Film: North West Frontier

North West Frontier (also known as Flame Over India in United States and Empress of India in Australia) is a 1959 film starring Kenneth More and Lauren Bacall. It is set in 1905, in the North West Frontier province of India.

A Muslim uprising has begun, and British Army Captain Scott is asked to take 5-year-old Prince Kishan and his widowed governess, Mrs. Wyatt, to the safety of Haserabad, and from there to Delhi. Upon arriving, however, Scott finds that the last train has already left, and the rebels have seized the gates.

Undaunted, Scott finds a battered old engine called the "Empress of India" (but always referred to as "Victoria"note ) and enlists the help of its driver, Gupta, to get the Prince, Mrs. Wyatt, Scott, and several extra passengers — Mr. Bridie, a British ex-pat; Mr. Peters, an arms dealer; Lady Wyndham, the governor's wife; Mr. Van Leyden, a Dutch journalist; and two unnamed Indian NCOs — out of Haserabad.


This film provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Victoria is the train equivalent. It smokes constantly and the whistle goes off at the worst possible moments.
  • Aside Glance: Mr. Bridie looks at the camera and smiles during the attack on the train.
  • Big Bad: Van Leyden.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, Scott, Peters, and Mrs. Wyatt most of all.
    Peters: [about a gun] I've never used one of these in my life.
    Scott: They're for killing people with.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Van Leyden, who falls off the train.
    • Almost happens to Prince Kishan, who almost falls off a bridge. Luckily, Scott was able to reach him.
  • Double Take: Mr. Bridie does one when he sees the train being chased by horsemen.
  • Irony: Peters, an arms dealer, has never used a gun in his life.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Mr. Bridie: And now I supposed all our troubles are over.
  • Understatement: "He got off." Said by Scott about Van Leyden after he falls off the roof of the train.
  • The Von Trope Family: Van Leyden.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Van Leyden.