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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>
Originally bought as a property for Freddie Bartholomew in 1938. Production was so far under way (including Bartholomew posing with Indian elephants for newsreel cameras), that the project was eventually abandoned to save costs. In 1942 it was revived as a property for Mickey Rooney but it too was abandoned at behest of the Office of War Information because of its imperialistic theme. See more »
When Kim is being pulled back up from the cliff ledge, safety wire is visible. See more »
There's good artistry involved, but it's something of a chore to stay with.
Out of MGM, Kim is directed by Victor Saville and adapted from the Rudyard Kipling novel by Helen Deutsch, Leon Gordon (producer as well) and Richard Schayer. It stars Errol Flynn, Dean Stockwell, Paul Lukas & Robert Douglas. It's shot in Technicolor by William V. Skall and André Previn provides the musical score. Locations for the shoot were Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, India, and some work was done at Alabama Hills near Lone Pine in California.
It's all very colourful, with performances from the cast to match, and the photography is at times gorgeous, but excitement is sporadic and threaded together by long periods of tedium. The story is a good one, tho the political correctness brigade would like to see the film given a Viking burial. Set during the British Raj, it tells how a young orphan boy named Kim (Stockwell) had adventures whilst becoming a spy for the Empire. The people he meets, good and bad, and his involvement with a Russian plot to seize India. Stockwell does very well in the lead role, and Flynn offers up some flamboyance. But it's ultimately too long at nearly two hours because the narrative is far too episodic. 4/10
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