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King Rat (1965)

 -  War | Drama  -  27 October 1965 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,708 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 3 critic

A fast-taking wheeler-dealer corporal in a Malaysian POW camp during WWII uses bribery and larceny to take de facto control of the camp from his senior officers.

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(based on a novel by), (written for the screen by)
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Title: King Rat (1965)

King Rat (1965) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Max
...
Larkin
...
Todd Armstrong ...
Tex
...
Gerald Sim ...
Jones
...
McCoy
...
Daven
Alan Webb ...
Brant
John Ronane ...
Hawkins
Sam Reese ...
Kurt (as Sammy Reese)
Michael Lees ...
Stevens
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Storyline

When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 the Allied POWs, mostly British but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a POW detention center like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to escape to. Included among the prisoners is the American Cpl. King, a wheeler dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp. While most of the prisoners are near starvation and have uniforms that are in tatters, King eats well and and has crisp clean clothes to wear every day. His nemesis is Lt. Robin Grey, the camp Provost who attempts to keep good order and discipline. He knows that King is breaking camp rules by bartering with the Japanese but can't quite get the evidence he needs to stop him. King soon forms a friendship with Lt. Peter Marlowe an upper class British officer who is fascinated with King's élan and no rules approach to life. As the ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He entered WWII a soldier... and left a King. See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 October 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rei de um Inferno  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Interviews Bryan Forbes has said he had to fight the Screen Actors Guild over the most of the 15 British Equity members he wanted to cast. The Screen Actors Guild wanted British SAG members most who were fairly elderly most not suitable for the film. See more »

Goofs

The shoulder patch that Cpl. King (George Segal) is wearing is that of the 34th Infantry Division(Red Bull). The 34th ID served in the European Theater of Operations not in the Pacific. The 34th ID patch is a black Mexican water jug called an "olla" with a red bull's skull superimposed. The producers may have wanted to use the patch of the Philippine Division commanded by Maj.Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. This was the unit that surrendered to the Japanese on Bataan. The Philippine Div. patch was a red shield with a yellow carabao's head (water buffalo) superimposed. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Robin Grey: Where's the money?
Cpl. King: What money, sir?
Lt. Robin Grey: [Impatiently] The money from the sale of the diamond!
Cpl. King: [Acting as if he doesn't know what Grey's talking about] What diamond, sir?
Lt. Robin Grey: All right, all right, Corporal. The War will be over one day, and then you'll get yours!
Cpl. King: [Condescendingly] All right, sir. I believe you... but until then...
[He salutes half-heartedly and leaves]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nugget (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fideles
(uncredited)
Written by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Variation sung in distant background by POWs
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A grimly humorous meditation on power, class, privilege and character difficult to ever forget.
10 July 2004 | by (Omphalos DC) – See all my reviews

I saw this grainy black and white film sometime in 1967 one steamy evening in a tin hooch Army movie theatre at TSN airfield on the outskirts of Saigon. The movie was punctuated by the sounds of mortars on the perimeter and the occasional flash from an aerial flare. I never forgot it. It rang true there. So true that no-one could say a word after. We just got drunk -- as usual. I haven't talked to many others who saw this movie. It hit right in the middle of the rising tide of despair over Vietnam. And since it wasn't actually an anti-war movie, I think it went nowhere. I believe it's origin is a short novel, possibly autobiographical by J.B. Clavell, author of Tai Pan and other sagas set in the 19th C orient. No matter what George Segal has done since, I have known that he has the heart of a rat. His King was a natural ruler in a perverse state of nature -- and his fate the fate of all maverick rulers in the end. If you can find it and see it, it will take on the character of a lost dream.


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