Burning India

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German title Burning India
Original title North West Frontier
Country of production Great Britain
original language English
Publishing year 1959
length 129 minutes
Director J. Lee Thompson
script Robert Estridge
Frank S. Nugent
production Marcel Hellmann
music Mischa Spoliansky
camera Geoffrey Unsworth
cut Frederick Wilson

Burning India (Original title: North West Frontier ) is a British adventure film directed by J. Lee Thompson from 1959.


The film is set in India in 1905 . Muslim rebels holed up in the mountains to attack the palace of a maharajah . The attack is aimed at the six-year-old son and future ruler of the region. Shortly before the attack can take place, however, the British Captain Scott flees with the child and his American governess Catherine Wyatt. The three are not the only refugees fleeing the rebels, however. In the crowded Haserabad they miss the last train. However, Scott finds an Indian engineer who owns an old locomotive. It is possible to restore them and put them into operation. With this locomotive, the tour group breaks through the city gate, which is guarded by rebels. The tour group is also joined by the governor's wife , Lady Windham, and a certain Van Leyden. An adventurous journey through India begins with the destination Kalapur . While driving, it is noticeable that Van Leyden is noticeably interested in the governor's wife's valuables. He also appears to be a Muslim who sympathizes with the rebels. During the ride, Scott and Van Leyden clash, with Catherine Wyatt saving Scott's life by shooting Van Leyden. Ultimately, the train arrives safely in Kalapur and the life of the future maharajas is saved.


The film is based on a story by screenwriter Frank S. Nugent, who frequently wrote screenplays for John Ford . Thompson's Adventure in India has astonishingly great parallels to his previous war film Ice Cold in Alexandria - Firestorm over Africa . Here, too, a random tour group escapes, which comes into conflict with a fellow traveler who is suspected of espionage. Burning India became the basis for Thompson's move from the British film industry to Hollywood. After seeing this film, Gregory Peck proposed Thompson to direct the American production of The Guns of Navarone .

The original title North West Frontier refers to the Northwest Frontier Province in British India , which is now part of Pakistan .

In the USA the film was shown in cinemas under the title Flame Over India .


DVD release

  • Burning India . Starmedia Home Entertainment 2005

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. screenonline
  2. Burning India. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed February 12, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used