Battle for India

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German title Battle for India
Original title Clive of India
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1935
length 95 minutes
Director Richard Boleslawski
script WP Lipscomb
Rubeigh James Minney
production Richard Boleslawski
music Alfred Newman
camera J. Peverell Marley
cut Barbara McLean

Battle for India (original title Clive of India) is a biography from 1935 with the leading actor Ronald Colman and directed by Richard Boleslawski .


The film takes place at the time of the Third Carnatic War and is based on the biography of the British General Robert Clive , who managed to expand the supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. The Battle of Plassey on June 23, 1757 is filmed as a dramatic battle between war elephants and British soldiers.


Considered one of the key works of jingoistic film productions of the 1930s, the film glorifies the history of the British Empire . Clive is portrayed as an individualistic-heroic champion of the colonial empire who disregards the orders of corrupt superiors and fights against indigenous tyrants who oppress their own people.

Colin Clive, who plays Captain Johnstone here, was a descendant of the real Robert Clive.

Clive of India celebrated its world premiere on January 18, 1935 in New York City . It did not appear in German cinemas until two years later, under the title Battle for India , on April 30, 1937. The film did not premiere in Austria until 1937, too.


Andre Sennwald wrote in the New York Times of January 18, 1935 that the struggle for India had “serious weaknesses in its focus and in its unfortunate endeavor to want to tell too much”. The film deals more with Clive's glamor than the ethics and imperialism for which he stood. Nevertheless, the film is a "dignified and impressive historical drama" that was lavishly designed by Twentieth Century-Fox . Roland Colman would play the main role with "verve and conviction" and thus offer a touching performance, Sennwald judged.


  • Marian Füssel: The Seven Years War. A World War in the Age of Enlightenment , Munich 2010, p. 106.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Edmund J. Yorke: Cultural myths and realities: the British Army, war and Empire as portrayed on film, 1900-90 , in: Ian Stewart / Susan L. Carruthers (eds.): War, Culture and the Media: Representations of the Military in 20th century Britain (Studies in war and film 3), Trowbridge 1996, pp. 91–100, here 93.
  2. Jeffrey Richards: Imperialism and Music: Britain 1876-1953 (Studies in imperialism), Manchester [u. a.] 2001, p. 286.
  3. IMDb Release Info on the Battle for India
  4. ^ Clive of India at the New York Times