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The Man Who Would Be King

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 11-09-2010


Product Description
Two soldiers of fortune leave 19th century India for the primitive land of Kafiristan where they plan to become kings.Amazon.com essential video
A grandly entertaining, old-fashioned adventure based on the Rudyard Kipling short story, The Man Who Would Be King is the kind of rousing epic about which people said, even in 1975, “Wow! They don’t make ’em like that anymore!” When director John Huston (The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The A… More >>

The Man Who Would Be King

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Comments (5)

He began with ‘The Maltese Falcon’ which one must admit is not too bad for a first film, don’t you think?

Then for years he wanted to bring this adventure story by Kipling to the screen. How many years? Well, originally he had Bogie and Gable in mind for the leads, you do the math.

Fortunately for us, he eventually got the green light for his project.

He then found Peachy and Danny in Michael Caine and Sean Connery, movie stars who are also great actors– of which there ain’t many, folks—and who are perfectly cast in the roles.

Moreover, Caine and Connery had been friends for a long time and this undoubtedly helped bring to life the camaraderie between the misfit heroes.

It is the late 19th century and Danny and Peachy, formerly sergeants in Her Majesty’s Army, find themselves stranded and penniless in India. Their ungrateful country has no further use for them, although their officers once called them heroes “We fought our way up the pass yard by bloody yard.”

Now, bureocrats are running the show “with long skinny noses for looking down on you” and Danny and Peachy are considered ‘undesirables’.

So they are faced with three choices: Go back to England and take jobs as a porters or something equally lower class and menial, stay in India and continue to live more or less as petty criminals, or. . .

Well, let’s not give the plot away. Suffice it to say that when a reasonable Kipling (wonderfully played by Christopher Plummer) tries to dissuade them from their insane scheme, on the grounds that the odds against them are truly suicidal, Peachy dismisses his concerns with “Well, if a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !”

–The Greek in question being Alexander the Great–

And yes, women as well as men will enjoy this great film. It’s a not a “buddy movie”, it’s a classic.

Thank you, John Huston.
Rating: 5 / 5

This is, of course, a great film, with every aspect of what makes a great film fully exploited. But I did discover something strange on the DVD – there is an entire scene missing. After Sean Connery falls from the bridge, instead of the process shot that shows him falling in slow-motion and the crown falling from his head (which is in every version of the film I’ve ever seen) the scene dissolves to Christopher Plummer listening to the final words of Michael Caine’s narration. What happened to the scene?? Why would it have been removed?? My only other quibble about the DVD is that the sound is not very full. It is an early release DVD so in subsequent releases they might address that issue, but PUT BACK THE MISSING SCENE!
Rating: 4 / 5

This was one of my favorites, and a “must have” in my DVD library. The story is still great,and the dialog between “Peachy” and “Daniel” is still among my favorites still.

But the DVD was dissappointing. The movie is split on two sides, and has to be flipped to view the remainder of the film.The DVD only has Dolby 1.0 Sound (Digital but MONO)and apparently very weak in the mix. Overall a better picture than my old worn VHS, but very weak audio overall.

The menu’s and commentary are hard to read, and there were points in the movie where the transfer to DVD looked “jumpy”.

More than disappointing presentation overall.

This deserves a “director’s cut”, or an audio remix to serve those of us who will cherish whatever copy we have, forever.

Rating: 1 / 5

This film has met all the prerequistes necessary for producing a profound and rewarding entertainment experience. One of the greatest directors of all-time (John Huston), an all-star cast: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer and Saeed jaffrey, and an incredibly original storyline incorporating ancient Masonic mysteries, exotic locations and crisp, witty dialogue. This is a story I wish I had written! Even more delightful, it meets all expectations!

Rudyard Kipling (Plummer) finds an unexpected guest awaiting his presence in his darkened study one night. Without proper introductions the hooded intruder begins to share with Kipling a fantastic tale of adventure and discovery from a faraway land that many thought only existed in myth and legend. The study of the famous writer soon disappears as we are taken along with the mysterious narrator on a fantastic journey to a foreign land.

We are now introduced to Daniel Dravot (Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Caine), two ex-British soldiers and Masonic brothers turn fortune hunters. Seeking fame and fortune they are about to undertake the adventure of a lifetime. Their destination, the Far East in search of the legendary lost treasure of Alexander the Great.

And what an adventure it is! As Daniel and Peachy work their way across the vast Indian landscape towards the remote region of Kafiristan they encounter the usual severe natural hardships and hostile inhabitants as you might expect. However it’s the discovery of an archaic religious cult that happens to share many of the same symbols and beliefs found in their own Masonic brotherhood that really makes them begin to wonder. As they unravel the secret origin of this esoteric connection they are faced with the truth behind a two thousand year old secret concerning Alexander the Great and his mythical lost treasure.

Great film from ’75. It may seem a little dated to young viewers, but give it a chance and you won’t regret it! Great supporting performance from Saeed Jaffrey ( one of the greatest character actors of all time) the who plays their native guide Billy Fish, along with a brief and rare appearance by the lovely Shakira Caine as Roxanne.
Rating: 5 / 5

This movie is an unsurpassed, old-fashioned adventure tale about friendship, and tragic, over-reaching ambition. As an adventure, it far exceeds the wildly more popular but childish Indiana Jones series.

This movie follows the adventure of Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, two rakish ne’er-do-wells in the British Army in India. They leave the service, and, alone, they pack guns and supplies and head north to Kafiristan, a distant and mysterious land they’ve only heard tales about, to become Kings, and plunder the kingdom.

When they arrive, they pit warring communities against each other. During battle, Connery’s character is mistaken for a god when he is shot (in his leather bandolier), and doesn’t bleed. As a result, he is made King. He is brought to the Holy City, where the holy men mistake him for “Son of Sekander,” that is, the Son of Alexander The Great. They prostrate themselves before him, and give him access to Alexander’s treasure, which they have guarded for centuries.

Instead of taking the money and running, however, Connery gets big-headed, gets to liking the role of King, and wants to stay and administer his kingdom, which he does, and does well, it seems.

As you would expect, that’s not the end of the story…but I don’t want to give any more away.

This movie is also humorous. It certainly isn’t a comedy, but the heroes joke with one another, and the humor arises from their relationship, their fondness for one another, not from improbably comic situations.

This is a grand movie that treats grand themes, and it is worth seeing over and over again. I can’t recommend it enough.
Rating: 5 / 5

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