Synopsis: This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who stood against British rule over his country. Dedicated to the concept of nonviolent resistance, Gandhi is initially dismissed by English officials, including the influential Lord Irwin (John Gielgud), but eventually he and his cause become internationally renowned, and his gatherings of passive protest move India towards independence.
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Won 8 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 20 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
191 min


The camera is moving toward an Indian city. We are high and

far away, only the sound of the wind as we grow nearer and

nearer, and through the passing clouds these words appear:

"No man's life can be encompassed in one telling. There is

no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include

each event, each person who helped to shape a lifetime. What

can be done is to be faithful in spirit to the record, and

to try to find one's way to the heart of the man..."

And now we are approaching the city, the squalor of the little

shanty dwellings around the outskirts, the shadows of large

factories... And as we move nearer, coursing over the parched

terrain, the tiny fields of cultivation, strands of sound

are woven through the main titles, borne on the wind, images

from the life we are seeking:

"Who the hell is he?!", lower class British: "I

don't know, sir."... "My name is Gandhi. Mohandas K.

Gandhi."... A woman's voice, tender, soft: "You are my best

friend, my highest guru... and my sovereign lord."... A man

"I am asking you to fight!"... An angry aristocratic

English voice:
"At home children are writing 'essays' about

him!"... the sound of massed rifle fire, screams...


And now we are over the city, coming in toward a particular

street in the affluent suburbs of New Delhi... there are a

few cars (it is 1948), and we are closing on a milling crowd

near the entrance to one of the larger homes.

We see saris, Indian tunics, a sprinkling of "Gandhi" caps,

several tongas (two-wheeled, horse-drawn taxis)... the shreds

of sound continue -- American woman, flirtatious, intimate:

"You're the only man I know who makes his own clothes."

Gandhi's laugh... The sound of rioting, women's cries and

screams of terror... An American voice: "This man of peace"...

And as the titles end we begin to pick up the sounds of the

street... an Australian and his wife, a BBC correspondent...

all in passing, as the camera finally closes and holds on

one young man:


Godse steps from a tonga as the crowd begins to move toward

an entrance-way at the back of a long wall.


He will be saying prayers in the

garden -- just follow the others.

In contrast to those about him, there is tension in Godse's

face, an air of danger in his movements.

He glances at two policemen who are talking casually, absorbed

in their own gossip -- then he looks back at another tonga

that pulls up just behind his. Two young men (Apte and

Karkare) meet Godse's gaze, and again we get the sense of

imminent danger.

They descend and pay their driver absently, their eyes

watching the crowd.

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John Briley

John Richard Briley is an American writer best known for screenplays of biographical films. He won the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay at the 1982 Oscars for Gandhi. more…

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Submitted by aviv on November 03, 2016

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    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Gandhi" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Jan. 2021. <>.

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