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Kings and Desperate Men (1981)

 -  Drama  -  22 August 1981 (Canada)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 76 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

A group of terrorists take a radio disk jockey and his wife and child hostage in order to get their manifesto out to the world.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Kings and Desperate Men (1981)

Kings and Desperate Men (1981) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
John Kingsley
Alexis Kanner ...
Lucas Miller
...
Terrorist
Margaret Trudeau ...
Elizabeth Kingsley
Budd Knapp ...
Judge McManus
Neil Vipond ...
Henry Sutton
...
Kidnapper
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcel Beaulieu ...
Special Squad
Jean-Pierre Brown ...
Chris Kingsley
Kevin Fenlon ...
Laz
Jane Hooper ...
Girl with Radio
Andre Koudsey ...
Special Squad
Bob Lepage ...
Special Squad
Frank Moore ...
Pete Herrera
Kate Nash ...
Mrs.McPhearson
Edit

Storyline

On the eve of Christmas, an urbane, loutish and acidly cynical Montreal radio talk-show host is taken hostage in his own studio by a band of crusading terrorists who want a new on-the-air trial of a comrade they feel was wrongly convicted. For collateral, the terrorists have also taken hostage his rich wife and mentally retarded son in their own home. The listening audience shall act as the jury and phone in their verdicts. As the trial progresses, disembodied voices, Christmas hymns, religious imagery, one of the terrorists relating the story of "The Wind in the Willows," the voice of a child singing "Come All Ye Faithful" in Latin reflect the psyche of the characters in moments of truth. All the while, the talk-show host must sustain the role of grand showman and project his wit and cavalierness to the listening audience, despite the tense situation. Captor and captive engage in a furious battle of wits. Written by thustlebird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The lives of innocent people hang by the jagged thread of a maniac's whim... See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1981 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Kings and Desperate Men: A Hostage Incident  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received a very scattered release (Canada in 1981, England in 1984, the U.S. in 1989). Its most successful run was its 1984 showing in London. It premiered there at the London Film Festival and was heralded by a few London-based critics. See more »

Goofs

The reflection of two crew members are briefly seen just before Margaret Trudeau enters an elevator towards the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Lucas Miller: When you sign off at the end of your show, you always say, "This is your program"... well I am taking you up on that, Mr. Kingsley.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Kineversal Productions Presents a Film of a Hostage Incident See more »

Connections

Featured in In Search of the Prisoner (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally unacceptable from any angle...
22 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite the presence of the usually fascinating Patrick McGoohan, "Kings and Desperate Men" is almost a total failure. From a plot standpoint, the elaborate hostage taking scheme over a comrade's 15 year sentence for vehicular homicide seems unlikely at best and totally unbelievable at worst. The relationship of the hostage takers to the imprisoned criminal is never explained, and a who cares attitude permeates the film. From a technical standpoint, things are even worse. Long segments of dialog are incomprehensible, and the camera-work could only be described as annoying. What you get is a boring movie that will be a form of punishment for almost everyone. - MERK


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