NINE HOURS TO RAMA is an ambitious, interesting recreation of the assassination of Gandhi in 1948. Fictionalized flashbacks detail the molding of the character of his killer, played with customary intensity by Horst Buchholz.
The passion may be a bit overdone at times; fault writer Nelson Gidding and director Mark Robson as much as Herr Horst, who built a career on playing young guys with burning nerves. Robson’s direction of the other elements is decent, his $3,610,000 production a handsome one, filmed on location in India, the teeming crowds and kaleidoscope of color stamping the film with atmospheric urgency.
Jose Ferrer is very good as the police supervisor on the trail of terrorism, Diane Baker does a different sort of turn as a prostitute, and others in the supporting cast are all fine, with J.S. Cashyap a remarkable lookalike of Gandhi, casting of note to those who have only seen the Indian leader as played by Ben Kingsley.
Most pleasant in the lineup is a lushly beautiful lady named Valerie Gearon (her acting is all right as well), cast as love interest to the chief fanatic. Why wasn’t this lovely talent given more of an airing by film-makers? Anyway, enjoy her here, along with the locales, as part of a fairly successful attempt to tell an adequately suspenseful story.
From 1963, running 124 minutes, with Don Borisenko, Robert Morley, Jaraj, Harry Andrews and Allan Cuthbertson. In the States, it grossed $2,900,000.