Monday 10 August 2015

Gunga Din and films I have NOT seen

Image result for gunga din film

They don't make them like that anymore....

I am currently watching the 1930s version of Gunga Din courtesy of BBC IPlayer on my IPad during the commute to and from work. I am really enjoying it but it did make me wonder about those seminal war films I have not seen rather than those that I have. So, by way of a bit of fun I am listing the top five films I have not seen that are, for want of a better expression, 'mainstream' war films. Readers of the blog may, if they are interested in this particular piece of whimsy, comment with there own favourites. The only caveat is that they should have been released prior to the year 2000.

The five films I have not seen and that are on my to do list are as follows:

1. 55 Days in Peking
2. Khartoum
3. The Sand Pebbles
4. Robin and Marion
5. The Heroes of Telemark

And for the more poetically inclined amongst you I would like to share the following:

Gunga Din

By Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936 Rudyard Kipling
You may talk o’ gin and beer   
When you’re quartered safe out ’ere,   
An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter   
You will do your work on water,
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ’im that’s got it.   
Now in Injia’s sunny clime,   
Where I used to spend my time   
A-servin’ of ’Er Majesty the Queen,   
Of all them blackfaced crew   
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din,   
      He was ‘Din! Din! Din!
   ‘You limpin’ lump o’ brick-dust, Gunga Din!
      ‘Hi! Slippy hitherao
      ‘Water, get it! Panee lao,
   ‘You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din.’

The uniform ’e wore
Was nothin’ much before,
An’ rather less than ’arf o’ that be’ind,
For a piece o’ twisty rag   
An’ a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment ’e could find.
When the sweatin’ troop-train lay
In a sidin’ through the day,
Where the ’eat would make your bloomin’ eyebrows crawl,
We shouted ‘Harry By!’
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped ’im ’cause ’e couldn’t serve us all.
      It was ‘Din! Din! Din!
   ‘You ’eathen, where the mischief ’ave you been?   
      ‘You put some juldee in it
      ‘Or I’ll marrow you this minute
   ‘If you don’t fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!’

’E would dot an’ carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An’ ’e didn’t seem to know the use o’ fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin’ nut,
’E’d be waitin’ fifty paces right flank rear.   
With ’is mussick on ’is back,
’E would skip with our attack,
An’ watch us till the bugles made 'Retire,’   
An’ for all ’is dirty ’ide
’E was white, clear white, inside
When ’e went to tend the wounded under fire!   
      It was ‘Din! Din! Din!’
   With the bullets kickin’ dust-spots on the green.   
      When the cartridges ran out,
      You could hear the front-ranks shout,   
   ‘Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!’

I shan’t forgit the night
When I dropped be’ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should ’a’ been.   
I was chokin’ mad with thirst,
An’ the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin’, gruntin’ Gunga Din.   
’E lifted up my ’ead,
An’ he plugged me where I bled,
An’ ’e guv me ’arf-a-pint o’ water green.
It was crawlin’ and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I’ve drunk,
I’m gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
      It was 'Din! Din! Din!
   ‘’Ere’s a beggar with a bullet through ’is spleen;   
   ‘’E's chawin’ up the ground,
      ‘An’ ’e’s kickin’ all around:
   ‘For Gawd’s sake git the water, Gunga Din!’

’E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An’ a bullet come an’ drilled the beggar clean.   
’E put me safe inside,
An’ just before ’e died,
'I ’ope you liked your drink,’ sez Gunga Din.   
So I’ll meet ’im later on
At the place where ’e is gone—
Where it’s always double drill and no canteen.   
’E’ll be squattin’ on the coals
Givin’ drink to poor damned souls,
An’ I’ll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!   
      Yes, Din! Din! Din!
   You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!   
   Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,   
      By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
   You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!


Dick Bryant said...

Wow! You have been really deprived in film viewing!

Dick Bryant

Mallius Vane said...

Of the ones you've not seen, I'd highly recommend Robin and Marion! Khartoum and Heroes of Telemark are not bad. Afraid I've not seen The Sand Pebbles or 55 Days at Peking, either so I look forward to hearing your views once you have!

David Crook said...

Hi Dick,

My film viewing has been rather uneven in many ways and this is me finally 'fessing up' that I have missed out. I will certainly try and rectify this in due course though - especially with Khartoum.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Gordon,

I have heard many good things about Robin and Marion so will keep a look out for the same. Khartoum is one that I really want to watch though - and I should have added Young Winston to the list as well!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Stu,

Not sure what you mean by that! I will be trying to rectify my shortcomings in due course though....;-)

All the best,


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I've seen all of the films on your list ... and you MUST try to see them all. Until you have done so, your education will not be complete.

All the best,


Simon said...

Four out of your five are good. To be honest The Sand Pebbles is not great. That's my opinion though.

Cross of Iron
The Four Feathers (1939)
Sea of Sand (LRDG)
The Blue Max
The Duellists (Brilliantly Filmed)
The original All Quiet on the Western Front

These are from the top of my head

All the best

Bluebear Jeff said...

Like Simon, if you have not seen the 1939 Korda Brothers' "Four Feathers", then definitely add it to your list.

I would certainly presume that you have seen "Zulu", but if you have overlooked "The Wind and the Lion", then by all means add it to your list, sir.

-- Jeff

PatG said...

Of your top 5 I like all but Robin and Marion which I found a little slow.

The Sand Pebbles is long and American and very drama-y but covers China Gunboats which scratches one of my itches. (As does 55 days in Peking)

Ice Cold in Alex is another watchable desert flick.

Das Boot, Stalingrad, Private Ryan (the first 15 or so minutes anyway) are all must sees. Letters From Iwo Jima is also on my must see list. Flags of our Fathers less so as it deals more with after the battle.

Went the Day Well and the Life and Times of Colonel Blimp are good watches if you tend to Home Guard at all.

joppy said...

Among my favourites not listed would be -
Henry V -Olivier version
Prisoner of Zenda - original version
Wee Willie Winkie (I know, but I like it)
seconded for Young Winston

legatus hedlius said...

I found Robin and Marian not to my taste either. I couldn't take the fact that Sherwood Forest was so obviously filmed in Spain and it was glacially slow. Rather than list my favourites I am going to list those war/military films I haven't seen either. I haven't seen 55 Days in Peking (well I have seen the first third but my interest ground to a halt)or The Sand Pebbles either.
So, not seen:
1 Kelly's Heroes
2 The Man who would be King
3 Cross of Iron
4 Saving Private Ryan
5 The Bridge on the River Kwai

I own both 2 and 4 on DVD but the only one I might watch is The Man who Would be King

Der Alte Fritz said...

I think that you will really like Khartoum and 55 Days at Peking

If you like Heros of Telemark then I think that you should also see Operation Crossbow which is about the German rocket program (V2 buzz bombs) and a mission to destroy the facilities.

Sergeants Three is a Western Cowboys version of Gunga Din.

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I have made it a priority to do so before the end of the year - I am thinking of renting from ITunes!

All the best.


David Crook said...

Hi Simon,

I have seen all of those except Sea of Sand - so that is now on my list!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

I have seen all of those except the Wing and the Lion - which was on BBC 2 a couple of weeks ago but did not make it onto IPlayer so I missed it. I certainly am keen to see it though.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

You've been Tangoed!