In 1893, Gandhi is thrown off a South African train for being an Indian and traveling in a first class compartment. Gandhi realizes that the laws are biased against Indians and decides to start a non-violent protest campaign for the rights of all Indians in South Africa. After numerous arrests and the unwanted attention of the world, the government finally relents by recognizing rights for Indians, though not for the native blacks of South Africa. After this victory, Gandhi is invited back to India, where he is now considered something of a national hero. He is urged to take up the fight for India's independence from the British Empire. Gandhi agrees, and mounts a non-violent non-cooperation campaign of unprecedented scale, coordinating millions of Indians nationwide. There are some setbacks, such as violence against the protesters and Gandhi's occasional imprisonment. Nevertheless, the campaign generates great attention, and Britain faces intense public pressure. Too weak from World ...
Did you know? Some say that Steven Spielberg cast 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). Read More
His Triumph Changed The World Forever. The Man of the Century. The Motion Picture of a Lifetime. A WORLD EVENT It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity.
Miscellaneous Hermann Kallenbach is shown alive in India at or near independence in 1947, but he died in 1945.
Miscellaneous The Calcutta killings are shown as having happened after Indian independence in August 1947 whereas they actually took place a year earlier in August 1946.
Miscellaneous The car burned in the Calcutta riot scenes (some time between 1946 and 1948) is an Ambassador, an Indian-made copy of a 1954 Morris Oxford.
Continuity When Gandhi is escorted into the office of the top prison official, the pendulum on the grandfather clock in the background jumps between shots.
Continuity When Gandhi tells the man how to escape from hell, the man prostrates himself at Gandhi's feet. Before, the man had tossed a piece of food on Gandhi's stomach. After falling at Gandhi's feet, the piece of food is gone.
Continuity The standing lamp on the right of the screen next to Judge Broomfield moves to the right when the Judge says "nevertheless, it is my duty...".
Factual Mistake The Hoisting of the Indian Flag on independence is shown to happen in broad daylight when in reality, it took place at Midnight.
Factual Mistake Lord Irwin, in real life, was born with a withered left arm with no hand. However, he is shown several times in the movie with both a left and right hand.
Revealing Mistakes In the massacre scene General Dyer is pacing back and forth between the two rows of firing soldiers. Right before the cut to the crowd he steps in front of a standing soldier firing.
Gandhi was selected for the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held in Goa.
While filming in some of the more rural villages in India, with 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.
The Indian government provided one third of the film's budget.
Ben Kingsley studied for the part by watching five hours of newsreel footage of Gandhi in one sitting.
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.
Both Winston Churchill and Charles Chaplin are mentioned in the film. Richard Attenborough directed biopics of each of these men: 'Young Winston' and 'Chaplin' respectively.
Illness prevented cinematographer Billy Williams from completing the film. Ronnie Taylor flew out from England to assist him and ended up completing cinematographic duties. Both men were awarded Oscars for their work on Gandhi.
The Ian Charleson part was first intended for Michael Denison.
When he won the part, Ben Kingsley decamped to India and lived as best he could as Gandhi himself.
John Hurt and Tom Courtenay were among the actors approached by Richard Attenborough about playing the lead role. 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.
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.
Ben Kingsley looked so much like Mohandas K. Gandhi, many natives thought him to be Gandhi's ghost.
Ben Kingsley's paternal family was from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same state Mohandas K. Gandhi was from. He took his stage name from the very same Kingsley Hall in London where Gandhi stayed on his visit in 1931.
There is a scene where Gandhi is insulted by walking on the side walk of South Africa by some young boys. One of them is none other than Daniel Day-Lewis.
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.
Some say that Steven Spielberg cast 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).
This first of the three features that Roshan Seth plays Nehru. The other ones were the TV series Bharat Ek Khoj and a TV movie The Last Days of the Raj.
It was Michael Attenborough, Richard Attenborough's son, who recommended Ben Kingsley to his father.
Trevor Howard shot his cameo as Judge Broomfield in two days.
Alec Guinness, Albert Finney, Peter Finch, Tom Courtney, Dirk Bogarde, and Anthony Hopkins were all originally considered for the role of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
The last film of John Boxer and Sir John Clements.
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