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The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
TLoaBL poster.jpg
Movie poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Release Date 1935
Studio The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Distributor United Artists
Main Cast
Character Actor
Lieutenant McGregor Gary Cooper
Lieutenant Forsythe Franchot Tone
Lieutenant Stone Richard Cromwell
Colonel Stone Guy Standing
Major Hamilton C. Aubrey Smith

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer is a 1935 (loose) adaptation of Francis Yeats-Brown's memoir of the same name. The film was directed by Henry Hathaway and stars Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell and Guy Standing. Although a thoroughly British story, Cooper, Tone and Cromwell were all Americans, and Tone was the only who even tried to pull off a British accent, with Cooper playing a "Scotch-Canadian" (Scots today will point out that "Scotch" refers to a beverage) and Cromwell playing a half-American who grew up in the United States. The film was shot entirely in Southern California and was a critical and commercial hit. The popularity of the film kicked off a wave of imperial adventure films, including The Charge of the Light Brigade, Gunga Din, The Four Feathers and The Real Glory, which all involved white men, usually British, maintaining order against rebellious brown natives. The idea of a few white men controlling 300 million Indians made the film a favorite of Adolf Hitler, who made it required watching for the SS. The film also gave the world the now clich├ęd (and misquoted) threat of "we have ways of making you talk," a threat made by Douglass Dumbrille as villain Mohammed Khan. His actual quote was "We have ways of making men talk."

The following weapons were used in the film The Lives of a Bengal Lancer:


Webley Mk VI

The only handgun seen in the film is a Webley Mk VI, which is used by British officers, and at least one of the rebels.

Webley Mk. VI - .455 Webley
Lieutenant McGregor (Gary Cooper) with his Webley.
Lieutenant Forsythe (Franchot Tone) takes aim with his Webley.
TLoaBL WM6 03.jpg


Short Magazine Lee-Enfield

The enlisted men of the 41st Bengal Lancers are armed with Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifles. Some rebels are also seen using captured SMLEs.

Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III* - .303 British
A Bengal Lancer fires his SMLE.
A guard with his SMLE.
The Bengal Lancers fire on the rebels. Colonel Stone (Guy Standing) is armed with a Webley Mk VI.

1893 Spanish Mauser

Some of the rebels are armed with 1893 Spanish Mauser rifles.

1893 Spanish Mauser - 7x57mm Mauser
A rebel on the left with his Mauser.
A rebel sniper with his Mauser.

Mosin Nagant M1891

Some of the rebels are armed with Mosin Nagant M1891 rifles.

Full-length, Imperial Russian Mosin Nagant M1891 - 7.62x54mm R
The rebel on the right with his Mosin-Nagant.
A rebel reloads his Mosin-Nagant.
A rebel fires his Mosin-Nagant.

M1903 Springfield

Some of the rebels are armed with M1903 Springfield rifles.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06
TLoaBL M1903 01.jpg
TLoaBL M1903 02.jpg
TLoaBL M1903 03.jpg

Machine Guns

Vickers MK1 Machine Gun

Vickers MK1 Machine Guns are seen throughout the film. Lieutenant Alan McGregor fires one from the hip during the climax.

Vickers gun with ribbed water jacket - .303 British
The Bengal Lancers open fire with their Vickers guns.
The rebels show off a captured Vickers.
McGregor grabs a rebel Vickers gun.
An over-the-shoulder shot of McGregor and his Vickers.
Forsythe points out targets for McGregor.

Lewis Gun

A rebel fires a Lewis Gun during the assault on their base.

Lewis Gun - .303 British
The rebel with his Lewis gun. Note the Vickers to the side.

Maxim MG08

In a possible continuity error, the Bengal Lancers display an Maxim MG08.

Maxim MG08 on 'sledge' mount - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The Bengal Lancers with their Maxim MG08.


Khyber Pass copies

In Mohammed Khan's (Douglass Dumbrille) camp, McGregor sees local gunsmiths produce Khyber Pass copies.

Gunsmiths work on what appears to be a Mosin Nagant.
The men sitting carve out a rifle stock while the men behind them add rifling to a barrel.
TLoaBL Khyber 03.jpg
.303 shells are reloaded.
Bullets are cast, with hot lead poured over bullet moulds.

Unknown cannon 1

A cannon seen at the camp of the 41st Bengal Lancers.

Unknown cannon 2

A cannon at Mohammed Khan's camp.

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