North West Frontier (film)

North West Frontier (USA: Flame Over India; Australia: Empress of India) is a 1959 film, set in the North West Frontier Province of British India (now within modern Pakistan), about a British Army Officer who is sent to rescue a five year old Indian Prince and his American governess from certain death at the hands of rebel tribesmen. It explores the ethnic tensions within British India after Muslim rebels attack a fortress and kill a Hindu maharajah.

Directed by J. Lee Thompson. Written by Robin Estridge, adapted from a script by Frank S. Nugent, based on a story by Patrick Ford and Will Price.
Two people trapped by fate. In a country with no destiny.

The NarratorEdit

  • This is India. The North West Frontier province. 1905. A country of many religions. Men find many reasons for killing each other - greed, revenge, jealousy or perhaps because they worship God by different names.

Catherine WyattEdit

  • The British never seem to do anything until they've had a cup of tea, by which time it's too late.
  • You'll have to forgive me for speaking my mind. I happen to believe that's what it's for.


  • Victoria [the train Victoria] is old, I confess that. But she has experience and when she has experience, nothing can go wrong.

Peter van LeydenEdit

  • It (killing/fighting) proves that I am a true Moslem. That I care enough to fight and maybe even to die for my faith. For a country that will be all Moslem and I will belong there. Are you capable of understanding that?
  • I like children as much as you do but that one boy... My God, don't you understand? That one boy, he's a symbol, an outworn tradition that stands between my country and freedom. I shall kill him. I must kill him in order to save the lives of thousands. One life will be lost - one Indian life - but thousands will be saved.


Captain Scott: You're the first American woman I've met. Are they all like you?
Catherine Wyatt: Why? How do I seem?
Captain Scott: Well, shall we say a little bit more independent than most?
Catherine Wyatt: Is that the tactful English way of saying you think I'm pig-headed?

Catherine Wyatt: Are you sure about Mr. Van Layden? I mean, won't you get into a lot of trouble if you're wrong?
Captain Scott: Wouldn't you like to see me drummed out of my regiment? Paraded before the troops? Medals torn off my manly bosom? I used to think that would be just your cup of tea.
Catherine Wyatt: They don't really do all that, do they?
Captain Scott: Well, of course they do! And my best friend calls on me in my quarters, hands me a loaded revolver and says, "Carruthers, its the only way out for a gentleman."

Captain Scott: "Be thankful you're living and trust your luck, march to your front like a soldier."
Catherine Wyatt: Who said that?
Captain Scott: Man called Kipling. Another tea-drinker.

Bridie: It seems a bit extreme to me locking him up like that, after all what can he do?
Catherine Wyatt: The idea of locking him up is so that we don't have to find out what he can do, Mr. Bridie.
Bridie: I don't suppose he's even got anything to read.

Peters: Uhhh, Mrs. Wyatt, it is clear you do not understand the British mentality. While Van Leyden was a Dutch journalist, Mr. Bridie here diskiked him intensely, Ouuh... as soon as he discovered discovered he was a half breed, Bridie began... well... felt a certain sympathy for him... Now that you all suspect him of being an anti-British fanatic and maty be a murderer, Mr. Bridie will start crusading for him. He has become an underdog. and the British love underdogs.
Bridie: Hmmm, it's better than kicking them, Mr. Peters.


External linksEdit

  Encyclopedic article on North West Frontier (film) at Wikipedia