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King Rat

Country: USA, Language: English, 134 mins

  • Director: Bryan Forbes
  • Writer: James Clavell; Bryan Forbes
  • Producer: Marvin Miller; James Woolf

CGiii Comment

An all-male cast and nominated for 2 Oscars.

Ultimately, it's a comment on friendship - the Atlantic certainly divides the interpretation.

The subtext is tangible, the emotions are dealt with by a superior hand.

A fine cast, a fine script, a fine film.


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The(ir) Blurb...

When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 the Allied POWs, mostly British but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a POW detention center like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to escape to. Included among the prisoners is the American Cpl. King, a wheeler dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp. While most of the prisoners are near starvation and have uniforms that are in tatters, King eats well and and has crisp clean clothes to wear every day. His nemesis is Lt. Robin Grey, the camp Provost who attempts to keep good order and discipline. He knows that King is breaking camp rules by bartering with the Japanese but can't quite get the evidence he needs to stop him. King soon forms a friendship with Lt. Peter Marlowe an upper class British officer who is fascinated with King's élan and no rules approach to life.

Cast & Characters

George Segal as Corporal King: The American Hut;
Tom Courtenay as Lt. Robin Grey: The Provost Staff;
James Fox as Peter Marlowe: Hut 16;
Patrick O'Neal as Top Sgt. Max: The American Hut;
Denholm Elliott as Lt. G.D. Larkin: Hut 16;
James Donald as Dr. Kennedy: The Hospital Staff;
Todd Armstrong as Tex: The American Hut;
John Mills as Col. George Smedley-Taylor: The Senior Officers;
Gerald Sim as Lt. Col. Jones: The Senior Officers;
Leonard Rossiter as Maj. McCoy: Hut 16;
John Standing as Capt. Daven: Hut 16;
Alan Webb as Col. Brant: The Senior Officers;
John Ronane as Capt. Hawkins: Hut 16;
Sammy Reese as Kurt: The American Hut;
Michael Lees as Stevens: The Hospital Staff