You’re a better man than I am…

Hello my dears! I’m thrilled to be continuing the film review chain started by Wendymoon of Movie Viewing Girl today (and Cary, Victor & Doug are just as thrilled as I am!).

Look at our chain so far:

Link #1: The Women (1939) by Wendymoon.
Link #2: Private Lives (1931) by Kate Gabrielle.
Link #3: Letty Lynton (1944) by KC.
Link #4: Madame Curie (1944) by Amanda Cooper.
Link #5: Monkey Business (1952) by Sally

and Link #6: Gunga Din (1939) by Casey – me!

The rules of the chain state that each film must be linked to the previous one by actor, actress, director, theme, or some other factor. My link to Monkey Business is Cary Grant and he brings us to Gunga Din.

The story opens with our trio battling and flattening a rival regiment in a bar fight. Soldiers are thrown from windows, rolled down stairs and have bottles cracked over their noggins. It’s a whirlwind scene that sets the lightening pace for the film which never stops straight to the end. The overall themes are friendship, duty and love with duty and love clashing as DFJ tries to mix the two. The plot seems predictable enough as the film begins, but I think you’ll be surprised by the twists and turns and where the boys finally end up. Remember Cary Grant’s slightly unscrupulous sidekick in His Girl Friday? He makes an appearance in this film, but not at all how you would expect!

One of the reasons I chose Gunga Din is of course because it stars my eternal crush Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I was *shocked, shocked* (in my best Claude Rains voice) to find that my dear honorary niece Millie has not seen it yet! Even though she has promised faithfully to watch it soon, I thought I’d give her some encouragement. So in true Millie-esque fashion, my alternate title for this post is:

Why Millie Should Watch Gunga Din, NOW!

Reason #1: the cast.

Starring DFJ, Cary Grant and Victor McLaglen, Gunga Din is the ultimate adventure spectacle with enough action and exotic scenery to satisfy even a hardcore Black Swan fan like Miss Millie. And besides, this is my beloved Douglas Fairbanks, Jr at the height of his handsomeness. Honestly. Judge for yourself. I think there are few men who could don a form-fitting white uniform and lend it as much grandeur as DFJ does:

Cary Grant speaks throughout the film with a cockney accent, a stark contrast to the suave, sophisticated accent we know him for now. Other stellar attractions in the cast are Sam Jaffe, Joan Fontaine (more on her in a moment…) and Cecil Kellaway in a bit role.

I think Sam Jaffe ought to have the nickname of “The Chameleon”. He was one of the most versatile actors in classic Hollywood, bringing life to the insane Grand Duke Peter in The Scarlet Empress, the humble Indian water boy in our film and the hardened master criminal in The Asphalt Jungle. It took me several years and many viewings of Gunga Din and The Asphalt Jungle to finally realize Sam Jaffe was the same man in both. Oh and interesting fun fact: Sam Jaffe was 47 years old when he played the role of Din.

Reason #2: Cary Grant’s jail scene (pictured above)

No matter how many times I’ve treated myself to a viewing of Gunga Din, I never tire of watching Cary Grant connive his way out of Military Prison with the help of Gunga Din. I’m not giving away anything else, but I guarantee you won’t be able to keep a straight face when you watch it.

Reason #3: The Ball (pictured above)

While unsuspecting ladies waltz gracefully with our boys, Cary & Victor are plotting mayhem and hilarity ensues! Poor DFJ is the object of the mission, but he gets a few digs back at them before all is said and done.

Reason #4: Opinion of Emmy (as played by Joan Fontaine)

All right, allow me to begin this reason with a disclaimer: I adore Joan Fontaine. I think she is extremely lovely, her accent is to die for and she always comes off as terribly sweet in her roles. But, I simply can’t bear her in Gunga Din.

You see, a significant part of the plot revolves around her romance with DFJ. She’s a clingy, annoying fiancee who is standing between DFJ and the career he has always wanted. She wants him to marry her, settle down and become a coffee farmer. A coffee farmer! No, it’s just not DFJ.

Well, being that I am a zealous DFJ fan, I wonder if these feelings are merely me being “peanut butter and jealous” (one of Sarah’s phrases as quoted to me by Millie) or if others feel this way too. I’d be most grateful to anyone who’d like to chime in with their thoughts on Emmy.


April 17, 2010 UPDATE: Millie succumbed to Gunga Din fever last night and is now a DFJ convert! :D


And now, we need another link! If you want to add the next link in the chain, here are the rules, as laid out by Wendymoon:

1. Call dibs on doing the next review in the comments. First one to speak up gets it, others will have to wait to join up to the next link in the chain! (Chains usually only link one at a time, after all. It’s not a movie review tree.)

2. Write your own review of another movie (it should be one not yet used in the chain) and post it on your blog. Make sure the link to the previous review is made clear and that you link back to the original post where the chain began (so we can keep track of how the chain grows). The link can be an actor or actress, director, or something more creative (like a theme).

3. Include the rules of how to continue the chain, and let someone else continue it!



Filed under Film Bloggers, Movie Review, Tags & Awards

11 responses to “You’re a better man than I am…

  1. Oh my! I feel honored! A post JUST for me! ;-D

    Well, after that wonderful review…I am so watching it. Like immediately. I’ve been meaning to, for a rather long time (I’m not gonna tell you HOW long I’ve have the VHS, because it would probably slightly upset you…hehehe)!

    I really can’t wait!

    And LOVERLY review! And excellent job for using peanut butter and jealous….my new favorite phrase! Haha!

  2. Can I call dibs on this one?! I would like to do a post on a Sam Jaffe movie.

    Oh man. Maybe I should watch Gunga Din too. I’m on the Millie boat with that one. Great post Casey!

  3. Miss Millie! Yay, yay!! I honestly think you will love it. And I want a report on your thoughts of DFJ, especially being this is your first full DFJ film!

    Raquelle– Oh yes, please do claim it! I can’t wait to read your Sam Jaffe post! Gunga Din is enjoyable beyond anything I can describe, so please do give it a chance. Let me know what you think!

  4. I think your list would make anyone want to watch this film, not just Millie.

    It’s great to see the Movie chain growing! Thanks for participating. :-)

  5. Hooray!! Wonderful post! The movie review chain review lives on! It’s so exciting! This was a great review. I love the list. I’m definitely going to have to add this to my Netflix queue.

  6. Sarah– Thanks! I’m thrilled to have introduced you to one of my favorite DFJ films. :)

    Wendymoon– Why thank you! I’m glad to see the chain continue, too. Can’t wait to see what Raquelle cooks up!

  7. I want to revive this chain! As far as I can tell this is where it ended?? I couldn’t find Raquelle’s post on her site. I know it’s been a year but why not pick it back up, it’s such a great idea! I’d love to add a post to the chain.

  8. Hi Stephanie! I believe this is where the series ended, so please do go ahead and pick up where I left off! Please leave me a link to your post when you have it up. :D And thank you for wanting to revive the series!


  9. Yay, I’m glad to see the revival! Can’t wait to see Stephanie’s post.

  10. Pingback: Film Review: Giant | Rock Hudson Blog

  11. Here is my link for the chain…

    It’s a review of the 1956 classic GIANT, starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.

    The connection is it was directed by George Stevens, who also directed Gunga Din. Thanks again for the great idea Wendymoon!

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