Doctor Gulliver is poor, so nothing - not even his charming fiancée Elisabeth - keeps him in the town he lives. He signs on to a ship to India, but in a storm he's washed off the ship and ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Flynn was initially excited about going to India, and turned down the studio's offer of the lead in "King Solomon's Mines" in the role ultimately played by Stewart Granger, but all his scenes in "Kim" were shot in the studio and matched in the editing room with long shot second unit fugitive of his double. See more »
Near the end, Kim's string of beads alternates between being tucked inside his jacket in full shots and hanging outside the coat, draped over his lapels, in close-ups See more »
I've always thought that Rudyard Kipling's Kim might very well have been influenced by Charles Dickens and his creation of those street urchins in London led by that young survivor, the Artful Dodger. Certainly Kim as portrayed by Dean Stockwell in this film is every bit as resourceful in his way as the Dodger is in Oliver Twist.
The Dodger had the advantage of growing up poor, but growing up in his own culture in 19th century London. Kim is short for Kimball O'Hara who's growing up on the mean streets of India. Kim's dad was a British soldier and in this film, the mother who died in childbirth is also white. Kim learned the way to survive real fast.
Which makes him of great use to British Intelligence ever worried in the 19th century about Russian designs on India. Of course what they were doing in India is a question not asked in these films.
This is Dean Stockwell's film, maybe the best he did as a child actor. He's appealing as all get out in Kim. Adults like Errol Flynn as the horse trader Mahbub Ali who's really a British agent, Robert Douglas as the colonel in charge of British Intelligence, and Paul Lukas as the lama on pilgrimage who befriends young Kim are clearly in support of Stockwell.
This is familiar territory for Flynn back in his salad days he had just such a role in The Prince and the Pauper supporting the Mauch twins as Miles Hendon. By the way you might get confused a bit when you hear Flynn's character referred by name in Kim. They pronounce it in the film as one word, Mahbubali.
Flynn was loaned to MGM from Warner Brothers for That Forsyte Woman and a second film. He was given a choice of Kim or King Solomon's Mines, each film being shot on location in India and Africa respectively. Flynn opted for the Indian story although he got to Africa later in The Roots of Heaven.
Kim is still a fine boy's adventure story, should appeal to the twelve year old boy in all of us.
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