Others in this noteworthy long cast: Maria Ouspensakaya, who is stunningly great as the Maharani, H.B. Warner, as his husband the Maharajah, Ranchipur's Ruler, Joseph Schildkraut, as an "occidentalized" Indian, Mr. Bannerjee, Jane Darwell (who the same year acted in GWTW), as "Aunt" Phoebe Smiley, a down-to-earth American woman who lives in the Mission, Henry Travers (the future "angel" of Capra's 1946 "It's a Wonderful Life") as her husband Mr.Read more ›
I think in every department the film is stunning. The entire Indian city built on the Fox back lot (no [bad] computer generated special effects here!!!) is amazing and the stunning effects of the earthquake and flood quite rightly won the 1939 Academy Award for best special effects (no mean effort that year considering the number of classic turned out that year!!)
The performances are also of great interest. Unlike past reviewers I think they are excellent. Myrna Loy putting aside her perfect wife persona gives a great performance as the spoilt socialite bored with life in general who falls head over heels for tyrone Power's Indian doctor. Nigel Bruce as Myrna's husband is the real surprise of the film performing totally against type as a character who is arrogant, selfish and down right vicious who in the end gets his just desserts. George Brent normally so stiff on screen also delivers a strong heart felt performance which shows what he was capable of given good direction and a good story to work with. Finally there has been much talk of Tyrone Power playing an Indian doctor in the story. Frankly I think he is perfect in the role and not only looks stunning but is spot on in his characterisation of the young dedicated doctor torn between his duty and his growing love for Loy.
A grand time is assured watching this great classic and I find I get something new from it with each screening. It's a great example of what Hollwood was capable of at its peek, enjoy!!
It should not have gotten a one star review
I give this three stars only because Tyrone Power did look pretty groovy in the Indian outfits, and the "cute little moustache and the big dark eyes" added to the effect. Otherwise I would have taken off two stars and given it one because I couldn't give it less.
One thing that was interesting was how George Brent really reminded me of Rhett Butler, meaning that he could have taken Clark Gable's role and been equally effective. Something about him in this movie. Don't know what exactly... because I've seen him in other movies and he never struck me as a Rhett possibility.
Myrna Loy did so many better roles... in The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bachelor and the Bobby-soxer, and even Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House was made tolerable because her role was the best one. Here she wasn't anything much.
None of the characters were very well-developed and I would have liked to have seen more Henry Travers. Oh well. All I can say is... maybe you'll like this movie more than I did. I just can't recommend it very highly somehow...