Kim, a young boy living on his own on the streets of India, is actually the son of a British officer. He meets a lama, a holy man, and devotes himself to his tending. But when British administrators discover his birthright, he is placed in a British school. His nature, however, is opposed to the regimentation expected for the son of a British soldier, and he rebels. His familiarity with Indian life and his ability to pass as an Indian child allows him to function as a spy for the British as they attempt to thwart revolution and invasion of India. Rejoining his holy man, Kim (with the help of daring adventurer Mahbub Ali) takes on a dangerous mission. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
I watched this film on Turner Classics as I had been entranced by it as a child, and wanted to see how it stood up to today's expectations. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it was a rolicking good adventure yarn, that would be an ideal film for the family to watch together after a holiday dinner. As I had a tape of the TV version, with Peter O'Tool as the Llama, I was able to compare the two, which is why I felt that the 1950 version has worn well.
The colour is excellent, the acting is very good, and the locations shots in India lend a great deal of authenticity to the production. I realise that many of today's audience will find the lack of sex and violence make for a tedious film, but it is precisely the lack of obvious sex and violence, it is implied rather than overt, which makes for a good family film. In fact it was a relief to see a film that did not include the obligatory chase and fisticuffs that we have seen in every film and TV series in the last 50 years.
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