North West Frontier

Synopsis: In northwestern India soon after the turn of the 20th Century, Moslem rebels seek to kill a six-year-old Hindu prince to end his family line. Captain Scott of the British Army is ordered to get the prince out of the region safely. Adventure ensues as Scott sneaks the child away, through Moslem-held territory, by train. Also on board are the boy's American governess, an arms merchant, a cynical reporter, and two upper class Britons.
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director(s): J. Lee Thompson
Production: 20th Century Fox
129 min

(Man) 'This is India.

The North West Frontier province. 1905.

'A country of many religions.

'Men find many reasons

for killing each other -

'greed, revenge, jealousy

'or perhaps because they worship God

by different names.

'Rebel fanatics are gathering in the hills.

'Their objective -

to kill a six-year-old boy

'because he is a prince

and the future leader of his people.

'His father, the Maharajah,

has appealed to us, the British,

'asking us to take his son

to the garrison town of Haserabad

'and then to send him to safety in Delhi.'

(Warlike shouting)



(Train whistle blows)

(Bugle call echoes)

(Distant shouting)




Ra! Ra! Rata cha!

Ra! Ra! Rata cha! Rata cha!

(Cannons boom)

Peechi jao! Peechi jao!

There's another gate along to the left!

For heaven's sake,

keep that door open.

Peechi! Peechi! Keep back!

I'm frightfully sorry, sir.

B Company. They gave it the right name.

Have they held the last train?

No, sir. They wouldn't have got away.

Damn! We'd better report.

- Still with me?

- Yes. For better or worse.

(Speaks Urdu)

- Yes, sahib.

- He'll be all right.

Of course. His people

have always been soldiers.

Sorry, there's no more I can do...

Captain Scott!

I demand an immediate escort away.

I'm so glad you got through.

We've been worried.

Mrs Wyatt, this is Mr Bridie.

He does all the work around here.

- His Excellency wants to see you.

- I'll report at once.

Will you come with me please,

Mrs Wyatt?

You don't seem to realise

that I am a British citizen. Look!

We're all British citizens,

Mr Peters, even without papers.

It's unforgivable I wasn't warned.

There's a cable office.

The lines were cut. Into the ballroom.

See Lady Windham.

I insist. You must take me

to the Governor at once!

There's nothing he can do.

The last train's gone.

I'm not blaming you. Having Mrs Wyatt

with you can't have made it any quicker.

She did pretty well, sir.

Not my idea of a governess.

Her husband was a fine doctor.

Saved the boy's life when he was a baby.

- We couldn't get him to leave.

- I didn't expect you would.

The important thing is Prince Kishan.

Delhi sent a special order -

get him out at once. Seems I've failed.

- (Knock on door)

- Yes?

- General Ames.

- Come in, Charles.

- You're a bit late.

- Scott did his best.

- Where's the boy, sir?

- In the library.

(Music box tinkles)

Your Highness, welcome to my home.

- Thank you, Your Excellency.

- He's very tired.

Mrs Wyatt, I met your husband

in Bombay. This is General Ames.

The last train has gone. We held it

for His Highness as long as we dared.

I promised I'd take him to safety.

I promised his father.

- He'll be safe here.

- What makes you think that?

This isn't an ordinary tribal uprising.

It's far bigger.

- We have no reason to believe so.

- I'm telling you.

Princes who fight each other

are on the same side.

- Rasjad, Hussein, even Rahim.

- She's perfectly right, sir.

If you'd have acted on my message

three days ago,

Prince Kishan would be safe.

- We are the best judges of that.

- I disagree.

The British never seem to do anything

until they've had tea.


I'm sorry, but that's the way

it seems to America.

Please forgive me.

Nobody told me you'd come.

My dear, you might have sent word.

Your Highness. Mrs Wyatt, isn't it?

I've heard of you.

- How do you do?

- The child looks exhausted.

So do you, Captain Scott.

I'm sure you're dying for a bath.

- I certainly am.

- I'll show you to your rooms.

- Thank you, Captain Scott.

- You're a good soldier.

You'll have to forgive me

for speaking my mind

but I believe that's what it's for.

Hussein, Rasjad and Rahim

fighting together.

- It's possible she's wrong, sir.

- I wish she was.

- Go and get some rest.

- Thank you, sir.

(Shouts command)

(Clicking of rifles loading)


They've captured the railway gates,

so we're under siege.

- Can we hold out?

- If we get reinforcements.

- If we don't?

- We haven't a hope.

Prince Kishan must be got out.

Delhi made it clear we must save him

if it's the last thing we did.

- It may be the last thing we do.

- Captain Scott here yet?

- He's waiting.

- Send him in, please.

(Ames) The boy is only a figurehead.

(Sir John) His family have been

a "figurehead" for generations.

It's our only chance of restoring order.

- You think he's that important?

- I know he is.

He's the religious and political

leader of thousands of Hindus.

- (Knocking)

- Come in.

These rebels are Moslems.

If they had managed to kill him,

if they still manage to kill him,

the Hindus will have no leader.

It'll be civil war. Worse than the Mutiny.

All right, Scott.

What are the chances of getting

the Prince to Kalapur in safety?

I'm sorry. His Excellency

didn't request your presence.

The subject under discussion affects

me more closely than anybody else here.

Mrs Wyatt's perfectly right.

Can you get him to Kalapur?

- The last train has gone.

- The army doesn't need engines.

- What about horses?

- No chance. We had to leave ours.

- They've got a sniper on every hill.

- But you got through.

- Yes, sir. Before they closed in.

- Yes, that's right.

I'm afraid the Prince

will have to stay here.

He'll be quite safe.

We're expecting reinforcements.

I'm beginning to understand

British people.

You really mean it won't be safe

and reinforcements won't get here.

My dear lady, you don't understand.

No. It's a good way of looking at things.

It just takes a little getting used to.

- Thank you, Scott.

- Sir.

(Cannons pound)

- It's no use your waiting, Mr Peters.

- When can I see him?

The Governor is very busy.

I shall lodge a complaint

when I get to Delhi!

If you get to Delhi!

See, sahib? Very plenty of the steam.

But is it coming

from the right places, Gupta?

What right places?

Victoria is old, I confess that.

But she has experience and when she

has experience, nothing can go wrong.

(Whistle shrieks)

(Clank, whistle stops)

It is not the fault of Victoria.

I asked them last week,

and last month I asked them 17 times,

to give me one day for repair.

But no. They said Victoria is old

and no good except for shunting.

Nobody understands.

Kalapur's over 300 miles away.

What is 300 miles to this engine, sahib?

You know what she did

in the Karachi run?

- Two times in one week!

- Yes, but how many years ago?

Look at the boiler. Not even one leak.

Not an inch of steam is escaping from it.

If the boiler's good,

the whole engine is good.

Look for yourself if not believing Gupta.

That is only the piston bearing

which is not good.

That is why one half

of the steam is escaping.

That's all that's wrong?

Gupta has been for 30 years

in the railway service.

- You think Gupta don't know?

- No, Gupta. I think you do know.

- We shall need a coach.

- There is no one but that one.

- But that's broken down.

- Broken.

What about those wheels? Will they fit?

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Robin Estridge

Robin Estridge, a.k.a. Robin York and Philip Loraine (1 May 1920 – 24 October 2002) was a British author of suspense fiction and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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