A Passage to India

D: David Lean
EMI/HBO (John Brabourne & Richard Goodwin)
UK 1984
163 mins


W: David Lean [based on the novel by E. M. Forster]
DP: Ernest Day
Ed: David Lean
Mus: Maurice Jarre
PD: John Box
Cos: Judy Moorcroft

Judy Davis (Adela Quested), Alec Guinness (Prof. Narayan Godbole), Victor Banerjee (Dr. Aziz Ahmed), Peggy Ashcroft (Mrs. Moore), James Fox (Richard Fielding), Nigel Havers (Ronny Heaslop)

David Lean's final film, though you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Merchant-Ivory production, the great director makes a labour of love from his adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel, getting involved in all aspects of the production through to the editing room.

Set in British colonial India at the turn of the 20th century, a British woman accuses an Indian doctor of sexually molesting her during a caving expedition.

It's well documented that E. M. Forster's original novel made the point very clear of the author's hatred of British presence in the country during this time, though these politics are mostly brushed aside for the powerful acting performances to tell the story instead. This won't be a winner for everyone, particularly those who don't especially care for period dramas, but it proved a winner at 1984's awards festivals, particularly the Oscars, who named it amongst their nominees for the Best Picture of the year.


A Passage to India
A Passage to India