A Passage to India

Drama |English | 163 minutes


Adela Quested is sailing from England to India with Mrs. Moore, the mother of Adela’s intended bridegroom. It is  the 1920s when India was the jewel of England’s vast colonial empire. When they arrive, they find that the Indian independence movement has severely divided the country. Mrs. Moore meets an Indian local, Dr. Aziz Ahmed, who offers to lead her and Adela on an excursion to the Marabar Caves, a popular tourist attraction.  Mrs.Moore suffers from claustrophobia but she encourages Adela and Aziz to proceed without her. While approaching the cave, Aziz steps aside to rest and grab a smoke. When he returns he sees Adela running down the hill bleeding and delirious. She is taken to Dr. Callendar’s home where he medicates her. When they return, Adela accuses Aziz of raping her; he is jailed, pending a trial. In court, Adela, no longer delusional, recants her accusation of Aziz. Aziz celebrates his innocence but he’s bitter. He vows to relocate to a different section of India. Aziz writes to Adela apologizing for taking so long to express his appreciation. He is aware it was incredibly courageous of Adela to withdraw her accusation, especially in India, where an English person is never wrong.

Peggy Ashcroft (Mrs. Moore) / Judy Davis (Adela Quested) / Victor Banerjee (Dr. Aziz) / Clive Swift (Dr. Callendar)
Why Stream This Film?
We need a film like A Passage to India to remind us that a democratic power like England once colonized so many countries around the world without a smidgen of guilt. Critic Roger Ebert wrote that David Lean’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel is one of the best.      
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 76%
  • Metacritic Score: 78
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Supporting Actress (Peggy Ashcroft); Nominated, Best Picture; Best Screenplay (David Lean)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Supporting Actress (Peggy Ashcroft); Best Screenplay (David Lean)
  • National Board of Review Awards: Best Film; Best Director (David Lean); Best Actor (Victor Banerjee); Best Actress (Peggy Ashcroft)
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (David Lean)
E.M. Forster’s novel is one of the literary landmarks of this century and now David Lean has made it into one of the greatest screen adaptations I have ever seen.
Roger Ebert


Fourteen years after his last film, David Lean returned to the screen with A PASSAGE to INDIA, an impeccably faithful, beautifully played and occasionally languorous adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel about the clash of East and West in colonial India.


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