180 user 51 critic

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.


John Huston


John Huston (screenplay), Gladys Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Sean Connery ... Daniel Dravot
Michael Caine ... Peachy Carnehan
Christopher Plummer ... Rudyard Kipling
Saeed Jaffrey ... Billy Fish
Larbi Doghmi Larbi Doghmi ... Ootah (as Doghmi Larbi)
Jack May Jack May ... District Commissioner
Karroom Ben Bouih Karroom Ben Bouih ... Kafu Selim
Mohammad Shamsi Mohammad Shamsi ... Babu
Albert Moses ... Ghulam
Paul Antrim Paul Antrim ... Mulvaney
Graham Acres Graham Acres ... Officer
The Blue Dancers of Goulamine The Blue Dancers of Goulamine ... Dancers
Shakira Caine ... Roxanne


This adaptation of the famous short story by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, two ex-soldiers in India when it was under British rule. They decide that the country is too small for them, so they head off to Kafiristan in order to become Kings in their own right. Kipling is seen as a character that was there at the beginning, and at the end of this glorious tale. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Long live adventure... and adventurers! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 December 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King See more »

Filming Locations:

Todgha Gorge, Morocco See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,200,000, 31 December 1975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo


Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Sean Connery and Michael Caine later sued Allied Artists for what they felt was improper percentage profit share. They were reportedly awarded 250,000 dollars each. See more »


When Peachy and Danny travel with the caravan into the Khyber Pass, all of the camels are Arabian (aka dromedaries), rather than Asian (Bactrian) beasts. This is not an error. Despite their names, both species are present and available in their domestic form in eastern Afghanistan, where the Khyber Pass is, and have been for centuries before the events of the movie take place. See more »


[speaking to Billy Fish in Kafiri]
Billy Fish: Ootah say take your pick. He have twenty three daughters.
Danny: Those are his daughters? Why the dirty old beggar!
Peachy Carnehan: Now, now Danny. Different countries, different ways. He's only being hospitable according to his lights. Billy, tell him one's as pretty as the next and we cannot choose.
[Billy translates; Ootah replies in Kafiri]
Billy Fish: Ootah say he also have thirty-two sons if you are liking boys.
Peachy Carnehan: [angrily] Tell him he makes my gorge rise; tell him!
Danny: Now Peachy, different ...
See more »


Referenced in Shanghai Knights (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most underrated, and best movies I've ever seen!
16 July 2012 | by TheOguysReviewsSee all my reviews

This, my friends, is one of my favorite movies of all time. This is the type of film that you do not hear from many critics or many best movies list, but this is one of those films that is vastly underrated and is incredibly worthy to be considered one of the best. The story is a great adaption of Ruddy R Kipling's short story of the same name, and the main plot of the film flows fantastically throughout the spectacular cinematography, landscape, and musical score. Considering that this film is from one of Hollywood's top directors, John Hutson, you might not believe that this film has all the glory, and amazement to have the consideration to be among Hutson's other masterpieces, like the African Queen, but the film amazes with having the key elements of adventure and moral value that any great film should have. Seeing Sean Connery and Michael Caine playing two veteran British soldiers, that have become friends over the past several years is truly astonishing. These characters are not that strong on their own, but when they're together they seem like they were made for each other, and the other acting performances in the film are equally impressive, especially Christopher Plummer playing Rudyard Kipling himself. What the man who would be King does most effectively though, is that it really has a great element of moral value in it. Themes like perseverance, cleverness, loyalty, trust, and most importantly friendship, are all themes that are displayed incredibly well in this movie. This is a film for the ages, and I hope in the future that it will get more and more recognition from critics, filmmakers, and audiences alike.

10 out of 10 stars, or five out of five stars A truly moving and incredible adventure for everyone to see.

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