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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of David Jason's Best Dramas
The true story of a battalion formed from the workers of the Sandringham estate in 1914 is told here in a thoughtful production which illustrates the perceived glory of war which is quickly shattered by the reality of fighting.

David Jason gives one of his best performances as Capt Frank Beck - the head keeper of the Royal estates who drills his troop of young...
Published on 9 Sep 2007 by Scots Lass

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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Frost" meets "Blackadder 4"....
I was steered toward this 'made for TV' film by a genealogist, who had found that my Grandfather was in the same regiment as these guys at Gallipoli in WW1. Having watched it,I would say that unless your Grandfather was in the same regiment as these guys at Gallipoli in WW1, there is absolutely no reason for you to watch it.
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by CH - W4


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of David Jason's Best Dramas, 9 Sep 2007
By 
Scots Lass (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
The true story of a battalion formed from the workers of the Sandringham estate in 1914 is told here in a thoughtful production which illustrates the perceived glory of war which is quickly shattered by the reality of fighting.

David Jason gives one of his best performances as Capt Frank Beck - the head keeper of the Royal estates who drills his troop of young men, many of whom he has known since they were born, into a fighting unit ready for the glory of the First World War. The King is not keen to lose Frank to the fighting, but, even in his 50's, Frank is determined to go and lead his men and he finds an ally in the Dowager Queen Alexandra (Maggie Smith).

In a touching scene, before departure, Frank meets a friend whose son is severly disabled following action at the front and it begins to dawn on Cpt Beck that it may not be the valiant battle that he and his men expect. 14 year old friends on the estate are keen to do their bit, but when one proudly becomes a telegram boy, his friend lies about his age to join the regiment. Cpt Beck allows the boy to travel with the estate workers.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends - every available man sets off to Galipoli where Frank is stunned at the shambolic base camp, inaccurate maps, poor supplies and chronic dysentary that his lads must endure. And when it comes to battle, the tactic is simply to walk, in a straight line, towards the enemy....an enemy which cannot be seen but is in an ideal position to pick off the approaching troops.

The story revolves around the apparent 'vanishing' of the Sandringham Company and the attempts by those left behind to learn what happened. Grieving relatives hoped that the men were held prisoner. To this day, the actual events are not clear, but the tale that they 'vanished into a mist' is clearly not accurate and Queen Alexandra is determined to find out the truth. But will her adviser find any answers in peacetime - and is it in the interests of a country torn apart by war to learn of such a waste of life?

A truly moving drama with cracking performances from the entire cast, this is a top class BBC production. Included on the dvd is a 30 minute documentary, narrated by Prince Edward and filmed largely at Sandringham and including much archive material, which attempts to tell the viewer what really happened - and this explanation is woven into the preceding drama.

A story of the futility of war, this is a solid drama which is well worth purchasing.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BBC at its very best, 4 Aug 2007
By 
Roger Boon (Llandudno,Wales,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
"All the King's Men" is a richly textured piece of television drama, sensitively directed by Julian Jarrold. Its carefully nuanced script explores the horrors of the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey in World War One and the myth surrounding the mysterious "disappearance" of the Sandringham Regiment, who were drawn from King George the Fifth's estate.The men are led by Captain Frank Beck,the agent on the estate, who with the support of the Queen Mother defies the King and, despite his age, leaves Sandringham to lead the men who he has trained and whose lives he has been intimately involved with on the estate. Through the excellent performance of David Jason we see a man of some nobility of spirit,used to respecting his superiors all his life,trying to do his best in a situation where his superiors got it completely wrong.His idealism is nicely contrasted with the humane pragmatism of the regimental doctor who has no such illusions.
The truth of a body of men ineptly led and totally unprepared for fighting in an unknown and hostile terrain with appalling logistical support is graphically portrayed and echoes the much better known Australian film, "Gallipoli." The deliberate burying of the truth of what happened(which involved large numbers of men being shot in the head rather than taken prisoner)in order to protect social sensitivities and preserve morale is nicely dealt with through the superbly restrained performance of Maggie Smith as the Queen Mother who is clearly not fooled but never betrays the fact.
The film also sympathetically explores the social values of the English class system and particularly the close knit generation of Sandringham workers who made up the regiment. Their naive and in some cases romantic confidence in the right of King and Country fighting with God on their side(despite the fact that they were invading another country)is believably portrayed.
The perfornances of the cast are without exception of a very high class with some excellent cameos. This is the BBC at its very best and I thoroughly reccomend it to you!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the truth about a disaster, told at last, 18 Jan 2008
This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
The lead role was made for David Jason. This is the previously untold story, surrounding the first world war, where all but one (as it turned out), of the soldiers from the Sandringham Company 'vanished into thin air' or into the mist to be exact.

Ageing, David Jason uses his influence with the Queen Mother, to be sent along as Commanding Officer with his unit to fight abroad. The film reflects the age and the mood of Britain at that time and its values. The film also reveals the details of a huge 'cover up', which is a real eye opener even these days.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good BBC Drama., 16 Aug 2010
By 
R. Stewart (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
This is not meant to be a history , it is a drama and a very well written , produced ,cast and acted one.
This is one of those film productions which BBC excels and does so very well , if you want an accurate documentary or one which is historically accurate to the last letter this may not be the one and I do not profess to know the history of Gallipoli in any detail other than an awareness of that sad series of landings.

As a drama it works very well you can relate to the main characters and the rigid class structure from which they came , something which is illustrated as a running theme throughout the film.
The rights and wrongs of the war is touched upon , the propaganda of the times , the expectations , under age soldering , and how national pride meets the reality of the war overseas none of which remains intact following contact with the enemy.

It is well written and the cast make this an excellent story , one you could certainly watch again without any effort.
Maggie Smith , Patrick Malahide , Ian McDiarmid , some of the major names which spring to mind.

IMO a very good drama but it has to be watched as that , it is not meant to be a history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the King's men, 1 Oct 2010
By 
David Rowland - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
The time is after the outbreak of the first world war and the men working on the royal estate at Sandringham in Norfolk are being put through their paces by their fatherly estate manager (brilliantly played by David Jason) before they do their bit for king and country. For these young men their entire world is the cosy sheltered environment of Sandringham, where deference to their betters is the order of the day and where everyone knows their place. They have the perception of war that so many people untouched by real war have of glorious deeds, patriotic acts and self sacrifice but when they get to Gallipoli their ideas are cruely shattered by the reality of death, disease and disorganisation. The only thing that sustains them in this carnage and confusion is the comradeship and loyalty built up at Sandringham.

They sustain casualties, one of them disappears after going out on a patrol and later they take part in an attack on a Turkish position, charge towards the enemy through a barrage of shellfire and they disappear into a mist bank that rolls across their line of advance and none of them returns. Their disappearance gives rise to a myth that they have somehow been embraced in the mist and carried up to heaven. The reality is rather different, they have been wiped out by the Turks who took no prisoners. The man who disappeared whilst on patrol is wounded and taken to a German hospital and returns to Sandringham after the war with severe facial disfigurement. An investigation later discovers the grisly truth but should that be revealed or should the far more pleasant and comfortable myth be perpetuated?

All the Kings Men portrays in a gripping and moving way the naivety and innocence of men who join up to fight for their country without having any idea of war is like, the deep sense of comradeship that sustains them and that the horror of war is so unacceptable that myths have to be invented to obscure the painful reality. This has been seen many times since the first world war. The worst aspect of this is the betrayal of eager and trusting young men by the politicians and the military, the prostitution of patriotism and the waste of human life that always accompanies war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the King Men, 4 Sep 2010
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
A fantastic account of true events that few people are aware of. David Jason plays the part of Captain Frank Beck who led his men from there idyllic lives on the estate of Sandringham into the slaughterous battlefields of Gallipoli. Facing an unforgiving Turkish army, Beck and his men also faced a battle to come to terms with their own nievety when they learn the truths and horrors of what was then modern warfare. Because events in this story are based on real charactors (with some dramatisation thrown in for good measure) it allows you to reflect on the price so many people paid from all social classes.

A great british film with great british actors which is entertaining but doesn't just focus on battle, blood and gore.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the vanished battalion, 2 Aug 2009
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
"All the King's Men" is based on the tragic story of the 5th Battalion Territorial Army of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, also known as the Sandringham Regiment.

The Sandringham Regiment was founded in 1908, and was made up of men and boys who worked on and around the Sandringham Royal estate. It was set up at the request of King Edward VII by the Sandringham estate manager, 54-year-old, Mr. (Captain) Frank Beck.

The Sandringham Regiment set sail from Liverpool, on the liner Aquitania, on July 30, at 1915. They had been sent to take part in the Dardanelles campaign, more often known as the Gallipoli campaign. Beck, even though he was too old to go, did not want to let his boys go without him and convince Queen Alexandra to speak on his behalf. She did, and Beck was allowed to go with his men. The battalion landed at Suvla Bay on August 10, 1915 and were immediately ordered inland. On August 12 orders arrived for attack that afternoon. Beck led his men on the forward charge, and as they moved forward a large cloud of dust and smoke consumed them. That was the last that was ever seen of the Sandringham Regiment, no prisoners were ever reported.

All the families were told was that the men were missing presumed dead.

The King's mother, Queen Alexandra, who was living in Sandringham, wanted to know what happened to her Regiment. However it was decided not to tell her the truth, but to let her believe that God had lifted the men from the field of battle in a cloud to save them from any pain.

Sir David Jason stars as Frank Beck, the Sandringham estate manager. This role is truly his tour de force. Even Mr. Beck's grandson, Mr. Edward Hunter, said that he was impressed by Sir David's portrayal of his grandfather but, however, was disappointed that the execution was portrayed at the of the film and found it distasteful.

Strangely, nearly 100 years on, much of the documentation about the Sandringham Regiment and the Royal Norfolk Regiment, who they were with when they disappeared, is still classified.

This was a truly great film, with moments of friendship, fun and laughter, sadness and fear. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Dardanelles campaign. My interest in the Dardanelles campaign lies with my grandfather (a Royal Engineer) who went into Gallipoli with the Anzacs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Kings Men (David Jason), 1 Nov 2010
By 
P. J. Towler - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
David Jason gives a great acting performance in a role very different from his Del boy, Darling buds or Frost incarnations. A film in the same league as "My Boy Jack" (which was about Kipling's son, played by Daniel Radcliffe).
A well written and totally absorbing trip back in time, to a world when old values and certainties didn't seem to work any more. Millions died on the battlefields, not just in France and Belgium but elsewhere as this film portrays. The Norfolk boys who went to Turkey and simply vanished into the mist.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good film., 18 April 2009
By 
Susie Q "Bob's wife" (Wirral Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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I bought the DVD for my husband. Didn't think it was my sort of film but I really enjoyed the story. As it is a true story it was sad but very good to watch.The acting was good and could be watched by the whole family. Very entertaining!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you believe in conspiracy theories..........., 21 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. A. Gorton "tony gorton" (western australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
then this a dvd you must get as it represents an idea which ,if true,must be one of the early conspiracy theories.
I dont subsribe to the fake moon landing or 9/11 theories or the Roswell theories but this dvd makes you think,ok its a different age from now and because of that information was more easily manipulated,for better or worse.
What you have is a regiment formed from basically a fuedal village where everyone knows everyone,and in its first action finds itself lost and probably behind enemy lines,the fate of this group is the cornerstone of the film and bearing in mind the problems between turkey and its ethnic armenians at around the same time (which turkey is just starting to acknowledge) it suggests that the ending shown may well be the truth.
If you do get this dvd then please watch the introduction which is fantastic and brings the period to life,at times this film makes you want to cry for the naievty of a bygone age and the loyalty shown by the troops towards a command structure which defies belief,there is a saying that ww1 british troops were lions led by donkeys,this is an insult to donkeys.
To me the supporting actors to david jason are terrific and dj himself brings his own unique style to an old fashioned benevolent leader let down by his "betters"
A memorable film which recreates the rural structure of pre ww1
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All the King's Men [DVD]
All the King's Men [DVD] by David Jason (DVD - 2005)
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