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During India's first years of independence from Britain, Steve Gibbs lands his armaments loaded plane in Ghandahar province hoping to get rich. Pacifist Prime Minister Singh hopes to reach an agreement with guerilla leader Khan, the maharajah is a fool, and the British residents are living in the past. Steve's love interest is Joan Willoughby, the blind daughter of a parson. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Paramount must have had some trepidations about Thunder in the East as it was made in 1949 and held up in release for three years. Nat King Cole recorded the theme from Thunder in the East, a song called The Ruby and the Pearl three years earlier. It's quite a beautiful ballad and perfectly suited for Cole's voice, it's the best thing to come out of this routine action film.
Alan Ladd plays an arms dealer selling weaponry for the best price he can exact from the various sides in the Indian Civil War where the boundaries of India and Pakistan were settled in a lot of blood spilled. He's in Ghandahar province which has its rebel Moslem faction. He falls for Deborah Kerr the blind daughter of missionary Cecil Kellaway.
Ladd's got a silly playboy maharajah in Charles Lung to deal with and a prime minister for Ghandahar who is a disciple of Gandhi's non-violence philosophy. Charles Boyer as the prime minister doesn't want the weapons, but the rebel Moslems want them if for no other reason than to keep them out of Hindu hands and if they can't buy them, they'll take them by whatever means necessary.
The film tries to be a critique of Gandhi's non-violence code, but it doesn't rise above being an action/adventure story. The ending is a rather abrupt one and unconvincing. Still fans of the star players will probably like it.
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