A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ... See full summary »
During World War One, the British troops are entrenched at Passchendaele, Belgium. Among the volunteers there is a young British soldier, Arthur Hamp, 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 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 volunteered on a dare by his friends back home, spent three ...Written by
This film was made in just 18 days and for less than £100,000. However, despite winning awards and rave reviews, it has never yet made its money back. See more »
The letter advising Pte Hamm's family of his death said that he had been killed in action. As an executed soldier his family would have been told only that he had died. The family would know that the soldier had been executed because they would not receive a pension. See more »
On a World War I battleground, British soldier Tom Courtenay (as Arthur Hamp) is arrested for desertion, after serving three years in combat. If convicted, the shell-shocked young man will be shot dead. He is assigned a military defense attorney Dirk Bogarde (as Hargreaves) who seems convinced Mr. Courtenay is guilty. However, as the trenches trial proceeds, Mr. Bogarde becomes more sympathetic regarding his client's extenuating circumstances. "King and Country" will either spare Courtenay, or kill him...
Producer/director Joseph Losey does a convincing job with this drama, though it moves somewhat slowly until the end. Courtenay comes across as a shell-shocked man who volunteered for the war, and could no longer do battle after seeing his entire unit wasted away. He's commendable and understandable, and this shows in Bogarde's astute performance. The film's point is easily made, with Bogarde's character effectively leading doubters toward a shattering conclusion. The film, and both men, won award recognition.
******* King & Country (9/5/64) Joseph Losey ~ Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern, Barry Foster
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