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All the King's Men (1999)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Mystery | War  -  20 February 2000 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 604 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

Feature-length drama about the mystery of Sandringham Company, which disappeared in action at Gallipoli in 1915. Commanded by Captain Frank Beck, their estate manager, the men advanced into... See full summary »

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Title: All the King's Men (TV Movie 1999)

All the King's Men (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Capt. Frank Beck
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Sgt. Ted Grimes
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Lady Frances
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2nd Lt. Frederick Radley
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Pvt. Will Needham
Ed Waters ...
Cpl. Herbert Batterbee
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Pvt. Chad Batterbee
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Pvt. Davy Croft
Eamon Boland ...
Arthur Beck
Jo Stone-Fewings ...
Lt. Alec Beck
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2nd Lt. Evelyn Beck
David Troughton ...
Emma Cunniffe ...
Peggy Batterbee
Adam Kotz ...
Oswald Yeoman
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Storyline

Feature-length drama about the mystery of Sandringham Company, which disappeared in action at Gallipoli in 1915. Commanded by Captain Frank Beck, their estate manager, the men advanced into battle, were enveloped in a strange mist and never seen again. Written by Martin Pollard

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Drama | Mystery | War

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20 February 2000 (USA)  »

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All the King's Men  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the Turkish Officer hands Beck's watch to the Rev Pierpoint Edwards, the watch still has the chain attached. When Pierpoint Edwards hands the watch to Queen Alexandra the chain is missing. See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long Way to Tipperary
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
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User Reviews

Not Riveting, But Well Done
15 November 2011 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

There are basically three aspects of this film to be commented upon. First is the film as a study of social class in early 20th century Britain. When it's in England, the film is set at Sandringham, the home of Queen Alexandra, the widow of Edward VII and mother of George V. The portrayal is of a very warm relationship (prim and proper certainly, but very sincere) between the servants on the estate (and especially Captain Beck, played by David Jason) and the royals. It wasn't a relationship of equals, certainly, but it certainly seemed more than a typical master- servant relationship as well. The film follows Beck's efforts to recruit a company from among the Sandringham servants to go overseas in 1915 during the Great War, and then follows their progress once sent to the Dardanelles to face the Turks. This was the second aspect of the film: as war story. There was some very realistic action scenes, and also a lot of pretty dry material, which probably sums up war and military life pretty well - times of great excitement and even terror followed by longer times of drudgery and monotony. Finally, the film deals with the mystery of the Sandringham regiment - which went off to battle and never returned, with no one knowing exactly what had happened to it, although the film offers a compelling (and probably accurate story) that most of the men were either killed in battle or were executed after being taken prisoner by the Turks. All three aspects of the story were fairly well told; the interspersing of the mystery and its solution toward the end seemed to interrupt the overall flow of the story a bit.

The performances were quite good, especially Jason as the typical (or stereotypical?) "keep a stiff upper lip" British officer, and Maggie Smith's as Queen Alexandra, also trying to keep that upper lip stiff, but portrayed as caring very deeply about the Sandringham regiment and especially Beck, with whom she is described as having a very warm (but proper) relationship.

This being as much about the role of social class as war, it's not your typical war movie, with sustained action and lots of battle scenes. It is, in fact, far from that. It's a very human movie, exploring the intricacies of individual lives and relationships. It's not explicit, but it seemed to me that there was a general point being made about the pointlessness of war and the human cost involved in war - both for the soldiers and those left behind.

It's not a riveting movie. I would say that it accomplishes the purpose it set out for itself, which is more than a lot of movies are able to claim. (6/10)


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