy who has infiltrated the army of Mohammed Khan. They learn about a massice attack planned by Khan. Exciting and well made.A great early film from Gary Cooper. [IMG][/IMG]

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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