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King Rat (1965)

Approved  |   |  War, Drama  |  27 October 1965 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,901 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 4 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
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Larkin
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Todd Armstrong ...
Tex
...
Gerald Sim ...
Jones
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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:

They made the toughest among them... 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Paul Newman and Steve McQueen were offered the chance to star in the film. They both turned it down and the role went to George Segal. 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

Cpl. King: [to Marlowe] You know, before this, everybody had it made but me. The closest I ever got was to read it out of magazines. I used to watch those real fancy dolls getting out of the big cars going to eat the big dinner. And they're always with pigs. You know, real pigs. Fat old guys; but they had it made.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in King Frat (1979) 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

 
The Best POW Film Ever!
12 July 2004 | by (sparks, nevada) – See all my reviews

This film, the best of 1965, was tough and disturbing and seriously under-rated. Great performances and a haunting soundtrack. George Segal, one of the best actors of the 60's and 70's creates an insidious yet charming character who runs things in the camp. James Fox (excellent actor who quit for many years on some kind of spiritual journey) is superb as is Tom Courtney and even Patrick O'Neal (who has never been impressive in any other film I can think of) delivers a punch as Max the stooge.

Bryan Forbes created a somber world of dog eat dog that should have been up for a host of awards. Throw in John Mills, James Donald and other familiar faces and you have a near-classic. A 9 out of 10. Best performance George Segal. Well worth your time.


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