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Plot:

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.

Also Known As: Чeловек, который хотел быть королем Soviet, O Homem que Queria ser Rei, Ô ni narô to shita otoko, Muž, který chtěl být králem Czech, Людина, що хотiла стати королем, Czlowiek, który chcial byc królem, El hombre que sería rey, Žmogus, norejęs tapti karaliumi, Ο Ανθρωπος που θα Γινόταν Βασιλιάς, Aki király akart lenni, Mannen som ville bli kung, Der Mann, der König sein wollte West, Mannen som ville bli konge, Manden der ville være konge, Omul care voia sa fie rege, L'homme qui voulut être roi, Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, The Man Who Would Be King, Ha-Ish sh'Ratza Lehiyot Meleh, Covjek koji je htio biti kralj, El hombre que pudo reinar, Muz, ktery chtel byt králem, Čovek koji je hteo da bude kralj, O anthropos pou tha ginotan vasilias, Valge kuningas, Der Mann, der König sein wollte, De man die koning wou zijn, El hombre que sería Rey, The Man Who Would Be King New, L'uomo che volle farsi re, O Homem Que Queria Ser Rei, Seikkailujen sankarit, Човекът, който искаше да бъде крал

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  • ana-bellido-aznar
    ana bellido aznar

    A sarcastic comment on European colonialism, but most of all: an absolutely magnificent adventure about the two adventurers Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine), with ambitions of becoming kings of whatever country that may want them. Breathtaking scenery, witty dialogue, excellent acting, sarcastic humour and an absorbing story. This movie has it all.The Indiana Jones and LOTR movies are great adventures, but simply can’t be compared to this masterpiece. It’s doesn’t get better than this, and therefore it’s one of five movies I’ve given the rating 10/10.

  • marianna-tsowrhvizyan
    marianna tsowrhvizyan

    I beg to differ with one of the comments about this being a man’s film! I would place this film among my top 5 favorite movies of all time, and I am definitely NOT a man!This film is the epitome of everything that is good in a film. Great locations, great direction, great art direction, great story, great plotting and most especially, great acting.Michael Caine and Sean Connery have done “bigger” works, but together, they have made the “biggest” work they could ever do. The spirit and life in their characters–the sheer optimism that they show, even in the final scenes of the film are heart wrenching and beautiful. They “make” Daniel Dravot, Esquire and Peachy Carnehan come to beautiful life, embodying all that is innocent in two men who have been to war, conquered their demons, and now desire to fulfill the rest of their dreams.The underlying subplot of freemasonry is an interesting one as well. For it would not have been out of character for men such as Danny and Peachy to have been masons, nor for Kipling to be one as well. (Did anyone ever note that this was Christopher Plummer’s first of two roles that dealt quite a lot with freemasonry? Murder by Decree, four years later, is the other)I just love this movie for itself. I’ve been a fan of H. Rider Haggard, and it’s the same kind of thrill you get in reading his work. I just HATED it when they started remaking the Haggard movies and putting women like Sharon Stone in them, when it’s supposed to be a “male” adventure. You would certainly never find a woman like that in The Man Who Would Be King–it is the TRUE essence of a film about MEN in a MAN’S era.Michael Caine and Sean Connery are, for lack of a better word, geniuses in the art of filmmaking. They have become true ACTORS, because they love their craft so much, and know the difference between acting and faking it. They are not out to prove themselves “stars” because they don’t need that–they know how to ACT and that is far more important.If any filmmaker now were to tackle a project such as The Man Who Would Be King, they would likely try to cast some big name “star” such as Tom Cruise, and ruin the story. Let’s hope this film is NOT remade–it would certainly taint what is perhaps one of the few masterpieces of modern day story telling.

  • teresa-coles
    teresa coles

    This film has something on every level. Yes it has it’s faults but they are by far out numbered by it’s brilliance.Comedy paired with greed and it,s effect on what becomes a strained friendship combine to make an all round complete story. Who could forget Michael Caine’s attempts to instil weapons drill in to a group of uneducated tribesmen or his tuneless singing of the line “Who followed in his trail ” as Connery falls to his death from the rope bridge.Performances from both leads are a delight,both seem to have their tongues firmly in their cheeks,which makes for a most enjoyable watch.Huston’s direction is for my money spot on and it would have been interesting to see his first choice actors (Gable and Bogart)taking the leads . They probably wouldn’t have given the material the same treatment but who knows ?As for support it has an all round cast and a polished finish.I only wish it could be shown in its full length on British T V as there are always scenes missing usually cut for length rather than content.

  • tapani-makela-rantala
    tapani makela rantala

    From the casting to the cinematography to the sweeping story, this film is genuinely a classic. Connery and Caine have chemistry that is real on the screen. They are so believable that I cared about these scoundrels throughout the film. Amazing tale that has to be seen and dwelt upon before watching adventure movies set in the exotic unknown.One of my favorite adventure films. Please see it.

  • john-thompson
    john thompson

    “I think it’s one of the greatest adventure stories ever written!” – John Huston (on Rudyard Kipling’s short story, “The Man Who Would Be King”) A glorious tall tale by director John Huston, “The Man Who Would Be King” stars Michael Caine and Sean Connery as Peachy and Danny, a pair of ex-British Army Sergeants. Realizing that 19th century Imperialism is not designed to benefit the lowly foot-soldiers who enact the policies and mandates of the Empire, Peachy and Danny decide to become “private Imperialists”; they resolve to conquer territory for their own personal gain.Huston made many films about rugged adventurers and affable scoundrels. Few of his rapscallions, though, are as much fun as Peachy and Danny who, in typical John Huston fashion, are seeking fame, fortune and adventures in exotic faraway lands. “We’re not little men,” they say with a smirk, “and there’s nothing we’re afraid of!” Fittingly, Huston’s film is structured as a “tale within a tale”, our heroes recounting a story to Rudyard Kipling (Christopher Plummer), the legendary writer upon whose novel the film is based. This technique allows Huston to adopt a very farcical tone: we’re always aware that “The Man Who Would be King” is a very TALL TALE, falsified and made larger than life by both the narrator (Michael Caine) and the man who in turn narrates the narrator’s narration to us (Rudyard Kipling/John Huston).The film thus unfolds like a ridiculously embellished adventure, our heroes travelling over mountains, through Afghanistan and into the desert nation of Kafiristan. Their journey is absolutely preposterous (“Nobody’s done that before!” Kipling growls in the film), but it’s only the beginning.Once in Kafiristan, Danny and Peachy defeat a local army, conquer a castle, raise a militia and proceed to conquer yet more territory. By the film’s end, our duo has an entire monastery believing that Danny’s an ancient god and so deserving of their riches, women and adulation.Of course, like Huston’s “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, the good times eventually come crashing down. If “King’s” first half offers camaraderie, wit, and funny banter, its second half offers madness, egomania and eventually defeat; the natives of Kafiristan figure out that our rogues are con-artists, and promptly kick their butts out of Afghanistan. But even this defeat is taken with good cheer by our two rascals. They really are an infectious bunch.All adventurers need a side kick, and so Huston provides an ex-Burkha soldier called Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffery), a funny guy who serves as the interpreter and friend of our rogues. Fish spouts a ridiculous accent – a merger of British and Indian – and is constantly spewing an array of silly one liners.It’s not all fun and games, though. Though the film can be enjoyed as a bouncy adventure, it can equally be viewed as a story of two men battling convention, naysayers and nature, as a comment on colonialism, as a psychological parable about greed and ambition and as a study of religion and the role it plays in certain cultures (as well as the way the very same faith which enables heroes to move mountains can quickly and easily lead to self delusion).Like many of Kipling’s works, the film also critiques White Imperialism. This was, after-all, an Empire which stretched across the planet and which would be directly and indirectly responsible for billions of deaths. In Huston’s hands, Danny and Peachy thus become a metaphor for the Empire’s arrogance, brashly conquering territory, promoting itself as a saviour/god, misunderstanding customs, acting racist and pitting one tribe against the next, all in an attempt to wrestle away more wealth and control. Furthermore, the fact that our heroes are exposed as frauds and chased out of Kafiristan, strongly resembles the various revolutions that rocketed across the British Empire during the decade in which Kipling’s tale was written (late 1880s). ie – the Empire came, saw, conquered, and then deservedly got kicked out of town.What’s remarkable, though, is how sophisticated “The Man Who Would be King” is compared to other similar films of the era. One must remember, the 1950s-70s were packed with films which attempted to rehabilitate the Age of Empire, and which attempted to white-wash and glorify British Imperialism (“Khartoum”, “Zulu”, “King of the Khyber Rifles”, “The Planter’s Wife”, “Safari”, “North West Frontier”, “East of Sudan” etc). Countering these films were “serious” directors like David Lean, Satyajit Ray, and straight-faced fare like “Gandhi” and “Guns at Batasi”. Huston, though, has made an anti-Imperialist adventure with the bounce of a 1930s-50s Imperialist lark. He pulls this off thanks largely to Michael Caine’s performance and a subtly tongue-in-cheek script.8.9/10 – One of Huston’s greatest films. See Pontecorvo’s “Burn”, Herzog’s “Wrath of God”, “Goodbye Uncle Tom”, “Passage to India”, “Full Metal Jacket” and “The Quiet American”. Worth two viewings.

  • recepali-akdeniz
    recepali akdeniz

    John Huston must know, equally, how great and how damn flawed man can be. A lot of his films- some might say the bulk of his oeuvre- focuses on this, from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to Moby Dick. Sometimes, it might seem, a man has both the writhing worm of ambition and promise and the potential for complete failure in a single bound. He excels at this, not because he has to but because he needs to tell these stories of men like this – his heroes were manly male stories by the likes of Melville, Kipling, Hemingway and Hammett, but one can also sense the spark of criticism, of questioning what makes such men the way they are. The Man Who Would be King is no exception, and may be the pinnacle of such a tale, where we see two men, formerly failed soldiers, make themselves into the rulers of a nothing country right off of Afghanistan in the 19th century – one of them becomes a God by luck (or destiny) – and how it eventually ruins them. Whether Huston’s film, by way of Kipling’s story, is meant as a cautionary tale or a wicked satire (or maybe both), it’s still tremendous storytelling, acting, direction and musical composition, etc. In the film, two ex-soldiers of the Royal English Army are in India, Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnahan (Michael Caine). They both tell the impressed if a little doubtful Rudyard Kipling himself, merely a journalist at the time (Christopher Plummer by the way), that they, being pretty much without any real place to go or things to do as disgraced soldiers (lots of crimes such as theft and blackmail), have a plan: to go to Kafiristan, which is a country few know exists and hasn’t been inhabited by any kind of real ruler since Alexander the Great. In short, a great place to rule and take charge with their skills as soldiers.After braving the terrain, in some brief but effective scenes showing how much of a duo Draven and Peachy are in battling the weather and a few stray wanderers, they arrive at the country, which is in shambles, and they train some of the locals to fight their way against their rules (the one guy who is sort of, kinda ruling things wants “Terrible” to follow his name, not “Great” as it were). But somehow Draven stands out – first when he is hit by an arrow and it doesn’t hurt him or draw blood (since, yeah, it struck a part of his shield), since this shows that he is automatically King. Next, when the High Priest calls him out, he happens to have around his neck a Free-Mason symbol, which sets off the High Priest to declare him a God (since, well, it’s the same image as on a tablet or something). For all of the riches now at Draven’s disposal, over a short period of time – that is, he really starts to like the idea of this God thing, when before he was on par with Peachy, a tough and smart and witty entrepreneur. No Guts, No Glory, I guess.This is the sort of story that reads interesting and raises questions about Colonialization and worship in general. On the screen, when delivered by a director who lets the backdrops of the mountains and hordes of middle-eastern mountain people, and the glorious acting of Connery (I might say at a career high here) and Caine (who is no slacker either, certainly when he realizes how crazy Draven has become), it becomes something to behold. The dialog is one thing that sticks out as particularly clever and intelligent; the script could easily fall into some kind of delirious or ridiculous swashbuckler story, or even something that praises what they’re doing. But Huston and his co- writer’s script give these characters smart things to say, things that people like these British officers with carte blanche, as well as their go-between guy who translates for them, would say in this unlikely cinematic situation. Like other Huston films ala ‘Falcon’ and ‘Sierra Madre’, it’s very quotable.The themes are very potent, and not dumbed down or so sensational that they become incredulous. Huston and Kipling draw upon the history of man’s ability to overcome obstacles, be it climbing a mountain or training a small army or becoming enamored with the responsibility of a God, what the outcome of adventure and ambition does to people. It’s significant, for example, that Draven is told about how Alexander the Great picked his wife from this region when he ruled, and so he decides he must take a wife and bear a son for future rulers, even as it’s spoken that women fear being chosen to become the wife of a God since they’ll burn up in flames. Things like that, or how simple a small group of monks can stop an entire battle with everyone bowing in heed. It’s remarkable how astute the commentary is in the film, while at the same time not detracting from the action or the power of the performances.The Man Who Would be King is elegant and harsh, with a beautiful and harrowing Maurice Jarre score (if not as iconic still as fantastic as Lawrence of Arabia for him), and memorable for its star power and how its story is really about something. It’s also a grandly British story, of guys who sing traditional songs when they’re bored or near death) and joke when they can and are so likable for how they just go for broke. That’s one other thing: these guys are never so distasteful as to be hated, and even their ‘scheme’ is sort of endearing because of everything they go through to get to Kafiristan. There’s a reason at the end Kipling stands mouth agape instead of reaching for his gun; in spite of everything these guys are truly, painfully human.

  • henrik-christensen
    henrik christensen

    Using the old Irish folk tune, the Minstrel Boy for background, John Huston made himself one old fashioned movie of adventure and romance like we rarely see today.Of course this film rises and falls on the charm and chemistry of its two leads, Sean Connery and Michael Caine. They’re a pair of lovable con artists who nearly pull off one big old swindle and take over an ancient inaccessible kingdom in the Afghan mountains.This was a labor of love for John Huston. As a kid he read Rudyard Kipling’s famous short story and it became his favorite work of fiction. Huston as far back as the Fifties wanted to film this first with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart and then later on with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole. Try and picture this story done with either of those combinations.Huston even worked Kipling himself into the act with a fine small cameo by Christopher Plummer. Kipling who was a newspaper correspondent covering the British in India, is told this wild tale about what these two did in the forbidden land of Kaffiristan.These are the kind of people Kipling himself knew well from the British army in India which back in the day was its own entity and a great tradition of military glory albeit in an imperialist cause. For American audiences just think of Connery and Caine as a couple of GIs recently finished with their service.I think I understand their characters. What would Connery and Caine be back in civilian life if they returned to the United Kingdom? No one terribly important no doubt. They’ve spent time in India, learned a lot about the language and customs and want to turn some profit in it, doing something really big. It’s a dream we can all identify with, but few of us have the gumption to see it through.Connery and Caine give some of their best screen performances in The Man Who Would Be king. This film became both a critical and box office success for John Huston, his first really big smash hit in a long time. It holds up well today and will for all time to come.

  • noelia-rojas-cuevas
    noelia rojas cuevas

    Ruyard Kipling’s epic of splendor , spectacle and high adventure at the top of a legendary world. It begins with some words which Rudyard Kipling pens in the opening scene are the opening lines to an actual Kipling poem, “The Ballad of Boh da Thone” that contains several elements which feature in the movie . The flick tells the tale of Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery’s favorite film character , though John Huston also considered Richard Burton) and Peachy Carnahan (Michael Caine , though also was deemed Peter O’Toole) , two ex-soldiers in India when it was under British rule. Kipling (Christopher Plummer would have been dismissed early on by the producers but for Sean Connery’s insistence that Plummer stay) who is seen as an important role that was there at the beginning and the ending , he advised about a dangerous journey . They decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan , a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander . There Daniel becomes a king and attempts to marry a princess (Shakira Caine, this is the only feature film to co-star Michael Caine and wife) under High Priest Kafu Selim (Karroom Ben Bouih was 103 years old when he made his first and only film appearance , when he saw some of the footage he declared that now he would live on forever.Long live and spectacular adventure with an extraordinary duo , Connery and Caine , they form the best pair of all time . A glorious tale with two heroes who head off to Kafiristan in order to become Kings in their own right . John Huston tried to launch the film 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. When it was considered as a vehicle for Robert Redford and Paul Newman, Newman suggested Sean Connery and Michael Caine . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Oswald Morris filmed in Pinewood studios with magnificent production design by Alexandre Trauner and shot on location Glen Canyon, Utah, USA , Grande Montée, Mont-Blanc, Chamonix , France ,Atlas Mountains, Morocco and at the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, just north of the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate ; this site was used in Gladiator 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 and The Hills Have Eyes – were shot in the area. Imaginative as well as sensitive musical score composed and conducted by Maurice Jarre .The motion picture well produced by John Foreman was stunningly by the great John Huston at his best . The picture was made in a good time of the 70s and 80s when Huston resurged as a director of quality films with Fat City, (1972), The man who would be king (1975) and Wise blood (1979). He ended his career on a high note with Under volcano (1984), the afore-mentioned Honor of Prizzi (1985) and Dublineses (1987). Rating : Above average , this is one of John Huston’s best films , a model of his kind , definitely a must see if you are aficionado to adventure film . Huston broke a new ground with this landmark movie , providing classic scenes and unforgettable dialogs .

  • martin-friedman
    martin friedman

    Top of my list of 10 films. But I cannot believe ALL the user comments to date have completely missed the emotional foundation of the film. Read Kipling’s “Tommy” aloud if you don’t understand why Peachy and Daniel (NOT “Danny”) seemed so desperate for a new place in life. Otherwise, the best movie all the participants (except Saied Jaffery…you really need to explore his Bollywood career) have ever worked. Although “Zulu” is a close near-miss for Caine. “The Man Who Would Be King” is (as has been noted by others) one of the very rare occasions of a motion picture improving upon brilliant literature. My “A Complete Kipling”, dog-eared as each volume is, has not been as often read as my VHS and then DVD of THIS film. Should a writer/director of John Houston’s capacity (demonstrated, of course) appear on the scene, I’m willing to suggest a dozen other projects.

  • jacqueline-johnson
    jacqueline johnson

    Why is this film not given more recognition? It was one of those films that I had always heard about but had never seen. Well, I saw it the other day and I am shocked that I wasn’t forced to watch this years ago. It is an amazing film. I have a hard time coming up with something that was wrong with it. The highlights, of course, were the performances of Caine and Connery. Nearly every user comment for this film has said how good their chemistry was, well I read all these comments before seeing the film and was still blown away by how good the chemistry was. Connery in particular was a surprise to me, even though Caine probably gave the better performance of the two.As a Brit living in the US, it is hard to get Americans to really understand subtle aspects of British life (the optimism, the humour, the strength of character)… so I now have three movies that I tell people to watch in order to get a better idea of what it means to be British: The Bridge on the River Kwai, Zulu, and The Man Who Would Be King.

  • anu-trei
    anu trei

    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.

  • lynette-baker
    lynette baker

    Sometimes Huston seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel. It’s hard to believe that he made a movie like “Annie” for any reasons other than financial. But his winners are first-rate. I’ll only mention “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” and “The African Queen” in passing. Hardly anybody seems to be turning out well-crafted work like this anymore, pieces in which plot, character, and atmosphere cohere.”The Man Who Would Be King” is a fine example of Huston at or near his best. It is completely without pretense — a kind of blustering, masculine, tragicomedy with two superb actors in the leads and fine support by Christopher Plummer as Brother Kipling. Nothing that Caine or Connery feel seems to be more than an inch deep. Stranded on a snowy mountaintop in the Hindu Kush, they sit around a dying campfire discussing how they’re going to kill themselves, since they will otherwise slowly freeze to death. “Let’s wait till the fire goes out,” suggests Caine, “and I’ll do the necessary.” Connery muses, “Peachy, do you think our lives have been misspent?” “Well,” replies Caine, “I wouldn’t say the world is a better place for our having been IN it.” They start laughing as they reminisce, provoking a life-saving snow avalanche.They are clever, treacherous, greedy, and very human. They’ve taken a serious vow against the use of women or liquor until they’ve completed their plan of robbing some remote tribe of natives “six ways from Sunday.” Learning that they have no interest in sleeping with his daughters, a friendly chieftain suggests that maybe some boys would do the trick, sending the heroes into a Victorian dudgeon.I can’t carry on much more about the jokes or about the underlying theme, which is pretty sad. Hubris, the Greeks would have called it, defying the gods and presuming to rise above your station. The lawyers might have called it lex loci. Having been proclaimed king, Connery tells Caine, “I’ll be going now. You mortals remain outside.” Connery breaks his vow where women are concerned and marries the lusciously exotic Roxanne (Caine’s wife at the time). The spirit grew ever weaker and the flesh was all too willing.Neither Caine nor Connery has ever disgraced or damaged a movie they’ve been in, although the reverse hasn’t always been the case. They’re not exactly heroes here, either. Huston and his writers were unsentimental. The two are racists. Caine throws an affable Indian gentleman off the train — “Outside, Baboo!” — and Huston treats it as a comic incident. That unapologetic lack of political correctness also spares us any nonsense about noble savages. Each of the isolated mountain tribes complains about the next tribe living upstream that they wait until the local women are bathing or doing laundry in the river, then they pee into the river. Offered the title of “Ootah The Great,” one chief grumbles and says he’d prefer to be known as “Ootah the Terrible.” It would have been easy to sentimentalize these people, a bit of teaching of Oriental Wisdom, “a man’s reach should not exceed his grasp,” or “all things in moderation,” or some such nonsense, but we don’t get it here. These are pretty rough dudes who play ball with the heads of their enemies.In trying to capitalize on the success of this movie, the company brought out a “novelization”, which turned the screenplay into a novel, as if Kipling had never lived to write the original story. (Talk about barbarism!)I could watch this a hundred times and still marvel at Connery’s mastery of the military style of speech when he says lines like, “There’ll be no summary executions in THIS ah-my!” And, “Sorry about that. Blood was up. Won’t happen again.” He does it at least as well as Nigel Greene, Harry Andrews, or Jack Hawkins — those mess hall terminal contours.Don’t miss it.

  • dr-antal-zsolt-levente
    dr antal zsolt levente

    ***SPOILER***I’m not one to go into ecstasies about historic adventure/action movies, although I appreciate them when they are well made. But TMWWBK is not simply “well made” and it’s not just an adventure/action movie. It’s an amazing, gut-wrenching journey into human soul, which contains everything one needs to know about human strengths and weaknesses. One of the reasons why this movie works so well is that it doesn’t try to elude the “dark” side of the heroes. They are greedy, rough, sometimes selfish. But the film suggests that this “dark” side has no importance because they have an incredible capacity of redemption. At the end of the film, when Caine and Connery are about to be slaughtered by the monks, Connery says he’s been a fool for having played with their lives and he asks Caine if he forgives him. Caine says he forgives “totally and with no restriction”. A few seconds later, Connery falls into the precipice. Caine, whose eyes have been put out by the monks, goes down the ravine, retrieves his skull and leaves with it. Wow.In my opinion, you can’t make stronger than that. This is a guy who’s just been beaten to death and whose eyes have been enucleated because his friend played God and who searches his corpse to bring it back home – just because he’s his friend. Man, you would have to be a rock not to be a little concerned about that.I hope all the people who took a part in the making of these 2 hours of pure magic and who are still alive are proud of their work, because they can.If you’ve never seen TMWWBK, do it. It will give you the best you can expect from a movie. An unrestricted 10/10.

  • ippolito-ferretti
    ippolito ferretti

    This is an excellent adaptation of one of the most exciting and interesting Kipling stories. There are some modifications to the original but, in this case, I actually think that they improve the story, make a little more sense, or at least are beneficial for turning the book into a film. One example that comes to mind is the decision to have Billy Fish be a lost soldier, which makes his ability to act as interpreter and his loyalty to Danny and Peachy more understandable. The makers also decided to throw in a few references to other Kipling stories and while these are unrelated, and probably meaningless to those not familiar with Kipling, Kipling fans should get a kick out of this.Kipling fans should also thoroughly enjoy how Huston and the rest successfully bring to life the wild, colourful, larger-than-life characters of Peachy and Danny, and their amazing, exciting, and appropriately tragic adventure. For those who are not Kipling fans, the fun, wonderful, yet heart-moving story that goes beyond a mere adventure into an exploration of finding one’s place in the world, friendship, and death, should provide rich entertainment that is both fun and meaningful.The cast is simply wonderful. The roles of Danny and Peachy are among the greatest roles, in my opinion, that Sean Connery and Michael Caine have ever played and they do the job beautifully here. Christopher Plummer is outstanding as the cerebral, literate Kipling while Saeed Jaffrey and Doghmi Larbi, among others, also put in strong performances.The directing, costumes, settings, etc., also are excellent. The end result is a complete success that has been one of my favourite films for over 25 years. In fact, I have watched this movie well over 20 times, more than any other film. Although that is due in part to the fact that it is the first film I ever owned on tape, I truly never tire of it and am mesmerized every time.

  • chloe-franklin
    chloe franklin

    ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ takes us back to Queen Victoria’s India and the ambitions of two former sergeants in Her Majesty’s army to set up their own empire… The story begins as a crippled old beggar gets into Kipling’s editorial office at the Northern Star in Lahore late one night and unfolds an incredible story…The pitiful beggar is actually Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine), or rather, what is left of Peachy, now so disfigured and a little insane…Rudyard Kipling (Christopher Plummer), after the shock of recognition, recalls their first meeting, when Peachy stole his watch several years earlier on a crowded train station… He introduces his friend Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) to him and explains their plans to conquer the primitive areas of northern India and set themselves up as rulers…Later, the two likable Army buddies tell Kipling something of themselves: “The less said about our professions, the better, for we have been most things in our time. We have been all over India. We know her cities and her jungles, her palaces and her jails.” To which Peachy adds: “Therefore we’re going away to another place where a man isn’t crowded and can come into his own. We’re not little men and there’s nothing we’re afraid of.”‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is an ambitious fable, with superb cinematography, a sweeping score, an Oscar-nominated script and great acting… Caine’s wife, Shakira, makes her screen debut, playing a beautiful maiden who turns the head of Connery…

  • jared-nichols
    jared nichols

    It took John Huston more than 20 years to bring one of his favorite stories, “The Man Who Would Be King,” to the big screen. Originally, he had Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable in mind for the lead roles. Sean Connery and Michael Caine would end up in the roles. Overall, it was worth the wait.Based on Rudyard Kipling’s short story, “The Man Who Would Be King” is a tale set in the 1880s at the height of the British empire’s rule in India. Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan (Connery and Caine respectfully) are two soldiers turned con men who decide to conquer Kafiristan, a remote section of Afghanistan. Once there, the two men plan to train the natives into an army, become rulers, and steal the country’s treasure left behind by Alexander the Great. However, due to a misunderstanding, Daniel is crowned king and is seen as a possible god and descent of Alexander. Peachy wants to stick with the plan, but Daniel soon becomes consumed by his new power.In a decade that evolved around the ‘New Hollywood,’ Huston was one of the very few filmmakers from the Studiio-era to be able to continue his craftsmanship and turn out some fine stories. In a way, “The Man Who Would Be King” is a big screen epic presented on a smaller scale. Despite all the breathtaking scenery and fine set pieces, it ultimately is a character driven story about two friends staying together until the end. The performances of Connery and Caine rank among the best work from their distinguished careers. Christopher Plummer also gives a fine performance as Kipling himself. Huston, who always seemed to adapt other’s materials successfully, achieved one of his most personal projects into fine perfection. With beautiful locations and a wonderful musical score by Maurice Jarre, “The Man Who Would Be King” is not only one of Huston’s best, but is also one of the best films to come out from the 70s that still had a certain feel of stories that had a feel of a time long gone when film audiences were able to enjoy films that had everything. Adventure, comedy, drama, suspense, and so forth. I guess you could say ‘They don’t make them like they use to’ after viewing this film from one of the great film mavericks of all time.

  • arnis-liepins
    arnis liepins

    Danny and Peaches are two officers in the British army who find themselves at a loss when their services are no longer required in Asia. While blackmailing a local Raj, the pair are exposed by author Rudyard Kipling and brought before an officer. They are warned but released. Later the visit Kipling to get him to witness a contract for their latest plan – to become kings of a small country by training a village to conquer the rest of the villages and then leave months later with riches. The conquest begins in earnest, but when Danny’s vigour in battle makes him appear to be a god to the villagers new dangers are introduced.I have seen two interviews recently with the two leads (separately) and both time clips of this film were shown that made me think `I must watch that again’. Come Christmas and the repeats on all channels gave me the chance to see it. I had forgotten just how funny the film is and it really helps the film to be an enjoyable adventure to add to the dark edges. The plot is from a Kipling story so it is of a good stock and stands up well. The addition of humour is well pitched and really helps.It is a great adventure story, with a cautionary twist in the tale and can be enjoyed on all levels. The directing is as good as you’d hope from Huston but what really made the film for me was the two leads on top form. Both Connery and Caine have a great chemistry and totally convince as the old school military types. They bring the roles to life and make them enjoyable and get us behind them effortlessly. Admittedly most of the support cast are only jabbering natives who aren’t allowed characters with the odd exception. Plummer is good in a minor role but this is the Connery/Caine show all the way.Overall this is a great story that is well told by director Huston. The film is made even better by the gentle camaraderie between Connery and Caine and the good vein of humour that underpins the strong story and quite downbeat climax to Caine’s story.

  • narcis-mazilescu
    narcis mazilescu

    Outside of the obvious reflections on the immoral and absurdly hypocritical nature of early British colonialism, it’s just a damn entertaining movie.But you have to think that Rudyard Kipling, who grew up under British rule in India, was certainly trying to shake some sensibilities when he first wrote the story as part of an 1890 package called The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories, nearly a century before it was made into a film and during an era when the British Empire was still very much a reality.From the perceptive realization that even the staunchly important Masonic Lodge — which had infilitrated every aspect of Britain’s upper classes — could be easily corrupted; to the arrogance as Sean Connery’s character Daniel Dravot, who elevates what he sees as mere social superiority into a god-like status; to the inevitable humbling of both men at the hands of the ‘savages’ they profess to rule, the film is ultimately about the humility all men should exhude, particularly in the face of the unfamiliar.Kipling’s tale also preached tolerance, though you might not consider that to be the case based on the film’s climax: consider that if Daniel and Peachy had shown an iota of respect for the religion that they instead decided to fleece, how differently the tale might have played out.The film owes much of its success to the chemistry between Caine and Connery, who regardless of later plaudits, gave the finest performances of their careers. Connery is particularly nuanced, with Daniel Dravot starting the tale as a somewhat lackwitted second fiddle to the scheming Peachy but later seeing his limited vision help him surpass his friend in terms of villainy with an equally heavy price. Caine plays, to some degree or another, the same charming British sheyster/teddy boy he popularized in the Harry Palmer films. But without a backdrop of similarly disaffected cockney bad guys, it’s stunningly effective.John Huston’s direction is among the best of his career, and in terms of his ability to use both sprawling vistas and tight, almost claustrophobic photography, owes a nod to his earlier work, including The African Queen, Night of the Iguana and the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. As examples, witness the zenith of Peachy and Daniel’s hazardous trek through the mountains played out in full panoramic detail, only to be followed 90 minutes later by the tight shot of Kipling’s face, the revulsion fairly etched into every crease as we reach the climax.But perhaps the true hero of this film was Boaty Boatright, who also cast Connery’s classic “The Wind and The Lion.” He managed to take some of the most strident, forceful personalities in the film industries, threw them together and came up with a film about humility. Magic.

  • bianca-rodrigues
    bianca rodrigues

    My friend threw this DVD at my head one night while we were arguing about film. I said all adventure movies left me feeling a little hollow – adventure movies tended to abandon story, really, in favor of plot (important distinction: stories are interesting, plots boring; consequently a film with a story to tell is better than a movie with a plot to move forward). I think he hurled the disc at me out of pure frustration with my point of view. In doing so, he also won the argument.The Man Who Would Be King is the single greatest adventure film I’ve ever seen. It’s a story – It’s a tale – It’s not a series of plot developments (to me, to go further with this plot/story dichotomy, a plot is mechanical (and sometimes that machine is well-oiled) while a story is organic and feels less contrived (though the story, as organic matter sometimes is, can be rotten)). It’s a very good story at that. The Man Who Would Be King (I believe as a result of its derivation from Kipling) has a depth and development of character that is foreign to most adventure tales. Few films are as rousing as this and few films that are this rousing have nearly as much to say about mankind.John Huston, of course, is a master of instilling greatness into traditionally tedious genres. He transformed the mystery, the western, the swashbuckler. Why not the adventure story too? As evidenced in The Maltese Falcon and Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Huston can take what might wind up a plot and transform it into a story. He understands that characters – human, conflicted, devious characters – are essential to creating genre pictures that transcend their genre. Without Huston, this film would have undoubtedly faltered; his steady and determined hand guides this film from the hazards of superficiality without sacrificing entertainment and adventure.He does not create a great film single-handedly though, as Connery and Caine, who both give tremendous performances, bestow upon Peachy and Daniel immense likability despite their scoundrel airs. Caine proves again why he may be the greatest living British actor and Connery reminds us that there’s more to him than 007.As I said, this is one of the greatest adventure tales brought to the screen. Though some may disagree, in particular my friend who threw the DVD at my head, it’s better than any of the late 30s swashbucklers and better than most shoot-em-ups made since.

  • valentina-porto
    valentina porto

    For some reason, every time they decide to show this movie on a Swedish TV channel, they do so in the middle of the night, when everyone’s asleep. I’m getting angry everytime I see that: because this is a great movie that hasn’t really got much recognition (maybe it’s like this only here in Sweden). You shouldn’t have to miss out a movie this good just because you haven’t heard of it.That said, I will concentrate more on the movie. It’s based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, but this is one of the few occurances where I find the film better. It’s an amazing story set in India from when it was under British rule. As the main characters we see Sean Connery and Michael Caine, and they do great roles. I’d always known Sean Connery was a great actor, but I hadn’t seen Caine’s potential until I saw this movie. Their characters’ friendship makes this a warming movie, but at moments it’s also quite sad. Besides Connery and Caine, it has many memorable characters, like Christopher Plumming as Kipling.Stan Huston directs, and I think it shows. The environments for example, really are outstanding; the icy mountains, the crowded market and the Pakistan deserts. When I had finished watching I was overwhelmed, it felt like one of the greatest stories ever told, much like the feeling I had after watching Lawrence of Arabia and Dersu Uzala. There’s really nothing that goes against this movie, and needless to say I gave it 10/10.

  • zlatoslava-erchenko
    zlatoslava erchenko

    What most viewers do not realize about The Man Who Would Be King (1975) is that it is not about a legendary place, although Rudyard Kipling may have thought so when he wrote the story, because no white man had ever been there and returned to tell about it.The place was then known as Kafiristan and is now known as Nuristan. It is in Eastern Afghanistan next to Chitral, which is in Northwest Pakistan.Place names in the movie, such as Kamdesh and Bashgal, are real places in Nuristan. The explorer Robertson, whom Billy Fish reports has having died, did not die in real life but was rescued by a British military force in 1895, after Kipling wrote his story.The people of Nuristan are believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great, who came there in 328 BC, just as the movie states. They had a pagan religion as the movie describes until they were forcibly converted to Islam in 1892. There are still some believers of the old religion in the Kalash Valleys of Pakistan.For more about these people see http://www.samsloan.com/damik.htmI know about all this because I have been there and I married a woman named Honzagool there. She did not bite me as did the wife of Sean Connery in the movie, however.Sam Sloan

  • pusspaa-vaal
    pusspaa vaal

    No director ever personalized a genre the way John Huston could. While some critics have claimed his style was a ‘lack’ of style, the opposite is actually true; his sense of irony, love of the absurd, respect for personal codes of honor, and twist endings that always remind us that the true value of a journey is not arriving at a destination, but in the ‘getting there’ all set apart his best work from that of his contemporaries. Even his lesser work has value, and his best films, which certainly includes THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, are unforgettable.The tragicomic tale of two ex-Sergeants turned confidence men with a grand scheme to fleece a near-legendary kingdom had been a ‘pet’ project of Huston’s since the forties, and he’d spent years tinkering with the script, planning to film it with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart in the leads. With Bogart’s death in 1957, he’d considered various other match-ups (including Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole), until he found the ideal pair, in Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Connery had just finished the spectacular THE WIND AND THE LION (in which Huston played a small, but memorable role), and the Scot had often been compared to Gable with his dark good looks, machismo, and lack of pretense. Michael Caine, a long-time friend of Connery, was one of the industry’s busiest actors, and had already proved himself adept at playing both soldiers and con men. Together, Connery and Caine had a camaraderie and chemistry that even Gable and Bogart couldn’t have equaled, and Huston was “quite pleased”.Christopher Plummer was another inspired piece of casting, as the legendary author Rudyard Kipling. Bookish, with a keen intellect and rich sense of humor, Plummer’s Kipling, sharing Masonic ties with the future ‘Kings’, is the perfect foil for the duo, offering sound advice which they totally disregard, with a wink and a smile. As Dravot (Connery) tells him, “We are not little men”, and India, bound up in British bureaucracy (as well as becoming too ‘hot’ for them) could never provide the immensity of riches they dreamed of.Huston eschewed the ‘traditional’ approach to adventure films, with cardboard heroes performing near-impossible deeds until the inevitable ‘happy ending’, and grounded his story in reality, which disappointed any viewers hoping KING would simply be a variation of GUNGA DIN. But in not romanticizing the story, he gives it a sense of immensity and the exotic, a richness of character, and an understanding of human frailties that far surpasses a typical Hollywood product. While Dravot orchestrates the pair’s ultimate ruin by taking his ‘godhood’ too seriously (as he turns ‘noble’, trying to bring order to his ‘kingdom’, and decides to start a dynasty by taking a wife), you can understand why Carnehan (Caine), seeing their ‘get rich’ scheme disintegrate, would be anxious to leave, but also why he would forgive his friend, when they face torture and certain death. Loyalty, to Huston, is not lip service, but a true measure of a man. While Dravot and Carnehan are certainly not role models, their love and respect for each other transcends their faults, even their lives, putting the film’s final scene, as a physically crushed Carnehan leaves his ‘bundle’ for Kipling, into perspective. It is a moment you won’t soon forget. THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING proves, yet again, why John Huston, as he once described his friend, Humphrey Bogart, is “irreplaceable”.

  • josip-bicak
    josip bicak

    Truly, truly brilliant. It is so rare that I see a film that I wouldn’t change, and I honestly can’t think of a thing. Huston’s films so often include that quintessential scene — the one where his characters realize that they’ve lost everything, and respond with unbridled true character. Those who cry or bemoan the loss are beyond redemption. But those who can laugh in the face of disaster, who can ask forgiveness for the patently unforgivable — they are the greatest of Huston’s figures, and perhaps the greatest characters of cinema. Just as Bogart and Hepburn laugh while they lie in the bottom of a boat awaiting death, Michael Caine and Sean Connery face certain death in this film and respond with complete honesty and complete honor. For all of their lies and arrogant ambitions, they are still a pair of b*****ds you would love to know.Which brings me to the two incredible performances. It is nearly impossible for such recognizable actors to fade into the guise of their characters. But Caine and Connery manage it, and with perfect aplomb. As best friends, they are perfectly inseparable, and their innate connection makes for one of the most affecting male friendships in history. Surrounded, with no reasonable hope in the world, Danny asks Peachy to forgive him for being “so bleeding high and so bloody mighty.” And, of course, Peachy forgives him. These are men who sing boldly in the last moments of life. God bless John Huston.

  • nadia-hofman
    nadia hofman

    The greatest “buddy film” of all time. What makes this so? First off, casting two real life friends, Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Second, all other “buddy films” are simply comedies. And while the Man Who Would Be King has some laughs in it, and Connery and Caine bounce off of each other almost as good as Abbott and Costello, the story itself is a drama. And what a drama it is. Two English soldiers set out to be the rulers of a country, but can anyone who was a grunt one day, and a king the next, become a King without getting an inflated ego? The answer is no and that becomes the ultimate test for these two friends. Terrific performances by Caine, Connery and even Christopher Plummer, who gives a brief, but good performance as Rudyard Kipling, the man who wrote the short story this film was based on. This film features perhaps the greatest ending to a movie ever made. You will never forget it, and you will wish that you had a friendship as strong as these two individuals.

  • kelly-conrad
    kelly conrad

    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.