7.5/10
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49 user 18 critic

King Rat (1965)

Approved | | Drama, War | 27 October 1965 (USA)
Fast-talking wheeler-dealer Corporal King is stuck in a Malaysian P.O.W. camp during World War II and uses bribery and larceny to take de-facto control of the camp.

Director:

Bryan Forbes

Writers:

James Clavell (based on a novel by), Bryan Forbes (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Corporal King
Tom Courtenay ... Grey
James Fox ... Marlowe
Patrick O'Neal ... Max
Denholm Elliott ... Lt. Col. G.D. Larkin
James Donald ... Dr. Kennedy
Todd Armstrong ... Tex
John Mills ... Smedley-Taylor
Gerald Sim ... Jones
Leonard Rossiter ... McCoy
John Standing ... Daven
Alan Webb ... Brant
John Ronane John Ronane ... Hawkins
Sam Reese ... Kurt (as Sammy Reese)
Michael Lees ... Stevens
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Storyline

When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, the Allied P.O.W.s, mostly British, but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a P.O.W. camp like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences, for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to which to escape. Included among the prisoners is the American Corporal King (George Segal), a wheeler-dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp. While most of the prisoners are near starvation and have uniforms that are in tatters, King eats well and and has crisp clean clothes to wear every day. His nemesis is Lieutenant Robin Grey (Sir Tom Courtenay), the camp Provost who attempts to keep good order and discipline. He knows that King is breaking camp rules by bartering with the Japanese, but can't quite get the evidence he needs to stop him. King soon forms a friendship with Lieutenant Peter Marlowe (James Fox), an upper class British officer who ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He entered WWII a soldier... and left a King. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Dirk Bogarde was offered the extended cameo of Smedley-Taylor. See more »

Goofs

The shoulder patch that Cpl. King (George Segal) is wearing is that of the 34th Infantry Division(Red Bull). The 34th ID served in the European Theater of Operations not in the Pacific. The 34th ID patch is a black Mexican water jug called an "olla" with a red bull's skull superimposed. The producers may have wanted to use the patch of the Philippine Division commanded by Maj.Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. This was the unit that surrendered to the Japanese on Bataan. The Philippine Div. patch was a red shield with a yellow carabao's head (water buffalo) superimposed. See more »

Quotes

Cpl. King: [Having served Marlowe a fried egg] How 'bout that?
Peter Marlowe: Not bad. Not bad at all.
Cpl. King: [Looking slightly offended] What the hell are you talking about? The egg ain't been laid that tastes better than that.
Peter Marlowe: Don't get excited, Fortnum. When we say "not bad", we don't mean "not bad". We mean it's bloody marvelous.
Cpl. King: Yeah? What do you mean when you say "it's bloody marvelous"?
Peter Marlowe: Bit dicey.
Cpl. King: Forget it.
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Crazy Credits

[Prologue] This is not a story of escape. It is a story of survival.

It is set in Changi Jail Singapore, in 1945

The Japanese did not have to guard Changi as a normal prison of war camp. The inmates of Changi had no friendly Swiss border or any other neutral country within reach. They were held captive not so much by high walls, or barbed wire, or machine-gun posts, but by the land and sea around them - and the jungle was not neutral, nor was the ocean.

They did not live in Changi. They existed. This is the story of that existence. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in King Rat (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fideles
(uncredited)
Written by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Variation sung in distant background by POWs
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User Reviews

Great POW Movie
22 December 2000 | by kevin-167See all my reviews

I had never heard of this movie. It came on late one night on cable and I watched it. I was very impressed. The performances in the movie are Oscar caliber. George Segal gave probably the best performance of his career. He plays an American stuck in a Japanese POW camp who manages to always make some dough on the side. He is manipulative and arrogant but his performance is credible and appealing. Also, the way the camp itself is projected as a miserable, fly-infested, hot and godawful hellhole is hard to forget.

James Fox also gives an outstanding performance as Segal's British counterpart who come under Segal's spell and begins to do alot of his dirty work for him. This is a movie you will not soon forget. Now, keep in mind that since this movie was made in 1965, it is tame in terms of its depiction of violence but that does not take away from its overall message. Great movie!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Malay | Japanese

Release Date:

27 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Rat See more »

Filming Locations:

Thousand Oaks, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Coleytown See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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