7.9/10
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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.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

John Huston (screenplay), Gladys Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,889 ( 846)

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Adventure in all its glory! See more »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Danny meets Roxanne, was shot at the kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, just north of the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate. This site was used in Gladiator (2000) as the North-African arena where Maximus first fights. Ouarzazate is known as "Morocco's Hollywood" since many international productions - such as Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006) - were shot in the area. See more »

Goofs

The Kafiristanis worship idols and yet the prayers/religious chants they utter are standard Muslim prayers/religious chants. They clearly mention the name of Allah several times. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, being against the worship of idols. See more »

Quotes

District Commissioner: It would have been wiser if you'd both gone home at the end of your army service.
Peachy Carnehan: Home to what? A porters uniform outside a restaurant, attainin' tips from belching civilians for closing cab doors on them and their blowsy women?
Daniel Dravot: Not for us, thank you. Not after watching Afghans come howling down out of the hills and taking battlefield command when all the officers had copped it.
Peachy Carnehan: Well said, Brother Dravot.
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Connections

Featured in They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No film is closer to perfect
17 May 1999 | by Slime-3See all my reviews

Take the story from a master like Kipling, give it to a director of classics like THE AFRICAN QUEEN, add a superb script that crackles with wit and cast two of the greatest modern day screen actors in roles that fit them like gloves. The result comes as near to the perfect action-adventure film as you will ever find. Kipling's rousing tale of two British soldiers in the days of high Empire keeps a tight hold of the viewer throughout. The twists of the tale are fascinating, the characters mesmerizing, the whole concept is so ingenious and full of potential that with such a team it simply cannot miss! Caine & Connery are superb together, oozing charisma and obviously enjoying themselves greatly as the two British NCOs.It's possible that neither has ever produced work to match what you will see here, it's wonderful to watch. Huston's direction is top drawer and the feeling of claustrophobic Indian market places and dusty railways stations is so strong it's a relief when the two heroes of the story make their ways into the wilderness to conquer a territory and "be kings". "Billie Fish", the stranded Ghurka soldier that the pair encounter high in the mountains produces a fine characterisation by Jaffery . His eye-rolling expressions and comic timing are inch perfect in his performance throughout. Perfect too is Christopher Plummer as Kipling himself. Indeed so convincing is he as this most archetypal Englishman that one is reminded how Huston considered casting to be the most important element of his job - to paraphrase, if you find the right actor for the role, he needs no direction! I can't think of a film that more consistantly proves how right he was!

Through battles, politics, greed and jealousy the two would-be kings gallop untill the final memorable explosive showdown. The last scene is perhaps the most effective and memorable of all. True pathos which tugs strongly at the heartstrings. A fitting end to a marvelous film.


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