Rogue's March


1h 24m 1953
Rogue's March

Brief Synopsis

After being unjustly accused of spying, a British officer tries to redeem himself in India.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
War
Release Date
Feb 13, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,516ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In turn-of-the-century London, the British government fears that Russian interference may be creating a dangerous situation at the Afghan-Indian border and orders the Royal Fusiliers to advance to the area. Although worried about the dangers, regiment commander Col. Lenbridge wants his son Dion, now a captain at the war office, to transfer back to the regiment before they sail. Dion is happy to rejoin his father and hopes to prove to the troop that he is no longer just "the colonel's little boy." Dion's cartographer, Herbert Bielensen, offers his best wishes, just as Maj. Mac Street, Dion's replacement, takes possession of Dion's dispatch box. Later, while Dion has lunch with his sweetheart, Jane Wensley, Bielensen secretly goes to the Russian embassy to tell the Emissary that the dispatch box, to which Bielensen was to return some stolen documents, is now inaccessible and their theft will soon be discovered. The next morning, as Dion is packing to leave for India, he pays off his bookie and starts to relate to his friend and rival for Jane's affections, Capt. Thomas Garron, that he has just won a large sum of money playing cards with a complete stranger. Just then Bielensen arrives with the gift of a cake, and Dion hurriedly leaves for his ship after giving his aide a large sum of money to settle his many debts. At the dock, before boarding, Dion says goodbye to Jane, who is soon to join her father, Maj. Wensley, in India, but as they happily talk of their impending marriage, a contingent of soldiers interrupt them and arrest Dion. At a court-martial, it is revealed that when Mac Street opened the dispatch box, he found two important documents missing. Later, one of them was found among Dion's things. Dion is not worried, despite the additional evidence of his unsubstantiated financial windfall, because he is sure that Bielensen's testimony will prove his innocence. Although Bielensen appears to be a reluctant witness, his testimony that Dion took both documents and put them in his pocket is damning. The military court sentences Dion to be reduced to the ranks and drummed out of the army. After his humiliation before the regiment, Dion is arrested by civilian authorities and charged with treason. While awaiting trial, Dion refuses to see the loyal Jane and tells his attorney, Maj. Fallow, that he will somehow find Bielensen and make him talk. Later, as the police escort Dion back to jail, he escapes. Now fearful for his life, Bielensen returns to the coastal town where he lives and asks for help from his Russian cohorts. A short time later, Dion arrives in the town looking for Bielensen, but learns that he went out fishing one day and never returned. Dion then buys some old clothes and throws his own into the sea to make it appear he has drowned. Some time later, after a series of menial jobs, Dion decides to enlist as a private in the army, assuming the name "Harry Simms." Dion pretends not to adapt well to military life and is viewed with antagonism by many of his fellow recruits, who call him a "gentleman ranker." His only friend is Pvt. McGinty, a kindhearted man who has difficulty learning military techniques. Dion helps McGinty, and the two men pass their tests and sail toward India with their recently called up regiment. Months later, the regiment is ordered to a base near the Khyber Pass, as reinforcements for the Royal Fusiliers. Jane, who is now in India and being romanced by Tommy, still loves Dion, even though it was reported that he drowned. One night, Dion secretly approaches her and she is overjoyed that he is still alive. Although Dion tries to avoid contact with his former regiment, his identity is soon uncovered and he is arrested. Jane tries to persuade Lenbridge that his son is innocent, but Lenbridge feels that the military court could not have been wrong. Soon Lenbridge receives word that the Afghan leader, Hassan Khan, has been fomenting trouble in the Khyber Pass. Tommy suggests disguising himself as an Afghan to go through the pass and survey the situation, and Lenbridge agrees. That same night, McGinty, who believes in Dion's innocence, is assigned to guard him. While the two men enjoy a beer that McGinty has brought, they hear shooting close by. Fearing that his defenseless friend will be slaughtered if the camp is attacked, McGinty allows Dion to escape. Dion then wanders the surrounding mountains and shoots at Tommy, who he assumes is an Afghan. The two men scuffle, but after they recognize each other, Dion binds Tommy's wounded arm. The two men join forces and soon come upon the bodies of many dead British soldiers. Although Tommy is getting weak, Dion helps him to the next British encampment, where they report their findings. None of the soldiers recognize Dion at this regiment, and he is hailed as a hero. When some of the troops are ordered to go back through the Khyber Pass, Tommy urges Dion to escape, but he refuses. The regiment's colonel, who admires Dion's bravery and skills, assigns him to be orderly to a green young officer named Lt. Jersey. The Afghans, stirred into action by Hassan Khan and the Russian emissary, who has joined them, soon ambush the British, and casualties are heavy. The wounded colonel puts Jersey in charge and, following the colonel's advice, allows Dion to take a small contingency of men to sneak behind the lines. Dion sees the enemy's movements and relays valuable information that is then signaled back and forth among Jersey's men and two other divisions. On Dion's advice, Jersey advances his men at just the right time and the British are victorious. "Simms" is told he will be recommended for a decoration as the men march out to meet the oncoming Royal Fusiliers. Back at Lenbridge's headquarters, the Russian emissary is brought before him. Hoping for leniency, the emissary confesses his part in the theft of the documents in London and attempt to frame Dion. Lenbridge then happily tells his son that he has been exonerated, and Jane and Dion are married.

Cast

Peter Lawford

Capt. Dion Lenbridge [also known as Pvt. Harry Simms]

Richard Greene

Capt. Thomas Garron

Janice Rule

Jane Wensley

Leo G. Carroll

Col. Lenbridge

John Abbott

Herbert Bielensen

Patrick Aherne

Maj. Wensley

John Dodsworth

Maj. Mac Street

Herbert Deans

Prosecutor

Hayden Rorke

Maj. Fallow

John Lupton

Lt. Jersey

Barry Bernard

Sergeant

Charles Davis

Cpl. Biggs

Jack Raine

Gen. Woodberry

Richard Hale

Emissary

Michael Pate

Crane

Skelton Knaggs

Fish

Sean Mcclory

McGinty

Otto Waldis

Alex

Hugh French

Capt. Foster

Leslie Denison

Lt. Col. Harvill

Lester Matthews

Brig. General

Patrick O'moore

Maj. Bennett

Blake Warwick Owen-smith

Col. Tyson

Robin Hughes

Capt. Ashe

Francis Bethencourt

Capt. Norton

Gregory Gay

Secretary

Robin Camp

Page boy

Arthur Gould-porter

Ford

Wallis Clark

Brooks

Ramsay Hill

Colonel

Sir Sydney Lawford

General

Lumsden Hare

President

Trevor Ward

Bank teller

Ivo Henderson

Provost Marshall

Bruce Carruthers

Captain

Guy Bellis

Man from Scotland Yard

James Craven

Renford

Henry Kulky

Alex's partner

Norman Rainey

Tobacconist

Clyde Cook

Fisherman

Harry Cording

Fisherman

Phyllis Stanley

Mabel

Charles Keane

Recruiting sergeant

John O'malley

Recruiting corporal

Patrick Conway

Lieutenant

Gilchrist Stuart

Andy

Ivan Hayes

Orderly

Wilson Wood

Sentry

Vernon Downing

M.P.

Bruce Lester

Wilson

Guy Kingsford

Sentry

Charles Hall

Batman

Alexis Davidoff

Hassan Khan

Harry Martin

Sergeant

Robert Stephenson

Signaler

Clive Morgan

Major

Dave Dunbar

Sgt. Major

Nelson Welch

Interpreter

Aram Katcher

Card Wallah

Kalu K. Sonkur

Fruit Wallah

Eddie Das

Souvenir Wallah

Chanan Sohi

Candy Wallah

Photo Collections

Rogue's March - Peter Lawford Publicity Stills
Here are some publicity stills of MGM contract star Peter Lawford, taken to promote Rogue's March (1953). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
War
Release Date
Feb 13, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,516ft (8 reels)

Articles

Rogue's March


Rogue's March (1953) was Peter Lawford's 40th film and his last as a contract player for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Still a teenager at the time of his 1943 signing, Lawford rose through the studio ranks swiftly, earning a salary increase from his initial $100 a week and plum roles in such films as The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) and Little Women (1949), in which he gave maturing child star Elizabeth Taylor her first onscreen kiss. The actor's star wattage dimmed as quickly as it had flared, however, and within a few years Lawford found himself stuck in unprepossessing programmers (1951's Royal Wedding notwithstanding). By 1950, MGM was in decline, a victim of the encroachment of television and anti-trust laws that stripped the major studios of their cinemas and sweetheart distribution deals. Developed, produced and written by Leon Gordon, in follow-up to the success of his Rudyard Kipling adaptation Kim (1950), Rogue's March was intended as a vehicle for Stewart Granger or Robert Taylor but by the spring of the following year the star of the show was the more budget-conscious Lawford.

A reworking of A. E. W. Mason's oft-filmed 1902 novel The Four Feathers, Rouge's March finds Lawford's earnest British captain drummed out of the Royal Midlands Fusiliers (a branch of the army in which the actor's father had served during the Boer War) due to allegations of treason on the eve of a campaign on the Afghan-Indian border. Faking his death with an aim to hide in plain sight as a lowly private in a less reputable battalion ordered to Singapore, Lawford is redirected instead to the Punjab, where he must risk exposure to help quell a tribal uprising backed by czarist Russia. Though MGM had boasted that Rouge's March would be shot in India, the studio opted instead to reuse footage from Kim rather than foot the bill for location shooting; the balance of the desert scenes were faked at Vasquez Rocks, a popular movie location for westerns and science fiction films. (The studio offers a cheeky acknowledgement to the Indian government for allowing location photography - technically true, just not for Rogue's March.) Compensating for its failings as a travelogue, Rogue's March offers a stellar roster of supporting players, among them Richard Greene, Janice Rule, Leo G. Carroll, John Abbott, Hayden Rorke, Michael Pate, Skelton Knaggs, Sean McClory and Lawford's father, Lieutenant General Sir Sidney Turing Barlow Lawford, who died of natural causes two days after the film's February 13, 1953 opening.

Adept at light comedy and pitching woo, Peter Lawford was by his own admission all thumbs with the emotional stuff and such was the case on the set of Rogue's March. Required to well up in shame as his falsely accused character is stripped of his rank and regimental insignias, Lawford failed to summon the requisite waterworks - forcing director Allen Davis to spray a solution of water and onion juice in the actor's eyes. Shortly after the film was sent into cinemas in support of John Sturges' Jeopardy (1953), Lawford was let go by the studio, which had begun to divest itself of such "has-beens" as Greer Garson, June Allyson, Esther Williams, Van Johnson, Lionel Barrymore, Esther Williams and Clark Gable in a bid to reduce its overhead. Interested in developing his own projects (a career goal that would result in such films as Oceans Eleven (1960) and Johnny Cool, 1963), Lawford was also soon to marry into the affluent Kennedy family of Massachusetts, making him by 1961 the brother-in-law of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

Producer: Leon Gordon
Director: Allan Davis
Screenplay: Leon Gordon
Cinematography: Paul Vogel
Art Direction: William Ferrari, Cedric Gibbons
Music: Alberto Colombo
Film Editing: Gene Ruggiero
Cast: Peter Lawford (Capt. Dion Lenbridge/Pvt. Harry Simms), Richard Greene (Capt. Thomas Garron), Janice Rule (Jane Wensley), Leo G. Carroll (Col. Lenbridge), John Abbott (Herbert Bielensen), Patrick Aherne (Maj. Wensley), John Dodsworth (Maj. MacStreet), Herbert Deans (Prosecutor), Hayden Rorke (Maj. Fallow), John Lupton (Lt. Jersey)
BW-84m.

by Richard Harland Smith

Sources:
Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets by James Spada (Bantam Books, 1991)
Variety, November 2, 1951
Variety, December 19, 1951
Variety, January 2, 1952
MGM News, April 17, 1952
Rogue's March

Rogue's March

Rogue's March (1953) was Peter Lawford's 40th film and his last as a contract player for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Still a teenager at the time of his 1943 signing, Lawford rose through the studio ranks swiftly, earning a salary increase from his initial $100 a week and plum roles in such films as The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) and Little Women (1949), in which he gave maturing child star Elizabeth Taylor her first onscreen kiss. The actor's star wattage dimmed as quickly as it had flared, however, and within a few years Lawford found himself stuck in unprepossessing programmers (1951's Royal Wedding notwithstanding). By 1950, MGM was in decline, a victim of the encroachment of television and anti-trust laws that stripped the major studios of their cinemas and sweetheart distribution deals. Developed, produced and written by Leon Gordon, in follow-up to the success of his Rudyard Kipling adaptation Kim (1950), Rogue's March was intended as a vehicle for Stewart Granger or Robert Taylor but by the spring of the following year the star of the show was the more budget-conscious Lawford. A reworking of A. E. W. Mason's oft-filmed 1902 novel The Four Feathers, Rouge's March finds Lawford's earnest British captain drummed out of the Royal Midlands Fusiliers (a branch of the army in which the actor's father had served during the Boer War) due to allegations of treason on the eve of a campaign on the Afghan-Indian border. Faking his death with an aim to hide in plain sight as a lowly private in a less reputable battalion ordered to Singapore, Lawford is redirected instead to the Punjab, where he must risk exposure to help quell a tribal uprising backed by czarist Russia. Though MGM had boasted that Rouge's March would be shot in India, the studio opted instead to reuse footage from Kim rather than foot the bill for location shooting; the balance of the desert scenes were faked at Vasquez Rocks, a popular movie location for westerns and science fiction films. (The studio offers a cheeky acknowledgement to the Indian government for allowing location photography - technically true, just not for Rogue's March.) Compensating for its failings as a travelogue, Rogue's March offers a stellar roster of supporting players, among them Richard Greene, Janice Rule, Leo G. Carroll, John Abbott, Hayden Rorke, Michael Pate, Skelton Knaggs, Sean McClory and Lawford's father, Lieutenant General Sir Sidney Turing Barlow Lawford, who died of natural causes two days after the film's February 13, 1953 opening. Adept at light comedy and pitching woo, Peter Lawford was by his own admission all thumbs with the emotional stuff and such was the case on the set of Rogue's March. Required to well up in shame as his falsely accused character is stripped of his rank and regimental insignias, Lawford failed to summon the requisite waterworks - forcing director Allen Davis to spray a solution of water and onion juice in the actor's eyes. Shortly after the film was sent into cinemas in support of John Sturges' Jeopardy (1953), Lawford was let go by the studio, which had begun to divest itself of such "has-beens" as Greer Garson, June Allyson, Esther Williams, Van Johnson, Lionel Barrymore, Esther Williams and Clark Gable in a bid to reduce its overhead. Interested in developing his own projects (a career goal that would result in such films as Oceans Eleven (1960) and Johnny Cool, 1963), Lawford was also soon to marry into the affluent Kennedy family of Massachusetts, making him by 1961 the brother-in-law of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. Producer: Leon Gordon Director: Allan Davis Screenplay: Leon Gordon Cinematography: Paul Vogel Art Direction: William Ferrari, Cedric Gibbons Music: Alberto Colombo Film Editing: Gene Ruggiero Cast: Peter Lawford (Capt. Dion Lenbridge/Pvt. Harry Simms), Richard Greene (Capt. Thomas Garron), Janice Rule (Jane Wensley), Leo G. Carroll (Col. Lenbridge), John Abbott (Herbert Bielensen), Patrick Aherne (Maj. Wensley), John Dodsworth (Maj. MacStreet), Herbert Deans (Prosecutor), Hayden Rorke (Maj. Fallow), John Lupton (Lt. Jersey) BW-84m. by Richard Harland Smith Sources: Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets by James Spada (Bantam Books, 1991) Variety, November 2, 1951 Variety, December 19, 1951 Variety, January 2, 1952 MGM News, April 17, 1952

Sean McClory (1924-2003)


Sean McClory, an Irish-born actor who appeared in scores of American movies and made countless appearances on television shows, died on December 10th of heart failure at his home in Hollywood Hills. He was 79.

Born on March 8, 1924 in Dublin, Ireland, he became a leading man at the famous Abbey Theatre in the early '40s and relocated to the United States shortly after World War II. His first roles were small bits as a police officer in two RKO quickies: Dick Tracy's Dilemma and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (both 1947). He eventually graduated to more prestigious pictures like The Glass Menagerie (1950), Les Miserables (1952) and John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952).

After a few more supporting roles in quality pictures: Niagara (1953); the sci-fi chiller Them! (1954); and for John Ford again in The Long Gay Line (1955), McClory turned to television. He kept busy for several years with guest roles in a variety of popular shows: Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Outer Limits (1964) and countless others. By the mid-'60s, McClory became slightly more heavy-set, and began tossing off variations of jovial, "oirish" blarney for, yet again John Ford in Cheyenne Autumn (1964); and in a string of Disney pictures: Follow Me, Boys! (1966, his best role, a moving performance as the alcoholic father whose behavior alienates his son, played by a 15-year old Kurt Russell); The Happiest Millionaire (1967), and The Gnome-Mobile (1967), before he returned to television. His final role was in John Huston's acclaimed Irish opus The Dead (1987). He is survived by his wife, Peggy Webber McClory.

by Michael T. Toole

Sean McClory (1924-2003)

Sean McClory, an Irish-born actor who appeared in scores of American movies and made countless appearances on television shows, died on December 10th of heart failure at his home in Hollywood Hills. He was 79. Born on March 8, 1924 in Dublin, Ireland, he became a leading man at the famous Abbey Theatre in the early '40s and relocated to the United States shortly after World War II. His first roles were small bits as a police officer in two RKO quickies: Dick Tracy's Dilemma and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (both 1947). He eventually graduated to more prestigious pictures like The Glass Menagerie (1950), Les Miserables (1952) and John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952). After a few more supporting roles in quality pictures: Niagara (1953); the sci-fi chiller Them! (1954); and for John Ford again in The Long Gay Line (1955), McClory turned to television. He kept busy for several years with guest roles in a variety of popular shows: Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Outer Limits (1964) and countless others. By the mid-'60s, McClory became slightly more heavy-set, and began tossing off variations of jovial, "oirish" blarney for, yet again John Ford in Cheyenne Autumn (1964); and in a string of Disney pictures: Follow Me, Boys! (1966, his best role, a moving performance as the alcoholic father whose behavior alienates his son, played by a 15-year old Kurt Russell); The Happiest Millionaire (1967), and The Gnome-Mobile (1967), before he returned to television. His final role was in John Huston's acclaimed Irish opus The Dead (1987). He is survived by his wife, Peggy Webber McClory. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Leon Gordon's onscreen credit reads: "Written and produced by Leon Gordon." The film ends with the following written acknowledgment: "The battle sequences of this picture were photographed at the Khyber Pass, India, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer expresses its deep appreciation to all those who made it possible." The film's title was taken from the song of the same name, a traditional British army marching tune. Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety news items from December 1951 and January 1952 reported that Gordon was about to go to India to film backgrounds for the film in the Khyber Pass at "practically the same locale as Gordon's last production for Metro, Kim" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). However, according to a April 21, 1952 Hollywood Reporter "Rambling Reporter" column, M-G-M "slapped a twenty-day shooting schedule" on the production, which would be using "stock shots" from the studio's 1950 Indian-set adventure, Kim. There is no indication, either in Hollywood Reporter production charts or other contemporary sources, that Gordon shot part of Rogue's March in India, and it is likely that the acknowledgment at the end of the film referred to footage actually shot for the earlier Kim.
       The uprising depicted within the film, and the connection to the Russian government, was not historically accurate and combined some factual details from different time periods with fiction. According to a Daily Variety news items, both Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger were "earmarked" as the lead when M-G-M activated Gordon's project in late 1951. Sir Sydney Lawford, a retired Lt. Gen. in the British army, and Peter Lawford's father, made a brief appearance as a general in the film.