Bhowani Junction (film)

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Bhowani Junction
Bhowani Junction.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by George Cukor
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Sonya Levien
Ivan Moffat
Based on Bhowani Junction 
by John Masters
Starring Ava Gardner
Stewart Granger
Bill Travers
Abraham Sofaer
Francis Matthews
Lionel Jeffries
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Cinematography Freddie Young
Editing by George Boemler
Frank Clarke
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • May 1, 1956 (1956-05-01) (United States)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Pakistan
Language English
Budget $3,637,000[1]
Box office $4,875,000[1]

Bhowani Junction is a 1956 film adaptation of the 1954 novel Bhowani Junction by John Masters made by MGM. The film was directed by George Cukor and produced by Pandro S. Berman from a screenplay by Sonya Levien and Ivan Moffat.

The film starred Ava Gardner as Victoria Jones, an Anglo-Indian who has been serving in the Indian Army, and Stewart Granger as Colonel Rodney Savage, a (British) Indian Army officer. It also featured Bill Travers, Abraham Sofaer, Francis Matthews, Lionel Jeffries and (uncredited)[2] Neelo (who went on to become one of the leading ladies of the Pakistan film industry).

The film was shot in England at MGM-British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, on the Longmoor Military Railway,[3] and on location in Lahore, Pakistan.

Cast[edit]

Plot: primary change from novel[edit]

The film, like the original novel, portrays the Anglo-Indian protagonist, Victoria Jones, as tugged in different directions by three suitors, Col. Rodney Savage, Ranjit Kasel and Patrick Taylor, each representing a different ethnic community: British, Indian (Sikh) and Anglo-Indian, respectively. The film-makers, however, changed the novel's ending and Victoria's fate. Whereas in the novel Victoria finally seeks her future with her fellow Anglo-Indian Patrick, a railway worker, the film-makers instead matched her at the end with the more obviously dashing British officer Rodney Savage, while consigning Patrick to a heroic death.[4]

Production notes[edit]

The fictional location Bhowani Junction was in India, most probably Jhansi. MGM had wanted to shoot the film in location in India; but, as the Government of India insisted on script approval and imposed high taxes, MGM decided to shoot the film in Pakistan where the Government was more welcoming.[4]

As a result of the change in Location to Pakistan, the script was altered to show Rodney Savage in command of the 1/13 Frontier Force Battalion (Coke's Rifles), which at that time of filming was part of the 7th (Golden Arrow) Division of the Pakistan Army, rather than in command of a Gurkha Battalion, the 1/13 Gorkha Rifles, as in the book.[4] Pakistan army and police enthusiastically assisted in making of the film. Several Pakistan army units of 7 Golden Arrow division including the 5th Battalion of 13th Frontier Force Rifles (now 10 Frontier Force Regiment), 5th Probyn’s Horse, First Battalion of 13th Frontier Force Rifles (now 7 Frontier Force Regiment), participated in the making of the film. Colonel Savage in the film is shown wearing Golden Arrow the formation sign of Pakistan 7 Division.[4]

Also in the movie is the 4th Battalion (Wilde's) 13th Frontier Force Rifles, the band at the Lahore Railway Station with a deer as its mascot, while the troops taking part in the train accident were from the 4/13th. The battalion has a copy of the book and autographed photographs from both Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger.

The future Pakistani film star Neelo appeared in a small role as a reporter in a crowd scene. Neelo was introduced to Cukor by A. H. Rana, the film's Production Manager and Casting Assistant in Pakistan, who worked with the film's Casting Director, Harvey Woods. This was her first role in a movie.

Reception[edit]

The film earned $2,075,000 in North America and $2.8 million elsewhere, making a loss of $933,000.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 'The Eddie Mannix Ledger’, Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study, Los Angeles
  2. ^ Bhowani Junction at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Ronald, D. W.; Carter, R. J. (1974). The Longmoor Military Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 168. ISBN 0-7153-6357-3. 
  4. ^ a b c d Jacobson, Andrew. "Bhowani Junction –a brief but memorable encounter with Hollywood". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 

External links[edit]