Edit
Gandhi (1982) Poster

(1982)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1)
Sir Ben Kingsley's (born Krishna Bhanji) paternal family was from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same state Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was from.
136 of 137 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Ben Kingsley looked so much like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, many natives thought him to be Gandhi's ghost.
217 of 223 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Over 300,000 extras appeared in the funeral sequence. About 200,000 were volunteers, and 94,560 were paid a small fee (under contract). The sequence was filmed on January 31, 1981, the 33rd anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's funeral. Eleven crews shot over 20,000 feet of film, which was pared down to two minutes and five seconds in the final release.
114 of 116 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Indian government provided one third of this movie's budget.
85 of 87 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Ben Kingsley prepared for his role by studying newsreel footage of Gandhi, reading books on and by the man, dieting, losing weight, practicing Yoga and learning to spin thread just as Gandhi did.
55 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dustin Hoffman had expressed an early desire to play the title role in this movie, but was offered Tootsie (1982) the same year, and ended up taking the latter role. He eventually lost the Oscar that year to Sir Ben Kingsley, who played Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
100 of 104 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When plans for the film were announced, Sir Richard Attenborough held a press conference in Delhi for the Indian media. There was much concern expressed about how Gandhi, a virtual deity to many Indians, would or should be portrayed on-screen. One female journalist seriously suggested that Gandhi should only be shown as a brilliant white light moving across the screen. An exasperated Attenborough snapped back, "Madam, I am not making a film about bloody Tinkerbell!"
83 of 86 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Richard Attenborough won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for this movie, even though he had expected, and hoped, that Steven Spielberg would win for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Attenborough worked with Spielberg on Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), while Sir Ben Kingsley appeared in Schindler's List (1993), which finally won Spielberg the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars.
93 of 98 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Some say that Steven Spielberg cast Sir Richard Attenborough as John Hammond in Jurassic Park (1993) as thanks for his support on Oscar night when Gandhi (1982) trounced E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
57 of 60 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
While filming in some of the more rural villages in India, with Sir Ben Kingsley in full make-up as Gandhi, some of the older members of the communities were confused as they thought they were seeing the real man again.
47 of 49 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Ben Kingsley learned to spin cloth in the same way that Gandhi did. He didn't find this to be particularly challenging. Instead, the real problem he encountered was to spin and talk at the same time, which he had major difficulties trying to master.
33 of 34 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
No studio was interested in financing this movie. Sir Richard Attenborough said that most of the financing came from: Joseph E. Levine, who agreed to finance in exchange of Attenborough directing A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Magic (1978), sale of his ownership share of "The Mousetrap", and Jake Eberts, a friend. The rest came from major companies in England, minus the BBC.
49 of 52 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim owned a share of the rights in Britain's longest-running play "The Mousetrap", which they sold to fund the production of this movie.
48 of 51 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When he won the part, Sir Ben Kingsley decamped to India and lived as best he could as Gandhi.
48 of 51 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi travels to London, he stays at Kingsley Hall. It's a historical coincidence, not a cute reference by the filmmakers.
91 of 100 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Martin Sheen donated his salary to charity.
54 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It was originally intended in the funeral scene to use a wax effigy of Sir Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. However, on the day, it was clear to Richard Attenborough that the wax dummy would fool no one, so Kingsley was asked to lie on the funeral pyre. He kept his eyes shut throughout, despite having petals fall on him constantly.
37 of 39 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 1962, Sir Richard Attenborough received a phone call from an Indian civil servant called Motilai Kothari, who was working with the Indian High Commission in London. Kothari was a devout follower of Gandhi, and was convinced that Attenborough would be the perfect choice to make a movie about him. Attenborough read Louis Fischer's biography of the Indian statesman and agreed with Motilai, though it would take him twenty years to fulfill the dream. His first act was to meet with the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, as well as Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. Nehru approved of his plan and promised to help support the production, but his death in 1964 was just one in a long line of setbacks.
28 of 29 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It was Michael Attenborough, Sir Richard Attenborough's son, who recommended Sir Ben Kingsley to his father.
49 of 53 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In John Ratzenberger's brief scene, his voice was dubbed by Martin Sheen.
38 of 41 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
For the funeral scene, advertisements calling for 300,000 extras were either distributed in pamphlets and by newspapers in Delhi. Extras were not allowed to wear anything other than white and as part of security measures, turnstiles were built at selected entry points for crowd control. The crew bought any clothing that was not white.
37 of 40 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Gandhi's funeral scene employed 300,000 extras, which makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of extras in one scene. This is a record that is likely to remain, as huge crowd scenes these days are largely done via CGI. The extras were not paid, they were all volunteers who came to honor the memory of Gandhi. This scene was shot on January 31, 1981, the 33rd anniversary of Gandhi's assassination, and employed nineteen different cameras.
39 of 43 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This first of the three movies in which Roshan Seth played Nehru. The others being Bharat Ek Khoj (1988) and The Last Days of the Raj (2007).
21 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Ben Kingsley studied for the part by watching five hours of newsreel footage of Gandhi in one sitting.
21 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin were mentioned in this movie. Sir Richard Attenborough directed biopics of each of these men: Young Winston (1972) and Chaplin (1992), respectively.
20 of 22 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Gandhi's last words "Oh God!" are inscribed on his memorial in India in Hindi.
20 of 22 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
At one stage, during the 20 year long development history of this movie, Sir Richard Attenborough offered Sir Anthony Hopkins the role of Gandhi. When Hopkins called his father to tell him the news, his father responded: "Oh, it's a comedy then, is it?"
24 of 27 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Before filming, Sir Richard Attenborough turned down Geraldine James' request to have an audio recording of the real Madeleine Slade/Mirabehn as part of researching the role. Instead, she was told to play it straight like a normal English woman. Later, she discovered the reason: after filming she was allowed to listen to the recording (taped between Attenborough and Slade in Austria) only to discover that Slade speaks with an Indian accent, having spent thirty-four years in India speaking in Hindi as well. It was James' friend, casting director Susie Figgis, who recommended her for the role.
28 of 32 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This movie takes place from June 7, 1893 to January 31, 1948.
28 of 32 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Richard Attenborough first offered Candice Bergen her cameo role in 1966 while they were filming The Sand Pebbles (1966).
18 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir David Lean and producer Sam Spiegel planned to make a movie about Gandhi with Sir Alec Guinness as Gandhi after they'd finished The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), but then they opted to make Lawrence of Arabia (1962) instead.
17 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When this movie was released in 1982, there were some strong criticisms against this film. Richard Grenier wrote both an article and a book called "The Gandhi Nobody Knows (1983)" criticizing this movie and Indian government for portraying Gandhi as a saint. Grenier points out that the government of India openly admits to having provided one-third of the financing of this movie out of state funds, straight out of the national treasury. Grenier's book inspired Colonel G.B. Singh to write the book "Gandhi Behind the Mask of Divinity" and co-write the book "Gandhi Under Cross Examination" with Dr. Timothy Watson, which contains more criticisms against Gandhi. Timothy Watson also wrote couple of articles criticizing Gandhi being portrayed as a saint.
12 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The twelfth highest grossing film in the U.S. in 1982.
18 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the DVD director's commentary, Sir Richard Attenborough mistakenly says that Ian Charleson died of cancer. This is not the case, Charleson died of an A.I.D.S.-related illness in 1990, the first mainstream British celebrity to do so. Upon his death, Charleson requested that the full cause of his demise be made public in order to bring greater awareness of the disease.
21 of 25 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Illness prevented cinematographer Billy Williams from completing this movie. Ronnie Taylor flew out from England to assist him and ended up completing cinematographic duties. Both men were awarded Oscars for their work on this movie.
12 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
By the late 1960s, Sir Richard Attenborough was still struggling to get this movie made. Figuring that David Lean might still be interested in the project, he approached the world-renowned director who agreed to make this movie, but then changed his mind to go make Ryan's Daughter (1970) instead.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to Geoffrey C. Ward's essay about this movie in Mark C. Carnes' book "Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies", Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had told Sir Richard Attenborough in 1963 not to deify Gandhi, since Gandhi was too great a man to be deified. The essay makes the point that Attenborough turned it into a mantra that lost its meaning and that this movie essentially deified Gandhi, leaving out anything about his life that could be construed as negative.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir John Hurt and Sir Tom Courtenay were among the actors approached by Sir Richard Attenborough about playing the lead role. Sir Ben Kingsley was recommended for the role by Harold Pinter, who had seen him in a play; Pinter made the suggestion to Sam Spiegel, an associate of Attenborough's.
15 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Filming took twelve months and used up twenty-three thousand feet of film.
15 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the funeral scenes, Sir Richard Attenborough sensed the estimated 300,000 extras were becoming bored and restless. He turned to his trusted assistant director, David Tomblin, and whispered "David, I think the crowd should spend a moment contemplating Gandhi's life and what his death means to India at this moment."Tomblin immediately stood up and bellowed in to his megaphone: "RIGHT. LISTEN UP!!! GANDHI'S DEAD, YOU'RE ALL SAD!!! ROLL CAMERAS!"
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Alec Guinness, Albert Finney, Peter Finch, Sir Tom Courtenay, Sir Dirk Bogarde, and Sir Anthony Hopkins were all originally considered for the role of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
20 of 27 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The last movie of John Boxer (Court Reporter) and Sir John Clements (Advocate General).
10 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of forty-five "great films".
12 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Theatrical movie debut of Daniel Day-Lewis (Colin).
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A duplicate of this movie's Best Picture Oscar is on display at the "World of Coca-Cola" exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. Columbia Pictures, this movie's distributor, was owned by the Coca-Cola Company at the time.
13 of 17 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Steven Spielberg, who lost the Best Picture and Best Director awards to Sir Richard Attenborough, later used several cast members in his own movies. Roshan Seth and Om Puri appeared in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Director Sir Richard Attenborough appeared in Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Sir Ben Kingsley appeared in Schindler's List (1993), which finally did win Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. Sir Nigel Hawthorne appeared in Amistad (1997). Martin Sheen appeared in Catch Me If You Can (2002). Finally, Daniel Day-Lewis appeared in Lincoln (2012), which which he, like Kingsley, won an Oscar for Best Actor, and in which his character is also felled by an assassin.
13 of 17 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Trevor Howard shot his cameo as Judge Broomfield in two days.
14 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Although this movie won several Oscars, many historians consider it propaganda. According to Ranjan Borra's article "Subhas Chandra Bose, The Indian National Army, and The War of India's Liberation", Clement Atlee, British Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951, told P.B. Chakraborthy, who served as acting Governor of West Bengal and Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court in India, that India was freed from British Empire in 1947 primarily because the Indian Army and Navy personnel had become more loyal to Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose than to the British Crown. When Chakraborthy asked Atlee about the Gandhi's influence on the British decision to leave India, Atlee slowly chewed out the word, "m-i-n-i-m-a-l!" In a 1955 BBC interview, Indian politician Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said India's independence from the British Empire was a result of the efforts of Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian soldiers.
19 of 30 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Last English-language theatrical movie of Dominic Guard (Subaltern). He has since had a long career in British television and a cameo in the French movie The Man Who Lost His Shadow (1991).
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Robert Bolt initially considered Marlon Brando for the lead. "He might allow the part to eat him, instead of him eating the part."
8 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Part of an early 1980s cycle of British productions set in India. The others being Heat and Dust (1983), The Far Pavilions (1984), A Passage to India (1984), Octopussy (1983), and The Jewel in the Crown (1984).
9 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Featured Bernard Hill in the small role of Sergeant Putnam. Hill appeared in other Best Picture Oscar winners for each of the following decades: Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
8 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Gerald Sim (Magistrate) was the brother-in-law of Director Sir Richard Attenborough.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Richard Attenborough, who was British, directed this movie about an Indian political leader. He appeared in Elizabeth (1998), a movie about a British political leader directed by Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.
7 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 1952, Gabriel Pascal secured an agreement from the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru, to make a movie of Gandhi's life. However, Pascal died two years later before preparations were completed.
5 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The only movie that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards (which it won), and not in any Best Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Paramahansa Yogananda wrote a chapter about meeting Gandhi in "Autobiography of a Yogi." Some of Gandhi's ashes were given to him and are still kept today at Lake Shrine in Los Angeles. Yogananda reported that before he died, Gandhi forgave the gunman who shot him.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
We are told, but never shown, that Gandhi meets Charlie Chaplin. Sir Ben Kingsley appeared in Iron Man 3 (2013) with Robert Downey, Jr., who had played Chaplin, also for director Sir Richard Attenborough.
8 of 24 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Laurence Olivier was announced for General Dyer in 1980. Before Sir David Lean had to abort his version of Gandhi's life, Olivier was scheduled to portray the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten.
3 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
3 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir John Gielgud, Sir John Mills, and Daniel Day-Lewis; and four Oscar nominees: Candice Bergen, Trevor Howard, Ian Bannen, and Nigel Hawthorne.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dominic Guard appeared in Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings (1978). Sir Michael Hordern appeared in the BBC Radio drama of The Lord of the Rings, Bernard Hill appeared in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mohammad Ali Jinnah became the subject of his own movie, Jinnah (1998), which featured Sir Christopher Lee.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Make-up.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Naseeruddin Shah and the late Smita Patil auditioned for the roles of Kasturba and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The part of Charlie Andrews was first intended for Michael Denison.
2 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Newsreel footage tells us that Gandhi met Charles Chaplin during his trip to England. Not only did Richard Attenborough later direct Chaplin (1992), but Chaplin himself was portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., who appeared with Kingsley in Iron Man 3 (2013).
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Anupam Kher auditioned for the role of Nehru but lost out to Roshan Seth.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Ian Charleson and Sir John Gielgud appeared in Chariots of Fire (1981), also a Best Picture Oscar winner.
1 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 1965, it was announced that Joseph E. Levine and his Embassy Productions would be filming this in October with Sir Richard Attenborough directing on a budget of $5.5 million.
0 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Edward Fox's brother, James, appeared in Jinnah (1998).
0 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Nigel Hawthorne appeared in Turtle Diary (1985), Freddie as F.R.O.7. (1992), and Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996).
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Cameo 

Daniel Day-Lewis: One of the young boys who insults Gandhi while walking on the sidewalk in South Africa.
168 of 171 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed