North West Frontier 1959

This is a film that I really like – a real good action adventure and set in India which is an added bonus.

Not sure that I would have cast Kenneth More and Lauren Bacall in these roles though, but I imagine that she was cast to give the distributors in the USA a lift although I wouldn’t have thought that, by then, she would have had that much appeal at the Box Office. If the film were to have been concentrated on a romantic link between these two then it wouldn’t have worked either, as there seemed little spark there.

Still the action, colour and adventure was what we were treated to – and that certainly worked.

Herbert Lom was great in this film as he seemed to be in all the films he made – I always remember Ken Annakin directed him in ‘Third Man on the Mountain’ and during the shooting of scenes for the film in the Alps, he refused to venture up any height or put himself in any dangerous situation on the mountain which the other actors did. Herbert Lom said that he was an actor and told Ken Annakin that whatever he did or didn’t do, he would do his job and be as realistic on screen as anyone. Ken later agreed when he saw the ‘rushes’ and later the film, that Herbert Lom came over as the most convincing of them all in these scenes. Maybe that is the art of an actor

ABOVE – Lauren Bacall was in the film and this would be about three years after her husband Humphrey Bogart had died.

The top picture looks to be in India with Lauren Bacall and Kenneth More fooling around when not ‘in action on set’

Much of the film was made out in India although some filming was done in Spain

It was a big Cinemascope picture – something that sold the picture at the Box Office. That enormous wide screen presentation gave these films a dimension that , when now viewed on Television, they do not have. In my view it takes a lot away from them.

We couldn’t not mention another star name in the film –  I.S. Johar as Gupta in a brilliant portrayal as the Indian Train driver who takes us on a thrilling rail ride through India pursued by rebels who want to capture the young prince they are helping escape.

He was brilliant.

Lauren Bacall said of the film that it was a good little picture with a silly title – that referred to the American release title ‘Flame over India

The Press Book from the film release
posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “North West Frontier 1959”

  1. David Rayner says:

    I believe this was Rank’s first CinemaScope picture after J. Arthur Rank buried the hatchet with 20th Century-Fox. They fell out in 1954 when Rank refused to carry out any more installations of magnetic stereophonic sound in all his Gaumont’s and Odeon’s because of the huge expense. Fox withdrew all their films from Rank screens for four years and offered them all to Essoldo. Meanwhile, Rank used the rival Paramount VistaVision process on many of their features, such as THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE and THE SPANISH GARDENER.

    • Movieman says:

      Thanks David. That is something I did not know. In those days to go to the cinema and see a big picture like this in Colour and Cinemascope was a real exciting experience. I remember my Dad taking us to the local Essoldo a few years before this, to see The Robe – and that was just so impressive – I remember it clearly from that time all those years ago – a very happy memory for me. Neil

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