A Passage to India

Synopsis: Circa 1920, during the Indian British rule, Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed was born and brought up in India. He is proficient in English, and wears Western style clothing. He meets an old lady, Mrs. Moore, at a mosque, who asks him to accompany her and her companion, Adela Quested, for sight-seeing around some caves. Thereafter the organized life of Aziz is turned upside down when Adela accuses him of molesting her in a cave. Aziz is arrested and brought before the courts, where he learns that the entire British administration is against him, and would like to see him found guilty and punished severely, to teach all native Indians what it means to molest a British citizen. Aziz is all set to witness the "fairness" of the British system, whose unofficial motto is "guilty until proved innocent."
Director(s): David Lean
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 26 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
164 min

- Mr Hadley was most thorough.

- Splendid. And now you're off to the club.


My dear, life rarely gives us what we want

at the moment we consider appropriate.

Adventures do occur,

but not punctually.

Doctor Sahib, when are we

going to get you married?

I have enough responsibilities, Auntie.

We ask the poor fellow to dinner,

avail ourselves of his professional skills,

- and you always bring up this question.

- It is the least I can do.

This should put a stop to the trouble.

And, Begum Sahiba, I beg you once more

not to drink water out of a tap.

Please to boil it, boil it, boil it!

And now we can eat. Selim!

(both speak Urdu)

Why must you always bring up

this question of marriage?

He sends the children nearly all his salary

and lives like a low-grade clerk.

What more do you require?

This chitty has just arrived for you

from Major Callendar.

I am to report to his bungalow posthaste.

And my bicycle has a puncture.

The major sahib left half an hour ago.

- And left no message?

- No message.

Mrs Lesley, it is a tonga. Come!

Oh, how splendid.

I suppose this is all right?

My dear, never look a gift-horse in

the mouth, particularly in this country.


Club, tonga wallah! Club!

Why doesn't the fool move?

I pay you tomorrow.

(women giggle)

Will you please...


(leaves rustling)

Madam, this is a mosque.

You have no right here.

- You should have taken off your shoes.

- But I have taken off my shoes.

I left them outside.

Then I... I ask your pardon.

- Let me go.

- Madam.

I am right, am I not?

If I remove my shoes, I am allowed?

Of course.

But so few ladies take the trouble.

Especially if thinking

no one is here to see.

God is here.

God is here.

That is very fine.

May I know your name?

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David Lean

Sir David Lean, CBE (25 March 1908 – 16 April 1991) was an English film director, producer, screenwriter and editor, responsible for large-scale epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and A Passage to India (1984). He also directed adaptations of Charles Dickens novels Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), as well as the romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945). Originally starting out as a film editor in the early 1930s, Lean made his directorial debut with 1942's In Which We Serve, which was the first of four collaborations with Noël Coward. Beginning with Summertime in 1955, Lean began to make internationally co-produced films financed by the big Hollywood studios; in 1970, however, the critical failure of his film Ryan's Daughter led him to take a fourteen-year break from filmmaking, during which he planned a number of film projects which never came to fruition. In 1984 he had a career revival with A Passage to India, adapted from E. M. Forster's novel; it was an instant hit with critics but proved to be the last film Lean would direct. Lean's affinity for striking visuals and inventive editing techniques has led him to be lauded by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Ridley Scott. Lean was voted 9th greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute Sight & Sound "Directors' Top Directors" poll in 2002. Nominated seven times for the Academy Award for Best Director, which he won twice for The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, he has seven films in the British Film Institute's Top 100 British Films (with three of them being in the top five) and was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1990. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"A Passage to India" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_passage_to_india_15643>.

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