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Three Kings (1999)

Trailer
0:27 | Trailer
In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, four soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director:

David O. Russell

Writers:

John Ridley (story), David O. Russell (screenplay)
8 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Archie Gates
Mark Wahlberg ... Troy Barlow
Ice Cube ... Chief Elgin
Spike Jonze ... Conrad Vig
Cliff Curtis ... Amir Abdulah
Nora Dunn ... Adriana Cruz
Jamie Kennedy ... Walter Wogaman
Saïd Taghmaoui ... Captain Said (as Said Taghmaoui)
Mykelti Williamson ... Colonel Horn
Holt McCallany ... Captain Van Meter
Judy Greer ... Cathy Daitch
Christopher Lohr Christopher Lohr ... Teebaux
Jon Sklaroff ... Paco
Liz Stauber ... Debbie Barlow, Troy's Wife
Marsha Horan Marsha Horan ... Amir's Wife
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Storyline

A small group of adventurous American soldiers in Iraq at the end of the Gulf War are determined to steal a huge cache of gold reputed to be hidden somewhere near their desert base. Finding a map they believe will take them to the gold, they embark on a journey that leads to unexpected discoveries, enabling them to rise to a heroic challenge that drastically changes their lives. Written by imran

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's good to be kings See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war violence, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

1 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spoils of War See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,847,636, 3 October 1999

Gross USA:

$60,652,036

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$107,752,036
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Archie Gates was originally written for Clint Eastwood, but Russell decided he wanted a younger actor. George Clooney aggressively pursued the role, but Russell wanted Nicolas Cage instead. But when Cage was cast in Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Russell settled for Clooney. See more »

Goofs

As the soldiers and refugees walk on a sand dune, we can see multiple tire tracks from dune buggies, which are prevalent in the Southwest where the movie was filmed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Troy Barlow: Are we shooting?
Soldier: What?
Troy Barlow: Are we shootin' people or what?
Soldier: Are we shooting?
Troy Barlow: That's what I'm asking you!
Soldier: What's the answer?
Troy Barlow: I don't know the answer! That's what I'm trying to find out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Sergeant Major Jim Parker, 1946 - 1998 See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian theatrical release omits a brief close up of a woman being shot in the head by one of Saddam's soldiers. This was done to avoid an R rating. This scene cut from the Australian release in order to obtain an MA rating for theatrical release were restored for the VHS and DVD releases, thus restoring the original R rating. See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Party All the Time
Written by Rick James
Performed by Eddie Murphy
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Art of trailer misdirection
12 February 2002 | by ProperCharlieSee all my reviews

I've just watched this film two years after umming and arring about going to see it at the flicks when it was released. Two years ago I stayed in with a pizza thinking that George Clooney looking gritty with a load of gold wouldn't be up to much. Then friends started to talk about it quite positively without really saying much about the content. Then I saw it in a buy 2 get 1 free sale at HMV, and now I know that I needn't have to gone through all the bother of digesting a pizza.

I should also add that I'm seeing this after 11/9/2001 and that even with the new perspective world events have cast over films with themes involving the US and the middle East, this film stands up very well. A positive portrayal of Islam, a positive portrayal of the people of Iraq, a sort-of-positive portrayal of the US army abroad, hell even a sympathetic portrayal of a lapdog of Saddam (I'm kind of reminded of Happiness for the sheer taboo-bustingness of this portrayal).

The plot is easy on the mind, the acting is satisfactory, the ending is purest Hollywood and the cinematography is sub-Lawrence of Arabia despite having access to a perfectly adequate desert. What makes this movie stand out is how at ease it is with its subject matter; letting comedy mix with the sort of serious politics that make a lot of people pick their words with great care.

The misleading trailer for this film fits in perfectly with what it's trying to achieve. Pretending to a be a gung-ho, guns and gold, go gettum boys film, it gets those into the cinema who need to hear its message not just those who want to hear. It attempts to slip complex issues through just about all the unthinking jingoism that lingers outside movie theatres on a regular basis and for that I salute it.

Go see.


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