Farewell to the King


Farewell to the King (1989)



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Though officially based on Pierre Schoendoerffer's novel L'Adieu au Roi, Farewell to the King also bears echoes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim--with a lot of filmmaker John Milius' own Hemingwayesque slant thrown in. During World War II, American POW Learoyd (Nick Nolte) escapes a Japanese firing squad. Hiding himself in the wilds of Borneo, Learoyd is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Nyak Indians, who consider him "divine" because of his elaborate tattoos. Before long, Learoyd is the reigning king of the Nyaks. When British soldiers approach him to rejoin the war against the Japanese, Learoyd resists (in language so flowery that it could have been written by Sir Walter Scott). But when his own tribe is threatened by the invaders, the "king" deigns to fight for their rights. Farewell to the King is breathtakingly photographed and quite exciting at times.

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Nick Nolte
as Learoyd
Nigel Havers
as Capt. Fairbourne
Frank McRae
as Sgt. Tenga
Aki Aleong
as Col. Mitamura
Marius Weyers
as Sgt. Conklin
William Wise
as Dynamite Dave
Wayne Pygram
as Bren Armstrong
Richard Morgan
as Stretch Lewis
Elan Oberon
as Vivienne
James Fox
as Col. Ferguson
Michael Nissman
as Gen. Sutherland
John Bennett Perry
as Gen. MacArthur
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Critic Reviews for Farewell to the King

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

some over-the-top histrionics don't keep it from being worth a look

Jun 15, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5

The "white man as noble savage and isn't it ironic?" material runs out of steam well before the inexhaustible Nick Nolte does.

Jun 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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