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City of Joy (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 April 1992 (USA)
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2:22 | Trailer
An American doctor, a British nurse and an illiterate Indian farmer join together to transform a Calcutta ghetto in this uplifting, inspirational movie starring Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins.

Director:

Roland Joffé

Writers:

Dominique Lapierre (book), Mark Medoff (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Swayze ... Max Lowe
Om Puri ... Hazari Pal
Pauline Collins ... Joan Bethel
Shabana Azmi ... Kamla H. Pal
Ayesha Dharker ... Amrita H. Pal
Santu Chowdhury Santu Chowdhury ... Shambu H. Pal
Imran Badsah Khan Imran Badsah Khan ... Manooj H. Pal
Art Malik ... Ashok Ghatak
Nabil Shaban ... Anouar
Debatosh Ghosh Debatosh Ghosh ... Ram Chander
Suneeta Sengupta Suneeta Sengupta ... Poomina
Mansi Upadhyay Mansi Upadhyay ... Meeta
Shyamanand Jalan Shyamanand Jalan ... Ghatak - Godfather
Shyamal Sengupta Shyamal Sengupta ... Gangooly - Con man
Rudraprasad Sengupta ... Chomotkar
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Storyline

Independent of each other, the Pal family - parents Hazari and Kamla, and their three offspring Amrita, Shambu and Manooj - and Max Lowe arrive in Calcutta, their initial dealings there being less than positive. After losing their farm in the nearby countryside to the "money lender", the Pals are in the city in search of a better life, especially in wanting to build a dowry for Amrita who is now of marrying age. Max, a Houston based surgeon who fell into the career as a matter of family obligation, quit his job unable to cope with the emotional toll especially of losing patients, and has come to Calcutta in search of spiritual enlightenment. Their lives converge by chance in the slum neighborhood nicknamed the City of Joy, most specifically at the makeshift City of Joy Clinic and School opened and operated by Irishwoman Joy Bethel who came to Calcutta on a whim and never left. While the Pals eventual settle in the City of Joy, Joy herself tries to convince Max to provide his much ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a man who couldn't care less... until he met a man who couldn't care more. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of brief strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ciudad de la alegría See more »

Filming Locations:

Calcutta, West Bengal, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,405,890, 19 April 1992

Gross USA:

$14,683,921

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,683,921
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last cinema feature of Sam Wanamaker. See more »

Goofs

The school girl in the rickshaw gets dropped daily to St. Xavier's School on Park Street - which is an all boys school. See more »

Quotes

Hasari Pal: Godfather has more eyes than a pineapple!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Animaniacs: Video Review/When Mice Ruled the Earth (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Original folk score
Richard Blackford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moving and sensitive chronicle about survival in a poverty-stricken city
4 July 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Disilusioned American heart surgeon named Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze who lacks some the emotional range) flees to India after losing a patient . In the extremely poor city of Calcutta he is beaten by a street band (led by Art Malik) and being robbed his money and loses the passport but finds help from an ex-farmer named Hazari(Om Puri , excellent as poor but obstinate worker) who takes him to a nearby clinic in the City of Joy , one of Calcutta's poorest areas . Hazari and his family have re-located to Calcutta with hopes of starting a new life , save some money and go back to their village , as well as get Amrita married . There Joan (Pauline Collins who is magnificent for her part) runs a miserable clinic without medicines and recruits the reluctant medic who undergoes a life-changing transformation . Meanwhile Hazari gets a job as a Rickshaw driver through a local godfather, Ghatak and new problems emerge when the exploiter rises the rents .

This is an enjoyable account of the survival of the human spirit against difficulties . The movie is plenty of graphic , striking and memorable moments , dictating a strong emotional response from the spectator . However , the city's portrayal as a magical location where troubles miraculously disappear is unrealistic . Interesting and thought-provoking movie with evident excitement that can sometimes be undercut by inadequacies in the screenplay , being adapted from a book by Dominique Lapierre . This moving picture results to be a breathtaking spectacle , including strong emotions , brooding dialogue and including a heartbreaking final . Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffe approached India's leading director Satyajit Ray to condone the production , Joffe tried four times to meet with Ray but he refused each time. Among the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the $27 million mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers . Joffe had the good idea to use Academy Award-nominated writer Mark Medoff and the result was an emotional bullseye with a sensitive tale of unfortunate and poor peasant workers in poor city of Calcutta ; however , it was not a major box-office hit . Colorful cinematography in strong visual sense by Peter Bizou . As Always , the maestro Ennio Morricone composes a marvelous and stirring musical score .

The motion picture was well directed by the British Roland Joffe . Although Warners was terrified of doing a film about lepers. They said, "Who cares about lepers?" I said it's not a film about lepers, it's a film about life and about any outsider - it could be AIDS, because the way people respond to lepers isn't that different from the way people with AIDS are treated . Roland is a good filmmaker mainly of epic subjects . After a long career filming for television , he made his movie debut in a big way with ¨The killing fields¨ winner of three Oscar and dealing with madness and atrocities committed by humans , Joffe's usual theme. ¨The mission¨, one of his greatest hits , had Palme d'or at Cannes , a graphic monument to Portuguese oppression in South-America , but Joffe has not quite held his place at the top level . He subsequently directed ¨Fat Man and Little Boy¨ referring to two atomic bombs dropped by America on Japan . Joffe's meagre output for the cinema makes it all the more surprising that he has turned out three splendid films and several others near-disasters such as ¨The scarlet letter¨, ¨Captivity¨, and ¨You and me¨. ¨Rating ¨City of Joy¨ : Better than average , worthwhile watching . The picture will appeal to Patrick Swayze fans .


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