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

First time in lndia, Miss Quested?

- First time out of England.

- I envy you. New horizons.

Those are the Marabar Caves,

about 20 miles from you at Chandrapore.

I see.

Mrs Moore returns on the Rawalpindi

on May 1 2th and your return is open.

That is correct?

I'll be staying on... probably.

If you decide to return with Mrs Moore,

let us know as soon as possible.

I will.

Now, labels, stickers,

your ticket, Mrs Moore's ticket.

You should have an interesting voyage.

The viceroy's on board.

Tends to liven things up.

(military band plays)



I do think it's too bad of Ronny

not to be here to meet us.

- It is nearly a thousand miles.

- We've come 5,000 miles to meet him.

"No more than two annas each."

Thank you. Thank you.

Now... Victoria Station.


- Oh, dear.

- Don't worry.

- Mrs Moore?

- Yes.

I'm Mrs Turton.

My husband's the collector.

Oh... We gave our tickets

to the lndian gentleman.

The chief administrator of Chandrapore.

Ronny's "Burra Sahib".

You must be Adela.


Please forgive us, Mrs Turton.

We've had a very trying day.

We just wanted to welcome you

to the fold and to say... We're off.

We must have a drink or something later,

when you've recovered. Goodbye.

I believe you and Ronny met

in the Lake District, Miss Quested?

- Yes, we did.

- You must forgive me.

We have very few secrets in Chandrapore.

And I'm an incurable romantic.

Miss Quested was with her aunt

and I was with Ronny.

You know, Mrs Moore, Ronny's

doing splendidly. You'll be proud of him.

I'll second that.

He's become a proper sahib.

Just the type we want, if I might say so.

(train rumbles)

You know, Mr Turton,

when we get settled in,

we look forward to meeting some of

the lndians you come across socially

as friends.

Well, as a matter of fact,

we don't come across them socially.

They're full of all the virtues,

no doubt, but we don't.

East is East, Mrs Moore.

It's a question of culture.

Could Ronny really have become a sahib?

He could.

But that's why you've come here.

You'll find out soon enough.

She's a dreadful woman.


We'd better go to sleep, my dear.


Hello, Mother! Where's Adela?


I can't believe it.


(speaks Urdu)

Antony will see to the baggage. Forgive

me, I'm part of the reception committee.

Guards! Attention!

Sorry to desert you. We had to

welcome the great man back.

- I'd no idea he was so important.

- You hadn't?

(car horn)

(car horn)

(hoots repeatedIY)

Look out!

(car horn)

- That was Turton.

- Turton?

(car horn)

McBryde. When he first came, Hamidullah

said he was quite a good fellow.

But they all become exactly the same.

I give any Englishman two years.

- The women are worse.

- I give them six months.

Ronny, is that a body?

Yes. I'm sorry.

We'll soon be out of this.

Why do we spend so much time

discussing the English?

Because we admire them, Doctor Sahib.

That is the trouble.

Tomorrow night!


- Here we are, then.

- Very nice, dear.

- Are those the Marabar Hills?

- That's right.

- With the caves?

- I suppose so.

Look, you've got a busy day tomorrow.

Then we have a show at the club.

- Come on. Let's have tea.

- Yes.

(RonnY) Good night, Mother.

- (knocking)

- Yes?

- Good night, dear.

- Good night.

Having listened to the evidence,

I find you guilty of cheating

under Section 41 5

of the lndian Penal Code

and sentence you

to two months' hard labour.

You may take the prisoner down.

- Well, how did it all go?

- We must have seen everything.

Yes, the church, the hospital,

the war memorial, the barracks.

- 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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