Borneo, 1942: An American soldier escapes WWII and becomes the king of the headhunters in the jungle. Two British soldiers are parachuted into the area to find local support for the battle against the Japanese.
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An American soldier who escapes the execution of his comrades by Japanese soldiers in Borneo during WWII becomes the leader of a personal empire among the headhunters in this war story told in the style of Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling. The American is reluctant to rejoin the fight against the Japanese on the urging of a British commando team but conducts a war of vengeance when the Japanese attack his adopted people.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
The film's opening prologue states: "Borneo. For most of you Borneo doesn't exist - an imaginary name on a map like Tibet or Tierra del Fuego. The ends of the earth. But I know that it exists. I was there . . . .". See more »
When Faibourne flies to Morotai to get Gen. MacArthur's
recognition of Learoyd as a king, Ferguson says the war in Europe has ended. In May 1945 MacArthur's headquarters was in the Philippines, and he had been a five-star general almost six months. In the film he wears four stars. See more »
THE COAST OF BORNEO - April 1942 / Shortly after the fall of the Philippines the Japanese are triumphant in the Pacific
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The US version of the film is different in quite a few ways to the European version. Despite being slightly shorter, it has some additional footage: the battle montage as the Japanese retreat is much longer (the entire battle at the river is cut from the European versions), while there's also a scene of James Fox reminiscing about a girl he knew in India that is missing from the European cut. However, there is a huge and fairly important scene cut from near the end of the picture, where Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) visits the Japanese general as he has his last meal before his execution. Otherwise there is a big structural difference with the prologue from the US cut showing Learoyd deserting and watching his companions being executed being much more comfortably placed in the flashback sequence when Learoyd is telling the story of how he became king in the European version. Among other small differences in the US version: the opening quote has been dropped and replaced with title cards specifying the date and location; the first scene between James Fox and Nigel Havers is slightly longer with a line of dialogue at the end to lead into the scene where he talks about the girl he loved in India; the scene with MacArthur is shorter in the US version, with the footage of MacArthur giving Fairbourne some of his tobacco deleted; the scene where Fairbourne betrays Learoyd by telling the Colonel about the salt has an extended ending with more dialogue; the end narration is longer ("I hope he finds his valley... somewhere.") with a slightly awkward edit in the final music cue to extend it; the end title music is different - the US version begins with a replay of the main title, the European version with part of Nigel's Trip. See more »
I've seen this film many times and it's one I would watch and enjoy any time it was on. Sure it has plot problems, but the over-all beauty of this story is both heart wrenching and epic. It ranks as one of my all-time favorites, like the beautiful cinematography of "The Mission". Its depiction of World War II war-time action in an obscure theater of war like Borneo, is both interesting and eye-opening. The plot is believable and gut wrenching in its depiction of an invader attacking ones homeland. I could not help but be reminded of scenes from another favorite film of mine, "Last of the Dog Men". I only wish this film was available generally to all in DVD format, as I believe it to be a film that buffs would want to add to their collection.
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