Review: ‘King of the Khyber Rifles’

Picture is laid in the India of 1857 when British colonial troops were having trouble with Afridi tribesmen. The plot opens with Tyrone Power, a half-caste English officer, being assigned to the Khyber Rifles, a native troop at a garrison headed by Michael Rennie, English general. For romance, Rennie has a daughter, Terry Moore, who is instantly attracted to Power despite British snobbery over his mixed blood.

Picture is laid in the India of 1857 when British colonial troops were having trouble with Afridi tribesmen. The plot opens with Tyrone Power, a half-caste English officer, being assigned to the Khyber Rifles, a native troop at a garrison headed by Michael Rennie, English general. For romance, Rennie has a daughter, Terry Moore, who is instantly attracted to Power despite British snobbery over his mixed blood.

From here on, the footage is taken up with developing the romance while the hero protects the heroine from native dangers and kidnap attempts by Guy Rolfe, leader of the Afridis and a foster brother of Power’s.

The male heroics are played with a stiff-lipped, stout-fellowish Britishism perfectly appropriate to the characters. Power is a good hero, Moore attractively handles the heroine unabashedly pursuing her man. Rennie is excellent as the commanding general and Rolfe does another of his topnotch villains.

A rousing finale climaxes the story, based on the Talbot Mundy novel, and in between CinemaScope adds sweep and spectacle to the India settings, facsimiled by the terrain around California’s Lone Pine area.

King of the Khyber Rifles

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Henry King; Producer Frank P. Rosenberg; Screenplay Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts; Camera Leon Shamroy; Editor Barbara McLean; Music Bernard Herrmann; Art Director Lyle R. Wheeler, Maurice Ransford

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Tyrone Power Terry Moore Michael Rennie John Justin Guy Rolfe
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