The Man Who Would Be King
Dir: John Houston
Star: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey
Cert / Year: PG / 1975
Format: DVD R2

Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) are ex British soldiers, and are now full time rogues. After years of building the British empire they feel it is time they built an empire of their own. So they hatch a plan to take modern weapons to the primitive tribesmen of Kafiristan and train their own private army. With this army they aim to conquer all before them and rule the land as kings.

This is maybe the ultimate boys own movie. It is a tale of empire, of adventure, of daring do, and free masionary. It is the type of epic film which Hollywood seems to have forgotten about. Stunning locations, a cast of thousands, and great story give the film a sense of scale that few can match.

Taken from a Rudyard Kipling short story the film takes us on a real journey through mountain passes to hidden fortresses and secret cities. The legendary John Houston adds some fantastic cinematography, and the end result is stunningly beautiful. This is the sort of imagery that no CGI could ever recreate, and it imbues the film with a stunning reality.

At the center of the film are the two heroes, and it is a real credit that they are played by possibly two of the best British actors to ever appear on film. The chemistry between the gruff and conceited Daniel and the wily Peachy is simply perfect. Michael Caine and Sean Connery are perfectly cast, and really deliver the goods. It is an enviable, and never repeated combination of talent. There is also a cast of thousands but apart from Saeed Jaffrey and Christopher Plummer they are mostly there as window dressing (However it is worth looking out for Daniel's bride who is played by Michael Caine's real life wife Shakira).

Whether it is massed armies fighting over a vast plane or two men trekking over icy glaciers this is a superb story. The script manages to be both funny and entertaining. The dialogue between the two main leads is sharp and witty, and it ensures that you will end up liking them despite their less than altruistic intentions. This adds to the emotional impact of the story and builds to a real emotional roller coaster of an ending.

This is one of the finest adventure movies ever made. It is expertly directed by a Hollywood Legend John Houston and stars two of the biggest names in British cinema. It has a scale and scenery that is breathtaking. It is well written ensuring you become involved in the story and has one of the most effective endings ever seen in a film. This really is a superb movie and one that can be enjoyed again and again. It matters not a jot that the days of empire are long gone the central themes of greed, courage and loyalty are enduring. A truly enjoyable tall tale.


Adventure in all its glory!


Daniel Dravot: I'm heart fully ashamed, for getting you killed instead of going home rich as you deserve, on account of me being so bleeding high and bloody mighty. Can you forgive me?
Peachy Carnehan: Ay, that I can, and that I do, Danny!

Peachy Carnehan: Now, the problem is, how to divide five Afghans from three mules and have two Englishmen left over.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 A nice restored picture with sharp colours and no print damage. Excellent.
Audio Mono It's Clear, but that's all it is.
Features Nothing
Verdict A film of this calibre deserves a better disc. This may be budget priced but the lack of extras is criminal.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home