Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Gunga Din (1939)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gunga Din (1939)

In director George Stevens' legendary adventure film, about the struggles of three British Sergents and their native water bearer Gunga Din against the hostile, fanatical cultish Thuggee in the NW Frontier of colonial British India (in the 1880s):

  • the scene of Sgt. Archibald Cutter (Cary Grant) dangling a man out a window as he was commanded: "Take your hands off that man"
  • the image and character of loyal, spindly-legged Indian water carrier Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe)
  • the memorable scene of wounded Gunga Din's bugle warning atop the gold dome of a temple, just in time to sound the alarm to warn approaching British forces that they were about to be ambushed by the Thuggees; he struggled to ascend to the top of the temple's gold dome, after taking a bugle from a dead Thugee cult member - yet as he blew the bugle, he was shot dead
Gunga Din's Sacrificial Death While Blowing Bugle Warning

  • Gunga Din's sacrificial death warranted his induction into the British army as a British corporal during his funeral ceremony, marked by the posthumous reading of a tribute to him by Colonel Weed (Montagu Love) - (the last stanza of Rudyard Kipling's classic poem): ("Yes, Din! Din! Din! You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din! Tho' I've belted you and flayed you By the living God that made you You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!")
  • the last image of the film - the smiling spirit of Gunga Din in uniform and giving a salute - superimposed over the numerous funeral pyres

Gunga Din's Funeral Ceremony - Posthumous Tribute

Gunga Din's Spirit Saluting


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