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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollicking Old Fashioned Adventure.
After watching Oliver Stone's truly awful film "Alexander the directors cut" where credulity was well and truly stretched with the Irish accents and an overdose of male bonding, I was in dire need of an antidote. I decided to reacquaint myself with John Huston's "The Man who would be King". I was not disappointed. The film has aged very well in the thirty odd years since...
Published on 21 Jun 2009 by Bob Salter

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Did not enjoy AT ALL.
Published 29 days ago by lala gahle


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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollicking Old Fashioned Adventure., 21 Jun 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Would Be King [DVD] (DVD)
After watching Oliver Stone's truly awful film "Alexander the directors cut" where credulity was well and truly stretched with the Irish accents and an overdose of male bonding, I was in dire need of an antidote. I decided to reacquaint myself with John Huston's "The Man who would be King". I was not disappointed. The film has aged very well in the thirty odd years since it was made.

It is based on a story by the very British Rudyard Kipling who had lived and worked in India. It is a simple adventure story in the tradition of "Kim" and "Gunga Din", two other stories he wrote that were set in India during the time of the raj. Both these books were made into films by Hollywood. Huston had wanted to make a film of the book since the fifties and originally wanted Gable and Bogart, then as time wore on it was Lancaster and Douglas then Redford and Newman. Finally sense prevailed when Newman suggested the two very British actors Sean Connery and Michael Caine. A very good choice they are too, playing roles made for them. In stark contrast to "Alexander" their accents fit in seamlessly.

The film follows the fortunes of two rogues, Daniel Dravet played by Connery and Peachey Carnehan played by Caine. These two colourful characters are time served soldiers of the British Raj. Their nefarious activities bring them into contact with Rudyard Kipling, played by Christopher Plummer, and they hatch a daring plan to make a fortune by becoming the first white men since Alexander the Great to enter the kingdom of Kafiristan in the remote Hindu Kush. After an epic journey they reach their destination where Danny after a stroke of fortune is revered as a God. Like Alexander he comes under the spell of an alluring woman called Roxanna played by Michael Caine's very beautiful wife Shakira. He decides to wed her which causes much consternation amongst the locals. Gods don't marry mere mortals and they certainly don't bleed. With untold wealth within their grasp will the pair escape before being rumbled?

The essence of the film picks up the quintessential Britishness of Kipling's work remarkably well, in an era when Britain had an empire and Brittania ruled the waves. It has a handsome look and there is much to be admired. The location filming in Morocco and Chamonix was very impressive. I have been to both places but still believed it must have been filmed somewhere on the sub continent around the Himalayas. The dress of the local inhabitants also seemed very authentic to my untrained eye. The music by Michael Jarre is an excellent mix, using music from India and blending it with his own style and some old British stiff upper lip colonial type music. Saeed Jaffrey gives excellent support as the loyal Billy Fish and I believe Connery and Caine were never better. The film is hugely entertaining and is a fine achievement. Highly recommended.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gut-wrenching film, 24 Feb 2003
By 
Black Tent "zareeba" (Stockton-on-Tees, UK) - See all my reviews
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It's hard to see how this could have been improved upon: great director, great cast (Caine and Connery perfect in the roles of Peachy Carnehan and Daniel Dravot) great photography, great music...Huston, in an almost-forgotten (by film directors) tradition of great story-telling, lets the story and the characters speak for themselves. Carnehan and Dravot may be rogues, but they are loveable rogues who, in spite of their open ambition to seek a fortune by looting a country (remember that this kind of ambition was acceptable in the 19th century) still have their own kind of principles and morality. Chief among these is the idea that one never abandons a friend. In spite of the tragic end to which ambition brings them, both show a kind of nobility and depth of character which shines through in the end. And what an end! I defy anyone who is not emotionally dead to watch the final scene without at least a prickle of a tear behind the eyelids. As for me, I've started sniffling just thinkng about it....
For me, one of the greatest films ever made.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 Jan 2005
Last night I subjected myself to Oliver Stone's 'Alexander', but tonight I watched Michael Caine and Sean Connery in the real thing. Thirty years on, and the cinematography blows the modern Hollywood away - watch Daniel and Peachey as they struggle through the Hindu Kush without the aid of computer enhanced graphics, retracing the steps of Alexander the Great - truly this is one of the greatest films of all time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb mixture of a pean to Britishness and Indiana Jones, 30 Nov 2002
This film has to be in anybody's Top 20. I rank it alongside "Robin and Marian" as one of Connery's best films, and the same is true for Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer and John Huston. It's a good hearted film with a fascinating story about two Victorian British Army bad lads who get themselves mistaken for the heirs to Alexander the Great in an obscure country near India called Khafistan. The ending moved me to tears - never have two villians been so sympathetic. I'm not sure if it would pass muster with the Politically Correct Brigade, but as an illustration of humanity and as one of the best bits of Kipling ever filmed, it's a priceless gem.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Danny and Peachy capture your heart, 19 Jan 2003
By 
Deborah MacGillivray "Author," (US & UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, John Houston....four of the biggest talents of our lifetime that came together to give you very special film. One so emotionally moving and involving I have a very hard time watching it, but then I likely hold the Guinness records on repeat views for Braveheart...so I tell myself I won't watch it again, but end up doing it.
Based on a Rudyard Kipling story, it is full of exotic locates, adventure, and such warm humour, under the master John Houston's direction. Houston had this in mind originally for Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart (not to knock them, but total miscasting), then later was going to do it with Butch and Sundance (Paul Newman and Robert Redford in typically Hollywood style of going for names rather than perfect actors for the roles). Fortunately, Newman had the insight to pass on it and suggested going with the pairing that was absolute perfect as Danny and Peachy.
Caine had showed as Bromhead in Zulu, that he had the proper mien for a man in a red coat and pith helmet, and we know Connery can do anything given the crack. Since both are personal friends off screen, their on screen charisma comes is amplified by the fact the two men who actually like each other, giving good foundation in which to bring Danny and Peachy alive.
Danny and Peachy decide they have had enough with soldering for the British Empire and think it a marvellous idea to go forth into the world and find a forgotten corner and create their own,
and the most forgotten place they can find on the map is Kafiristan. There they plan to become rich as kings. It is a super adventure getting there, but after the reach the small country, the lark turns into something more, with Danny taking being King Quite serious.
Look for a cameo of Mrs. Caine playing the woman to wed Connery.
It just does not get any better than this, with fine fine acting, writing and directing. Just have a hankie near for the ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films ever made, 3 April 2013
The man who would be king is a tour de force in cinema. An amazing cast, a script adapted from a story by one of history's greatest writers and directed superbly, if you've seen this movie you already know it SHOULD be in your collection, if you've not seen this movie then buy it, it SHOULD be in your collection !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable old fashioned adventure yarn, 9 May 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Two ex army rogues Peachey (Michael Caine) and Daniel (Saen Connery) decide to trek over the desert and become king of a remote state.

This very dated story by Rudyard Kipling is extremely well adapted and directed, and includes some lovely desert scenery.

Caine and Connery are outstanding in their roles and make a wonderful pair of rogues, they definitely enjoyed making this film.

A charming nostalgia trip and amusing look at Britain's distant imperial past.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the book, 29 Jan 2009
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This review is from: The Man Who Would Be King [DVD] (DVD)
Based on a short story by Kipling, I regard this as Micheal Caine and Sean Connery's best work. The film is expanded from the original work, but doesn't suffer as a result. The acting is convincing, quality of the DVD is good and makes an entertaining evenings viewing.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Mint, 16 Sep 2003
By 
j. Buckley (Gods Own County) - See all my reviews
Proper mint film. In summary Connery, Caine, Huston, and a class story by Kipling = One hell of a quality film. this is one of those films that no collection should be without. nuff said.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding classic, 18 Oct 2009
By 
Peter Counsell "Peter - York" (York, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Man Who Would Be King [DVD] (DVD)
Action, travel, excitement, history, mystery and soldiers' humour. But with a moral. Two of Britain's best actors caught at their prime in a story by one of Britain's best ever writers. They couldn't remake it now. Bags of swank Peachy.
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