City of Joy (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

City of Joy1992

City of Joy (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

City of Joy Photos

Movie Info

In this drama, a wealthy American doctor learns some important lessons about life in one of the poorest cities on Earth. Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze) is a Houston surgeon who has grown weary of the bureaucracy of American medicine. When he loses a patient on the operating table, Max impulsively decides to leave America and travel to India in the hope of "finding himself." Not long after he arrives in Calcutta, Max is attacked by a group of thugs and left without money or a passport. However, a man named Hasari (Om Puri) comes to Max's rescue. Hasari had left his farming community to come to the city, only to be overwhelmed by its dirt, crime, and overcrowding. Despite their poverty, Hasari and his family take Max in and bring him to a medical clinic in the City of Joy, one of the poorest slums in the city. The clinic is run by Joan Bethel (Pauline Collins), an Irish-American nun who urges Max to use his skills to help the people of Calcutta who so desperately need it. Max signs on, and he finds that the experience changes his life. City of Joy was based on a novel by Dominique Lapierre.

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Om Puri
as Hasari
Pauline Collins
as Joan Bethel
Art Malik
as Ashoka
Debtosh Ghosh
as Ram Chander
Debotosh Ghosh
as Ram Chander
Shyamanand Jalan
as Godfather/Ghatak
Dipti Dave
as Schoolgirl
Aloke Roychoudhury
as Aristotle John
Aloknanda Datta
as Schoolgirl's Mother
Sunil Mukherjee
as Hotel Porter
Chetna Jalan
as Court Judge
Ravi Jhankal
as Obstructing Policeman
Charubala Chokshi
as Binal's Wife
Durba Datta
as Margareta
Anjan Dutt
as Dr. Sunil
Debasish Banerjee
as Dr. Sunil's Assistant
Swatilekha Sengupta
as Hotel Manageress
Sami Ahmad
as Bartender
Manu Mukherjee
as Waiter at Hamburger Bar
John Nair
as Selima's Son
Subrata Sen Sharma
as Minister at Railway Station
Satya Banerjee
as Subash's Father
Paresh Ghosh
as Subash's Uncle
Saran Chatterjee
as Subash's Uncle
Gouri Sankar Panda
as Subash's Uncle
Sudip Banerjee
as Subash's Uncle
Kajal Chaudhury
as Hasari's Mother
as Hasari's Father
Chitra Sen
as Angry Woman
Keira Jane Malik
as Young Patient
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Critic Reviews for City of Joy

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

In City of Joy, the camera is constantly craning back over crowded streets, a grand movement which simply underlines the lack of connection between the large and small-scale elements of the project.

February 5, 2020 | Full Review…

The unpleasant surprise is Ennio Morricone's score, his worst ever. The final chorus sounds like 10,000 Pekinese puppies stuck in a cave.

January 3, 2018

City of Joy seems a little too "written," too conformed to the rituals of Hollywood screenplays. There's so much interesting stuff in the movie we are prepared to forgive that.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This tale of self-discovery works more fascinatingly as a quasi-documentary/travelogue than as a human drama.

June 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Shows how two men experience the enhancement of their lives by caring, commitment, and community.

August 29, 2002 | Full Review…

"well-intentioned but mostly bland"

July 29, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for City of Joy

A fantastic depiction of the struggles of the Poor in Calcutta

Tom Ericksen
Tom Ericksen

Super Reviewer


Patrick Swayze's character and story are a bit contrived, but the film is saved by Om Puri's superb performance as a fearful farmer who becomes a hero.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

City of Joy Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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