A comedy-drama, King Rat examines the possibility that years after graduation - whether it's ten years or thirty - we may be stuck with the same issues we had before crossing that stage at commencement.
Lauren Ashley Carter
Elderly Mrs. Ross lives alone in her meager flat, scraping by on government assistance even as she claims to have great wealth. After finding stolen money she is victimized, making it necessary to find her support in her declining years.
When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, the Allied P.O.W.s, mostly British, but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a P.O.W. camp like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences, for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to which to escape. Included among the prisoners is the American Corporal King (George Segal), 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 Lieutenant Robin Grey (Sir Tom Courtenay), 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 Lieutenant Peter Marlowe (James Fox), an upper class British officer who ...Written by
After Maj. McCoy and the others have been arrested for possessing a radio, and Col. Smedley-Taylor is waiting outside for news, the shadow of the boom mic being lowered is cast over the actors in the background. See more »
[Having served Marlowe a fried egg]
How 'bout that?
Not bad. Not bad at all.
[Looking slightly offended]
What the hell are you talking about? The egg ain't been laid that tastes better than that.
Don't get excited, Fortnum. When we say "not bad", we don't mean "not bad". We mean it's bloody marvelous.
Yeah? What do you mean when you say "it's bloody marvelous"?
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[Prologue] This is not a story of escape. It is a story of survival.
It is set in Changi Jail Singapore, in 1945
The Japanese did not have to guard Changi as a normal prison of war camp. The inmates of Changi had no friendly Swiss border or any other neutral country within reach. They were held captive not so much by high walls, or barbed wire, or machine-gun posts, but by the land and sea around them - and the jungle was not neutral, nor was the ocean.
They did not live in Changi. They existed. This is the story of that existence. See more »
A gritty prison camp film, well directed and with great photography
There are many WWII prison camp films, but King Rat stands out for its gritty treatment of how prisoners survive in there bleak and painful worlds, where the meaning of hope has long been forgotten. George Segal as Cpl King knows all the angles, and has funds to buy what he wants. He lives the easy life while others suffer around him.Soon he meets up with James Fox, an RAF Officer and buys him as well.A man with little redemption potential you might say; but then the unexpected happens. King Rat effectively explores the roles of the prisoners in relation to their survival.It shows that staying alive is not necessarily to do with determination, or courage, but often due to darker actions, where hate is a cohesive force to survival. Segal is excellent as the well-heeled Cpl, if a trifle too bright-eyed. Fox starts off in third but hits top gear later as the troubled Flight Lt.However,his curious ballet-like gait does seem out of sorts for a Jap prison camp. Courtney makes a fine Provost Marshall, but somehow lacks the steel for the job, and finally fails to convince. King Rat tops the prison camp movies, including The Great Escape, for it's honest and gritty, realistic exploration of hate and redemption. Brian Forbes can be proud of this film, not the least for the outstanding photography,( Oscar-nominated), and excellent acting. See it.
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