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King & Country (1964)

 -  Drama | War  -  30 November 1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 728 users  
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During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.



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Title: King & Country (1964)

King & Country (1964) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Hargreaves
Pvt. Arthur Hamp
Capt. O'Sullivan
Barry Foster ...
Lt. Webb
James Villiers ...
Capt. Midgley
Jeremy Spenser ...
Pvt. Sparrow (as Jeremy Spencer)
Barry Justice ...
Lt. Prescott
Vivian Matalon ...
Keith Buckley ...
Corporal of the Guard
James Hunter ...
Pvt. Sykes
Jonah Seymour ...
Cpl. Hamilton (MP)
Larry Taylor ...
Sergeant Major
David Cook ...
Pvt. Wilson
Richard Arthure ...
Guard 'Charlie'


During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

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Drama | War


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Release Date:

30 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King & Country  »

Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The introductory poem read by Tom Courtenay is A. E. Housman's 'Here Dead We Lie'.
  • Here dead we lie
  • Because we did not choose
  • To live and shame the land
  • From which we sprung.
  • Life, to be sure,
  • Is nothing much to lose,
  • But young men think it is,
  • And we were young.
See more »


Equipment shadow visible next to the door as the camera pulls back from the colonel's office after having received the messenger's dispatch. See more »

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User Reviews

pretty devastating
19 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"King & Country," directed by Joseph Losey and released in 1964, is an unrelenting look at war. The World War I drama concerns a young soldier (Tom Courtenay) who is being tried for desertion. It's evident that, after his whole battalion was lost, that the boy was shell-shocked. A Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde) is brought in to defend him.

The film has actual photos of dead bodies from the London War Museum throughout the movie. The setting is freezing cold, wet bunkers with lots of mud. The men have been jaded to death and suffering and at times act brutally.

The end of the film is particularly awful, that's the only word I can think of. Not awful as in it's a bad movie, but awful in the situation.

Tom Courtenay does an excellent job as a wide-eyed young man who really doesn't realize what he did or what may happen to him as a result; Leo McKern turns in an excellent performance as a no-nonsense officer. Dirk Bogarde is wonderful as the captain who goes to the mat for his client and comes up against a cruel system that seems to have no understanding of or compassion for human frailty.

Lots of gross stuff in this movie - imagine actually having to endure it. Excellent directing job by Losey, and a thought-provoking film that you won't forget quickly, even though you want to.

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