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Indian Durbar

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Indian Durbar

The "rich and vivid spectacle" of the Durbar held for the Maharaja of Alwar is captured in gorgeous Technicolor by Jack Cardiff in this travelogue.

Documentary 1940 11 mins

Overview

The "rich and vivid spectacle" of the Durbar held for the Maharaja of Alwar (in Rajasthan) is captured in ravishingly beautiful colour in this travelogue. The condescending commentary grates, but the stunning images - capturing the spectacle of the Maharajah's lavish parade (complete with elephant-pulled carriage) the dancers and the succession of tributes in the opulent palace courtyard - more than make up for it. They were shot by Jack Cardiff, world-recognised (and Oscar-winning) master of Technicolor.

Indian Durbar was one of a number of short travelogues shot by Cardiff in India (and many more elsewhere) in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Others include A Road in India and A Village in India. For the Technicolor company, the exoticism of the films' subjects offered a very useful demonstration of their vibrant colour process.