This week’s mystery movie has been the 1956 MGM picture “Bhowani Junction,” with Ava Gardner, Stewart Granger, Bill Travers, Abraham Sofaer, Francis Matthews, Marne Maitland, Peter Illing, Edward Chapman, Freda Jackson and Lionel Jeffries. The screenplay was by Sonya Levien and Ivan Moffat from the novel by John Masters. Photography was by F.A. Young, art direction by Gene Allen and John Howell, musical supervision by Miklos Rozsa, costume designs by Elizabeth Haffenden, makeup by Charles E. Parker and hairdressing by Pearl Tipaldi. Produced by Pandro S. Berman and directed by George Cukor.
“Bhowani Junction” is available on DVD from Warner Archive.
Writing in the New York Times (May 25, 1956), Bosley Crowther said:
A rather audacious excursion for Metro-Goldywn-Mayer, which had never got much farther into India than Rudyard Kipling was able to lead, is made in “Bhowani Junction.” In this new color film … it takes the viewer right into modern India, up to the dawn of its liberation, circa 1946….
As the Anglo-Indian lady, Ava Gardner has moments of staggering power, especially when she exercises the violence of the lady’s social sentiments. Otherwise, she is mostly Ava Gardner being sorely oppressed and finding it difficult to be nice to Stewart Granger as the stalwart British officer or Francis Matthews as the strong, laconic Sikh.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Francis Matthews.
And for Tuesday, we have a second mystery gent.
Update: This is Edward Chapman.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and mystery guest), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and barely visible Back of the Head Woman), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and mystery guest), Jenny M. (mystery movie and mystery guest) and Benito (mystery movie and mystery guest).
For Wednesday, we have two mystery guests.
Update: This is an unidentified actor as Gandhi and director George Cukor as Nehru.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery guest).
For Thursday, we have a gauzy shot of a mystery gent and Back of the Head Woman, who will appear tomorrow.
Update: This is Bill Travers.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s historic personages) and Mary Mallory (mystery movie, mystery guests, and historic personages).
And for Friday, Back of the Head Woman and a mystery guest.
Update: This is Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guest), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guest and Back of the Head Woman), Mike Hawks (historic personages and Thursday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery guest) and Beach Gal (mystery movie and all mystery guests).
ps. Take another look at the “actor” playing Nehru.