Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey, Doghmi Larbi
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 129 minutes
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 African Queen) first started trying to make the film, with Gable and Bogart, the project was derailed by the latter's death. It was a few decades before Huston was able to finally realize his dream movie--and with an unimprovable cast. Sean Connery and Michael Caine are, respectively, Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, a pair of lovably roguish British soldiers who set out to make their fortunes by conning the priests of remote Kafiristan into making them kings. It's a rollicking tale, an epic satire of imperialism, and the good-natured repartee shared by Caine and Connery is pure gold. In today's screen adventures, humor is usually imposed on the material by a writer or director trying to make some kind of cleverly self-aware comment ("Hey, we know it's a movie!"), but that sort of jokiness can create so much ironic distance that it pushes the audience right out of the picture. Huston lets the humor emerge naturally from the characters, for whom we wind up caring more deeply than we ever expected. The digital video disc includes a wonderful documentary on the making of the film. --Jim Emerson
Peachy, I'm heartily ashamed for gettin' you killed instead of going home rich like you deserved to, on account of me bein' so bleedin' high and bloody mighty. Can you forgive me?
That I can and that I do, Danny, free and full and without let or hindrance.
Everything's all right then.
Home to what? A porters uniform outside a restaurant and six penny tips from belching civilians for closing cab doors on their blowzy women?
Not for us thank you. Not after watching afghans come howling down out of the hills and taking battlefield command when all the officers bought it.
Well said, brother Dravot.
In any place where they fight, a man who knows how to drill men can always be a King. We shall go to those parts and say to any King we find - "D'you want to vanquish your foes?' and we will show him how to drill men; for that we know better than anything else. Then we will subvert that King and seize his Throne and establish a Dynasty.
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