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King & Country (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 30 November 1965 (USA)
During World War I, Army Private Arthur James Hamp is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial, Captain Hargreaves, finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Evan Jones (screenplay), John Wilson (from the stage play by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Captain Hargreaves
Tom Courtenay ... Private Arthur James Hamp
Leo McKern ... Captain O'Sullivan
Barry Foster ... Lieutenant Webb
Peter Copley ... Colonel
James Villiers ... Captain Midgley
Jeremy Spenser ... Private Sparrow (as Jeremy Spencer)
Barry Justice ... Lieutenant Prescott
Vivian Matalon Vivian Matalon ... Padre
Keith Buckley ... Corporal of Guard
James Hunter James Hunter ... Private Sykes
Jonah Seymour Jonah Seymour ... Corporal Hamilton
Larry Taylor ... Sergeant Major
David Cook David Cook ... Private Wilson
Richard Arthure Richard Arthure ... Guard
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Storyline

During World War I, the British troops are entrenched at Passchendaele, Belgium. Amongst the volunteers, there is a young British soldier, Private Arthur James Hamp (Sir Tom Courtenay), who is the sole survivor of his original company. Hamp spent three years in the trenches, and this makes him a veteran. He has never been accused of cowardice, but one day, he simply decides to leave the war behind him and walk all the way home to Britain. In Calais, France, he is challenged by a Military Police patrol, who promptly arrests him for leaving without permission. Hamp's commanding officers decide to convene a court-martial and charge him with desertion. If found guilty, Hamp could be shot by a firing squad. Captain Hargreaves (Sir Dirk Bogarde) is assigned to be Hamp's defending attorney, but he seems skeptical about his chances of acquittal for the deserter. During their first talk, Captain Hargreaves is impressed by his client's utter sincerity and naivete. He learns that his client ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most intense excitement you have ever experienced in this shock-filled story of the incident that rocked an empire! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

För kung och fosterland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The memorial shown at the beginning of this movie is the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London. It was unveiled on October 18, 1925, updated in 1949 to reflect losses in World War II, and was refurbished in 2011. See more »

Goofs

The battalion commander mentions a meeting at twenty-hundred hours. 24-hour clocks were only used from the Second World War. See more »

Quotes

Captain Midgley: A proper court is concerned with law. It's a bit amateur to plead for justice.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dirk Bogarde: By Myself (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
pretty devastating
19 November 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"King & Country," directed by Joseph Losey and released in 1964, is an unrelenting look at war. The World War I drama concerns a young soldier (Tom Courtenay) who is being tried for desertion. It's evident that, after his whole battalion was lost, that the boy was shell-shocked. A Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde) is brought in to defend him.

The film has actual photos of dead bodies from the London War Museum throughout the movie. The setting is freezing cold, wet bunkers with lots of mud. The men have been jaded to death and suffering and at times act brutally.

The end of the film is particularly awful, that's the only word I can think of. Not awful as in it's a bad movie, but awful in the situation.

Tom Courtenay does an excellent job as a wide-eyed young man who really doesn't realize what he did or what may happen to him as a result; Leo McKern turns in an excellent performance as a no-nonsense officer. Dirk Bogarde is wonderful as the captain who goes to the mat for his client and comes up against a cruel system that seems to have no understanding of or compassion for human frailty.

Lots of gross stuff in this movie - imagine actually having to endure it. Excellent directing job by Losey, and a thought-provoking film that you won't forget quickly, even though you want to.


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