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The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Doghmi Larbi ...
Ootah
Jack May ...
District Commissioner
Karroom Ben Bouih ...
Kafu Selim
Mohammad Shamsi ...
Babu
...
Ghulam
Paul Antrim ...
Mulvaney
Graham Acres ...
Officer
The Blue Dancers of Goulamine ...
Dancers
Shakira Caine ...
Roxanne
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Storyline

This adaptation of the famous short story by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, two ex-soldiers in India when it was under British rule. They decide that the country is too small for them, so they head off to Kafiristan in order to become Kings in their own right. Kipling is seen as a character that was there at the beginning, and at the end of this glorious tale. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

india | king | ex soldier | rifle | fall | See All (161) »

Taglines:

Long live adventure... and adventurers! See more »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karroom Ben Bouih, who played the high priest Kafu-Selim, was 103 years old when he made his first and only film appearance. When he saw some of the footage, he declared that now he would live on forever. See more »

Goofs

The Kafiristanis worship idols and yet the prayers/religious chants they utter are standard Muslim prayers/religious chants. They clearly mention the name of Allah several times. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, being against the worship of idols. See more »

Quotes

Peachy Carnehan: It took him half an hour to fall.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Have I Got News for You (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This story is about a real place!
8 March 2004 | by (Bronx, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

What most viewers do not realize about The Man Who Would Be King (1975) is that it is not about a legendary place, although Rudyard Kipling may have thought so when he wrote the story, because no white man had ever been there and returned to tell about it.

The place was then known as Kafiristan and is now known as Nuristan. It is in Eastern Afghanistan next to Chitral, which is in Northwest Pakistan.

Place names in the movie, such as Kamdesh and Bashgal, are real places in Nuristan. The explorer Robertson, whom Billy Fish reports has having died, did not die in real life but was rescued by a British military force in 1895, after Kipling wrote his story.

The people of Nuristan are believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great, who came there in 328 BC, just as the movie states. They had a pagan religion as the movie describes until they were forcibly converted to Islam in 1892. There are still some believers of the old religion in the Kalash Valleys of Pakistan.

For more about these people see http://www.samsloan.com/damik.htm

I know about all this because I have been there and I married a woman named Honzagool there. She did not bite me as did the wife of Sean Connery in the movie, however.

Sam Sloan


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