King Rat (1965) – Encore Review

“[to Marlowe] You know, before this, everybody had it made but me. The closest I ever got was to read it out of magazines. I used to watch those real fancy dolls getting out of the big cars going to eat the big dinner. And they’re always with pigs. You know, real pigs. Fat old guys; but they had it made.” – Cpl. King

Number of Times Seen – Twice (4 Nov 2013 and 21 Dec 2021)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A group of Allied prisoners in a Japanese POW camp do all they can to try and survive the ordeal.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw years ago and didn’t enjoy it at all.

I decided to rewatch it as preparation for a podcast that I was on and actually got a newfound appreciation for it upon this rewatch.

The movie takes a very dark look at life in a prison camp and doesn’t try and sugarcoat it at all.

The characters act in very realistic ways since each of them does all that they can to try and survive in the sadistic environment that their captors have put them in.

The main character of Corporal King played by George Segal is constantly trying to work out quick schemes to gain both stature and currency within the camp with little regard for the efforts of anyone else which shows the do-eat-dog world that these characters find themselves in.

They film things in a very dark way that adds to the misery and torture of these characters throughout.

The supporting cast is also great with Denholm Elliott, Tom Courtney, James Fox, John Mills and James Donald all doing excellent jobs bringing these characters to life.

The dark aspect of the story is also detrimental because it makes it so much more difficult to care about anyone here because the viewer gets to see how they all act very selfishly when dealing with survival of everyone (but especially themselves).


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – James Clavell, the author of the original novel, based his book on his personal experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10) (no change from original review)


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