DVD REVIEW: The Brigand of Kandahar

A Hammer classic from 1965 comes to DVD set against the backdrop of British India in 1880. It boasts Oliver Reed as a Bengali warrior but how does it fare today?

We find ourselves in Fort Kandahar in British India and it is here that we meet Robert Case (Ronald Lewis), a officer from mixed parents, who has just returned from a patrol where his commanding officer was captured by the enemy. Returning to the Fort he is confronted by the commanding officer’s wife who he was also having an affair with and it is then drummed out of the service for cowardice.

Case manages to escape and gets to the hills and is found and brought to the local warlord Eli Khan played by a dark Oliver Reed who is fine form as he relishes the role. Khan introduces Case to his sister the enticing and alluring Ratina portrayed by Yvonne Romain. Persuaded by Khan to join his cause and fight the British Empire. After a climatic battle the film ends on a bittersweet note and also one of hope.

Released in 1965 this film does a fine job with what must have been a tight budget by Director John Gilling and was mostly all filmed on a set which does show at times but it really does have its heart in the right place.

The cast are all on fine form with the previously mentioned Reed taking it to the limit with his portrayal as Khan. Lewis plays the conflicted mixed race officer well and he brings a light intensity to the role. Then there is Yvonne Romain who is as gorgeous as ever and knows how to be a real woman while also demonstrating subtle power.

The costumes all look decent enough combined with the locations both inside and out and where there is a battle set outside the amount of extras is quite impressive with lost great stunts by horses.

In the end this film is a classic piece of British cinema and is well worth the trip down memory lane for anyone who loves films from this era or a Hammer follower but also give this a go if you just want to enjoy yourself for a few hours.

Actors: Ronald Lewis, Oliver Reed, Duncan Lamont, Yvonne Romain, Katherine Woodville, Glyn Houston, Sean Lynch, Walter Brown, Inigo Jackson, Jeremy Burnham, Joe Powell, Henry Davies, Caron Gardner & John Southworth

Director John Gilling

Year 1965

Cert PG, Running Time 78 mins, RRP £15.99

GS Rating: 3.5/5

GS Reporter: Montoya

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