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The Man Who Would Be King (1975) Poster

Trivia

Karroom Ben Bouih (High Priest Kafu Selim) was the night watchman of an olive orchard near the filming location. He was hired after Writer and Director John Huston accidentally met him, and told to come to the set the following day. After he fell asleep a few times during filming, it was discovered that he had still kept his night watchman job. Huston had to explain to him that he didn't need that job any more. The movie company would pay him enough that he could sleep at night.
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John Huston tried to launch the movie version of "The Man Who Would Be King" many times before completing it. It was originally conceived as a vehicle for Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart in the fifties, and later as a vehicle for Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, then Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. When it was considered as a vehicle for Robert Redford and Paul Newman, Newman suggested Sir Sean Connery and Sir Michael Caine.
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Karroom Ben Bouih, who played the high priest Kafu-Selim, was one hundred three-years-old when he made his only movie appearance. When he saw some of the footage, he declared that now he would live on forever.
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Sir Sean Connery's favorite movie role.
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Sir Sean Connery and Sir Michael Caine later sued Allied Artists for what they felt was improper percentage profit share. They were reportedly awarded two hundred fifty thousand dollars each.
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The "Making-of" featurette on the DVD contains footage of Sir Sean Connery performing the fall from the bridge stunt. He fell approximately one hundred feet to the bottom of the ravine, before his fall was broken by a big pile of cardboard boxes. In his 2010 book, "The Elephant to Hollywood", Sir Michael Caine reports on page 150, "The real hero then took his (Sir Sean Connery) place. Joe Powell was an experienced stuntman. Joe fell so skillfully, twisting and turning on the way down, and at the very last minute straightening himself out so that he hit the mattresses dead center. John Huston turned to me and said, 'That was the darnedest stunt I've ever seen.'"
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John Huston had failed to cast the role of Roxanne before shooting started. During filming, at a small dinner party for some cast and crew, Huston was asked if he had yet filled the part. When he answered no, all heads turned toward Shakira Caine, the wife of Sir Michael Caine. Huston cast her on the spot.
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When Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey) charges into the angry mob, he cries "Ayo Gorkhali". This is the second half of the old Gurkha war-cry: "Jaya Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali", which means "Glory to Great Kali, Gorkhas approach!".
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Christopher Plummer (Rudyard Kipling) would have been dismissed early on by the producers, but for Sir Sean Connery's insistence that Plummer stay. Connery had even threatened to abandon the production if Plummer were not retained. The producers eventually relented.
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Sir Michael Caine and Sir Sean Connery were disgusted by the treatment of Saeed Jaffrey during filming. He didn't even have a chair to sit on between takes on-location. Finally, Caine had enough and shouted to the crew "Get this man a fucking chair!"
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When he appeared on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) and was asked about working with John Huston, Sir Michael Caine recalled that, a few weeks into shooting, both he and Sir Sean Connery were worried and concerned at the lack of direction and feedback they were getting from Huston. Caine approached Huston and asked if anything was wrong, and if he was happy with their performances? Huston replied: " You're getting paid a lot of money to do this, Michael, I think you should do it by yourself."
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Kafiristan is part of modern-day Afghanistan (Nuristan Province) and Pakistan (the city of Chitral).
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The paintings on the wall, when Peachey (Sir Michael Caine) tells Daniel (Sir Sean Connery) he's leaving, are copied from the "spring" fresco, unearthed on the Greek island of Santorini, dating back to 1500 B.C.
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The film takes place from 1882 to 1885.
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The words which Rudyard Kipling pens in the opening scene are the opening lines to an actual Kipling poem, "The Ballad of Boh da Thone". The poem contains several elements which feature in the movie.
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The main theme of the movie is an old Irish air "The Moreen", more often called "The Minstrel Boy" after Thomas Moore wrote the lyrics "The minstrel boy to the war is gone." However, the words sung by Daniel and Peachey are from the Christian Hymn "The Son of God goes forth to war" by Reginald Heber.
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Albert Whitlock completed the matte painting of the fortress in only six hours.
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John Huston was an avid fan of Rudyard Kipling since childhood. In a 1976 article for Film Encyclopedia, Huston remarked, "I read so much Kipling, it's in my unconscious. You start a verse I'll finish it. Kipling writes about a world gone, a geography gone. It's the world of adventure, high honor, mystery".
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Mike Todd planned to film "The Man Who Would Be King," and discussed filming with John Huston directing Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper. Todd's death in a plane crash in 1958 ended this.
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As of 2018, this is the only theatrical movie to co-star Sir Michael Caine and wife Shakira Caine.
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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 this area.
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Peter O'Toole was asked to play Rudyard Kipling.
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In his autobiography, Christopher Plummer mentions that he was a late replacement for Richard Burton.
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Between filming, Sir Sean Connery ate sheep's eyes to appease a local sheikh, little realizing it was his heavily disguised friend Eric Sykes playing a prank.
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The cast includes three Oscar winners: Sir Sean Connery, Sir Michael Caine, and Christopher Plummer.
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Included amongst the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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This is the second time that real-life friends Sir Michael Caine and Sir Sean Connery have appeared on-screen together. They first appeared together in BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Requiem for a Heavyweight (1957), a BBC adaptation of the teleplay by Rod Serling, in which Connery played the boxer, Mountain McClintock, and Caine appeared in one scene as another fighter who stepped into the ring with him. Connery and Caine also appeared in A Bridge Too Far (1977).
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Despite talk of India, Afghanistan, et cetera, no part of this movie was filmed in Asia.
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This movie was announced as a major roadshow production in 1967 when Warner Brothers merged with Seven Arts. Martin Ritt was slated to direct.
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Michael Caine says in his biography that John Huston the director addressed him and Sean Connery only by their characters names on the set; never by their true names. He also confessed that both him and Connery improvised dialogues and even scenes.
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According to Stephen Bogart, son of Humphrey Bogart, John Huston originally wanted to cast Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart in the lead roles. Bogart died before this movie could be made, and while Huston was considering who could replace Bogart, Gable also passed away.
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Sir Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer played Sherlock Holmes; Caine in Without a Clue (1988) and Plummer in Murder by Decree (1979).
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Sean Connery (Daniel Dravot), Michael Caine (Peachy Carnehan), Saeed Jaffrey (Billy Fish) and Christopher Plummer (Rudyard Kipling) all appeared in films directed by Richard Attenborough: Connery and Caine in A Bridge Too Far (1977), Jaffrey in Gandhi (1982) and Plummer in Closing the Ring (2007).
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Christopher Plummer played author Rudyard Kipling, whose membership in the Freemasons is a central plot point of the story. In Murder by Decree (1979), Plummer played Sherlock Holmes, who uncovers a conspiracy by the Freemasons.
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Sir Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer appeared in movies involving the Jack the Ripper murders; Caine in Jack the Ripper (1988) and Plummer in Murder by Decree (1979).
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