They Met in Bombay

They Met in Bombay is a 1941 American adventure drama film directed by Clarence Brown, and starring Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, and Peter Lorre.[2][3]

They Met in Bombay
Original poster
Directed byClarence Brown
Produced byHunt Stromberg
Written byJohn H. Kafka (story)
Edwin Justus Mayer
StarringClark Gable
Rosalind Russell
Music byHerbert Stothart
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byBlanche Sewell
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • June 27, 1941 (1941-06-27)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,515,000[1]


Gerald Meldrick (Clark Gable) and Anya von Duren (Rosalind Russell) are a pair of rival jewel thieves at large in India. Both parties are after the same prize, a priceless diamond owned by the Duchess of Beltravers (Jessie Ralph). To inveigle their way into the Duchess' confidence, Gerald poses as a Lloyd's of London detective, while Anya pretends to be an aristocrat. After working at cross purposes, they decide to team up, keeping one step ahead of a diligent police inspector (Matthew Boulton) and mercenary freighter captain Chang (Peter Lorre).

Gerald's plans are upset when the Japanese invade Kwang-Tung Province. Gerald is given the job to evacuate Chaing Ling province. On the way to the province, Gerald has plans to duck out and head off in a car with Anya, so he informs his second in command that he will be leaving on a private mission and will put the idealistic young soldier in charge, Gerald believes the evacuation will go smoothly with little problems. At Chaing Ling, Gerald meets the evacuees, Europeans and Chinese. When the evacuation is set, Gerald meets up with Anya at the car she has acquired. But as they prepare to leave, the Japanese arrive. Sensing trouble, Gerald leaves the car and addresses the Japanese commander. the Japanese commander tells him he can evacuate the Europeans, but not the Chinese, the Chinese are considered spies and must be punished. Gerald will not let the Chinese be harmed and tells the Japanese commander that he is leaving with all the evacuees. Gerald calls up the Winnipeg Grenadiers and they get between the Japanese and the Chinese evacuees, The Japanese back down and the convoy leaves, with Anya in one of the trucks. On the road, The Japanese cut off their path, and begin firing on the Grenadiers, killing many. The Grenadiers fight back, but the Japanese have machine guns mounted on the high ground overlooking the road. Gerald shows true bravery by taking a handful of grenades and racing to outflank the Japanese on higher ground. Dodging gunfire, he mounts the heights while the evacuees take cover. Gerald lobs grenades down on the Japanese machine gun nests, blowing up two of them and then the third as he takes a bullet and collapses. The Grenadiers race to help him, and he is brought down in a stretcher. Some time later we see him in the Hospital fully recovered and ready to head off with Anya, still trying to cash in on the jewel. As he leaves to get his things, Anya is seen admiring his uniform.

Gerald is summoned before the battalion, where he is awarded the Victoria Cross for courage by General Allen in a filmed ceremony. Gerald is told his exploits at Chang-Lin have become part of British legend, an inspiration for soldiers of the Empire for all time to come. Gerald is truly moved by this, but is also conflicted by all his lies and his criminal past. The whole Battalion gives him three cheers. As Gerald is walking out, he is nabbed by the police inspector, who has been doggedly on his trail. Gerald just smiles and appears to give up. The inspector takes Gerald into General Allen's office, where Anya is waiting. General Allen says he has already learned about Gerald's criminal past, but still sees him as a hero. It turns out Anya, who has changed her viewpoint on life, is the one who filled General Allen in on Gerald's true past and summoned the inspector so Gerald could come clean, take his punishment and start life fresh. The inspector, who has no sympathy, marches Gerald out, planning to handcuff him once they leave the base. But Gerald, still believed to be a military officer by the troops, orders a group of soldiers to arrest the inspector, despite the man's furious protests that they are assisting a criminal. Gerald and Anya get into a military vehicle and leave the army base.

The inspector, after being freed, is phoning police from the general's office while the general looks on amused. The inspector vows to arrest Gerald whatever it takes. However, as he is leaving the general's office, Gerald and Anya walk in. Gerald tells the flabbergasted inspector that he could have run out on him, but he couldn't run out on Anya. They inform the inspector that they are married and hand him the stolen jewel. The delighted general shakes Gerald's hand. Gerald hands the general his Victoria Cross, and tells the general to keep it waiting for him when he comes back to enlist. The general is very happy to do so, knowing the courts will go easy on the war hero. Looking at the famed medal for valor, General Allen says: "I would give up the Star of Asia for this any day." Gerald hugs Anya and says, "Yeah, that's what we think, too."



Gable was planning to star with Lana Turner as Anya Von Duren in The Uniform in December 1940.[4] Turner was eventually replaced by Russell, and the film was released as They Met in Bombay.

Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $1,554,000 in the United States and Canada and $961,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $350,000.[1]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Variety film review; June 25, 1941, page 16.
  3. Harrison's Reports film review; July 5, 1941, page 106.
  4. "Clark Gable and Lana Turner Cast As New Hollywood Co-Starring Team" by Louella O. Parsons, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 6, 1940, p. 22
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