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 ...
He entered WWII a soldier... and left a King.
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Did You Know?
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
[Having served Marlowe a fried egg
How 'bout that?
Not bad. Not bad at all.
[Looking slightly offended
What the hell are you talking about? The egg ain't been laid that tastes better than that.
Don't get excited, Fortnum. When we say "not bad", we don't mean "not bad". We mean it's bloody marvelous.
Yeah? What do you mean when you say "it's bloody marvelous"?
[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
Spoofed in King Rat
Written by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Variation sung in distant background by POWs See more