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Farewell to the King (1989)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  3 March 1989 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,887 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 23 critic

An American soldier who escapes the execution of his comrades by Japanese soldiers in Borneo during WWII becomes the leader of a personal empire among the headhunters in this war story told... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Botanist
...
Tenga
...
Gwai
...
Learoyd
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Yoo
Choy Chang Wing ...
Lian
...
Colonel Mitamura
...
Conklin
William Wise ...
Dynamite Dave
...
Bren Armstrong
Richard Morgan ...
Strech Lewis
Elan Oberon ...
Vivienne
...
Ferguson
Michael Nissman ...
...
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Storyline

An American soldier who escapes the execution of his comrades by Japanese soldiers in Borneo during WWII becomes the leader of a personal empire among the headhunters in this war story told in the style of Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling. The American is reluctant to rejoin the fight against the Japanese on the urging of a British commando team but conducts a war of vengeance when the Japanese attack his adopted people. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the midst of war, one man vanished into the jungle, and emerged as king.

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós al rey  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,420,917 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just before Lian the Magnificent's first line, he slaps three men in succession, much in the manner of The Three Stooges. See more »

Goofs

When Faibourne flies to Morotai to get Gen. MacArthur's recognition of Learoyd as a king, Ferguson says the war in Europe has ended. In May 1945 MacArthur's headquarters was in the Philippines, and he had been a five-star general almost six months. In the film he wears four stars. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: THE COAST OF BORNEO - April 1942 / Shortly after the fall of the Philippines the Japanese are triumphant in the Pacific
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Basil Poledouris: His Life and Music (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

a stirring and sentimental adventure in the grand tradition
16 July 2000 | by See all my reviews



This is one of the best films of the 80's yet it is criminally overlooked. Released in an era when Rambo was king, it seems many people just didn't get the film's messages of loyalty, redemption and personal integrity. In other words, it is a true adventure and not just a bang-bang action flick. The kind of movie we need to see more of. Nick Nolte has never been one of my favorite actors but he shines as the gruff King Learoyd. Learoyd is a man of action on the surface but he has been running from conflict his whole life. When he sees that the justice of our "real world" is perverted beyond hope, he retreats to the more honorable world of primitive, uncorrupted Borneo.Eventually, the real world intrudes in the form of World War 2. As The Botanist tells him, "you can no longer avoid history". Learoyd replies, "The world's so full of crap that you're bound to step in it someday. Is that what you call history?" Finally, Learoyd can no longer hide and the war hits him with its full fury. He is shattered by loss yet not unbeaten.He retains his integrity and transcends to non-violence. In one of the film's most emotional scenes, he accepts the surrender of the Japanese Colonel who has tormented him with grace and understanding, leading to the Colonel's own redemption. This is a gorgeous film. full of breathtaking scenery and well-conceived action. The performances are all top-notch, especially Nigel Havers as The Botanist. Why is Havers seen so little?He seems to be an actor of depth and talent. I also enjoyed the character of Tenga, who brought some welcome humor to the movie. Farewell to the King can be accused of being too sentimental and I can't disagree. There are worse things to have in a movie than sentiment, though. I hope this film achieves some of the recognition it is due. It is certainly John Milius' best.


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A movie in the true Milius tradition toryu88
piece of CRAP!! hitrack
real storytelling stikpusher
Out on DVD jastanga
This film captures the truth about Guerrilla warfare hawke-19
Director's Cut? henriz1-1
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