"Kill for the love of killing. Kill for the love of Kali. Kill! Kill! Kill!"
Description: The fanatic cry of Guru (Eduardo Ciannelli), a Kali cult leader in the motion picture Gunga Din (1939).
Guru is the leader of the Thuggees, a band of ritual assassins who have roamed the Indian landscape for centuries. ("The most fiendish band of killer that every exited.") Outlawed by the British, they bide their time until they can reclaim their lands from the occupying colonial forces sent by the Queen of England.
Among the British troops are three rowdy sergeants of the Royal Engineers, 'Mac' MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), Archibald Cutter (Cary Grant), and Thomas Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), who under the orders of Colonel Weed (Montegue Love) travel to a British outpost in Tantrapur with a group of 25 soldiers to repair telegraph wires.
The troops arrive to find the area deserted but as they set about to repair the telegraph wires, they are attacked by a hostile band of Thuggee assassins. Managing to fight their way through the murderous horde, the soldiers return to their outpost to report news of the uprising.
Meanwhile, Gunga Gin (Sam Jaffe), the outpost's turbaned water-bearer, who aspires to be a soldier of the Queen, informs Sgt. Cutter of a temple filled with gold statues of Hindu deities. Overcome with greed, Cutter has Gunga Din lead him to the treasure. Cutter imagines he can abscond with the gold and buy a pub as "big as the Crystal Palace. Best pub in Hampshire."
Arriving at the temple, they discover the magnificent structure inhabited by Thuggee assassins. To create a distraction, so Gunga Din can escape and alert the garrison of the threat, Sgt. Cutter boldly enters the temple and begins to insult the Guru and his men.
|Sgt. Cutter:||Well if it ain't young toadface. Fancy meeting you here.|
|Guru:||Vile dog! For that insolence you shall grovel before my son. You shall grovel, I say!|
|Sgt. Cutter:||Look here! I'm a soldier of her Majesty, the Queen. I don't grovel before any 'eathen.|
|Guru:||Tabul, take him to the tower and teach him the error of false pride. Take him away!|
Cutter's long-time friends MacChesney and Ballantine (who was to leave the service to be married) come to the rescue, but are also captured and held hostage by the Guru who reveals his plans to ambush a regiment of British soldiers who will soon arrive on the scene. The British are unawares of a larger attack force gathered by Guru that waits in hiding to destroy them.
As the Guru confides his plans to his captors, he says, "You seem to think warfare an English invention. Have you never heard of Chandragupta Maurya? He slaughtered all the armies left in India by Alexander the Great. India was a mighty nation then while Englishmen still dwelt in caves and painted themselves blue."
Looking down upon his army of assassins from the temple tower, the Guru rallies his followers to war. When Sgt. Archibald Cutter calls the Guru mad, he zealously objects:
"Mad? Mad. Hannibal was mad, Caesar was mad, and Napoleon surely was the maddest of the lot. Ever since time began, they've called mad all the great soldiers in this world. Mad? We shall see what wisdom lies within my madness. For this is but the spring that precedes the flood. From here we roll on. From village to town. From town to mighty city. Ever mounting, ever widening, until at last my wave engulfs all India!"
|Guru:||Where are the stranglers?|
|Thuggees:||[Thuggees respond in Hindi]|
|Guru:||Give them their strangling cloths.|
|Guru:||Give them their burial picks.|
|Guru:||Swear by our mother Kali to be thrice faithful to her and to me and to our order and to all of us.|
|Thuggees:||[Thuggees pray in Hindi]|
|Guru:||Rise, our new-made brothers. Rise and kill. Kill, lest you be killed yourselves. Kill for the love of killing. Kill for the love of Kali. Kill! Kill! Kill!|
To put a stop to the Guru's plan, Gunga Din and the three sergeants take the Guru to the temple tower and threaten to kill him. Fearing the death of their leader, the assassins cancel their plans to attack the oncoming British, but the Guru removes himself as an obstacle by sacrificing his life and junping into a cobra pit. (“see them down there, coiling and wiggling, sticking their pretty tongues out”).
With the Guru gone, the assassins rush the sergeants and Gunga Din. Cutter and Gunga Din are stabbed with bayonets while MacChesney and Ballantine are bound and gaged and forced watch as their British troops enter an ambush.
As Cutter lies injured at the top of the temple, Gunga Din, also wounded, climbs to the pinnacle of the gold-encrusted temple, blows his bugle and alerts the approaching British troops of an impending ambush before he is shot and falls to his death. The Thuggee assassins are soon routed and the three sergeants are rescued and returned to their frontier outpost.
In a ceremony recognizing the efforts of the heroes of the battle, Colonel Weed formally inducts Gunga Din into the regiment with the posthumous rank of Corporal. "His name will be written on the roles of our honored dead."
In tribute to the valiant water-bear, visiting journalist Rudyard Kipling (Reginald Sheffield) writes a poem that the Colonel reads over Din's body:
|Colonel Weed:||So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone
Where it's always double drill and no canteen
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you
By the livin' God that made you
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!