A Passage to India

A Passage to India

DVD - 2000
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While on a trip in 1928 to visit her son, Mrs. Moore, accompanied by her son's fiancee, is appalled at the treatment of the Indians by the ruling British government. Later, they befriend a native Indian who, over-stepping the accepted norms of his culture, invites the two ladies on an excursion. In a strange turn of events, he is accused of attempting to rape the young woman.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Columbia Tristar Home Video, 2000
Edition: Digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen version
ISBN: 9780767859868
Branch Call Number: DVD PAS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (164 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in


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Nov 24, 2020

Beautifully realized except in the few places where studio backdrops stick out like sore thumbs, David Lean's last film was enough of a labor of love that he decided to serve as editor as well as director. He began his career in earnest as an editor, and their montage is nearly always the finest aspect of his movies--not that Lean sloughed off in any other aspect, though I've never been comfortable with the Maurice Jarre scores he used in all his later work (Lawrence of Arabia is probably the best of them). Lean got good performances from excellent actors, though I always have reservations about Alec Guinness. Lean also wrote the screenplay for A Passage to India, taking sole credit for it. He changes Forster's opening of the novel by beginning with Mrs. Moore and Adela's journey to Chandrapore, starting at ship-boarding in England, thereby placing the English characters in focus at the expense of the Indians, who are focal in the novel in the beginning and thereafter more often than any of the English except Adela and Fielding. It's a decision that ultimately trivializes the Indians, whereas Forster does much to communicate their intelligence, motives, and religious differences; Prof. Godbole, in particular, is much more consequential than in the film, though Guinness isn't to blame, he's just not supported by the script. The film's great distinction is that he realizes the grandeur and sheer size of the context of dramatic action that in the novel remains largely a cabinet-scale tragicomedy of manners; this is the right way to convey this story on the screen, offering an "epic" quality apposite to the drama's issues of colonialist and racist presumptuousness. --Ray Olson

Sep 08, 2020

I guess back in 1984 this was considered to be a sweeping epic or something but today it just seems old and dated. The technology looks different and the acting and dialogue is just odd. Somebody please say something for goodness sake! I would like to see a new version with current actors and maybe extend it to a 4-episode mini-series. Maybe that would work. The story was decent of course.

Sep 13, 2019

VERY GOOD 1984 British-American epic historical drama film written, directed and edited by David Lean. For whatever reason, I did kind of lose touch with the dramatic meanderings at the end - wasn't, um, clear to me what actually happened in the cave, etc. - still, there was lots of great cinematography and more as film progressed.

Jul 19, 2018

If David Lean hadn't made this film it's probable the Merchant Ivory team would have made it their project. It's difficult to imagine how James Ivory's treatment of the book would have differed from Lean's. The main departure from the book is Adela Quested's sexual awakening in the ruined temple., I imagine Lean had trouble convincing the Cambridge dons to go along with this departure (based on Forster's aversion to having his book made into a film). Edward Morgan Forster was gay of course, so, based on the credo that a great author can only write what he knows, Forster may have had difficulty getting Adela's chemistry right. All in all, a beautifully made film, Lean ought to have been content for it to be his swan song.

Jul 18, 2018

utterly offensive on so many levels, it's racist, misogynist, colonialist, at even the level of its conception, though it sports excellent production values, from acting, through cinematography, to a wondrous variety of representative, and artful, colours - and Alec Guinness, as an Indian guru, is a total delight, nearly worth putting up with the rest of the nonsense

May 13, 2018

Beautiful scenery of escapism to India in the colony British reign where East Indian are lower class people in "white" eyes. Bullying is stated early in film and then when a open minded native teaches the white of his culture; food, elephant ride and the magical caves; the native is entrapment to the whites to death sentence to the "white lyes-- tongue and check here."

Trailer is a must see too.....

Feb 08, 2018

First, there are very few depictions of the 20's... In the 20's, films were still silent, and, television hasn't covered the era. On the down side: this film shows some of what our recent history did that we now feel was reprehensible. In one way; it is depicted how being nice is not rewarded, instead being nice is punished.

The big question is, why hasn't Ancient Aliens covered these interesting caves carved out of stone.

I recognized Alec Guinness's voice as soon as he spoke; though he plays a fairly elderly Indian character.

Though there are peculiar twists in this movie, and you are forced/awakened to see how people were treated far too recently, it is a movie well worth watching.

Jan 26, 2018

Directed by David Lean in 1984 based on the play of the same name by Santha Rama Rau, which was based on the novel of the same name by E.M. Forster, this British period drama delves into a profoundly personal story of love, friendship and class struggle in 1928 India.
Set against a tumultuous Indian cultural background and exotic scenery, the film appears both less mysterious and more cryptic than the book.
It remains a wonderfully provocative tale, full of vivid characters, all played to near perfection.
Played by Judy Davis, Miss Adela Quested seems quite attracted and inspired by the sensual, loving and intriguing stone statues of ancient Indian couples.
The central riddle must be related to this experience of hers.
It is definitely well worth watching for fans of the director's epic style.

Oct 08, 2015

Based on E M Forster's novel, directed by David Lean. Wonderful cast.Highly recommended for a picture of life in India in the later years of British rule.

7duffy Mar 06, 2015

A sweeping epic from David Lean and nobody does those anymore (or better). A bit long and drawn out in the beginning (could be construed as boring), but picks ups mid-way through the film. Decent story with many elements in play, set against English occupation of India in the 1920's. I wasn't sure if there were some feelings between Judy Davis's character & Dr. Aziz and I wasn't going to go back to watch and find out. The cast is excellent. Look for Alec Guinness as a Hindu Obi Wan Kenobe.

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May 13, 2018

Colony British bullying the natives in their own country. Prior to Gandhi arrival


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Apr 23, 2012

British teacher, Richard Fielding: Godbole, have you grasped that Aziz is in prison?
Professor Godbole, a Brahmin: Yes, yes. …
F: Then, how can you be so indifferent? Don’t you care what happens to him?
G: Yes, yes, but it is of no consequence whether I care or do not care. The outcome is already decided.
F: Destiny …karma.
G: Just so, Mr. Fielding. We are all part of a pattern we can’t perceive. …
F: At this moment my only interest is to do something for Aziz.
G: Excuse me, but nothing you do will change the outcome.
F: So do nothing? Is that your philosophy?
G: My philosophy is: You can do what you like but the outcome will be the same.
A few scenes later Mrs. Moore, the chaperone of Adela Quested, the victim, and her son, the local magistrate and Ms. Quested’s fiancé, argue about the incident:
Ronny Heaslop: What about Adela?
M: I like Adela. She has character.
R: Don’t you want to help her?
M: Nothing I can say or do will make the least difference.

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