Farewell to the King - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Farewell to the King Reviews

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½ May 10, 2016
During World War II, American deserter Learoyd (Nick Nolte) escapes a Japanese firing squad. Hiding himself in the wilds of Borneo, Learoyd is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Dayaks, who consider him divine because of his blue eyes. Before long, Learoyd is the reigning king of the Dayaks. When the British soldier Captain Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) and his accomplice Sergeant Tenga (Frank McRae) approach him to rejoin the war against the Japanese, Learoyd resists. But, when his own tribe is threatened by the invaders, Learoyd decides to fight for their rights, and to protect their independence...

John Milius has truly a mixed CV on his head with writing credits for movies such as "Dirty Harry", "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean", "Jeremiah Johnson". "Jaws" and "Apocalypse Now" and direction credits for movies such as "Conan the Barbarian", "Red Dawn" and "Farewell to the King". Letīs say he has a nack for various cinematic results. "Farewell to the King" carries the mark of Joseph Conradīs "Heart of Darkness" and Francis Ford Coppolaīs "Apocalypse Now", but is hardly up there with the mentioned works of art. This adventure story based on freedom, war, escapism and struggle with inner demons has such mixed results. First of all you canīt get away from the fact the whole film feels like a poor mans "Apocalypse Now" and the performances are varied specifically Nick Nolte hasnīt his finest moment and is far too eccentric and far too over the top as Learoyd (bad name as well). The cinematography is ok and the environments are nice. But, something is just missing, despite the important message about war and the nature of the bond between Western adventurers and "savage" tribal people applicable to various American misadventures in history.
½ May 7, 2016
Decent. It tries to be a lot more epic and sweeping than it is, not that Nolte doesn't give it his all...
April 18, 2015
Less sweeping than the film makers intended.Nolte's good but this film wanted to be epic but came up way short.
March 7, 2014
Beautiful cinematography beautiful story love the movie one of my favorites
June 13, 2012
This movie wants to be a more violent version of Heart of Darkness, but its more like 'Heart of Darkness' made by dummies.
April 4, 2012
Another fine John Milius directed old fashioned adventure film. This WWII jungle story does kind of plod at times, but there is enough to like about the film to make it well worth watching.
March 12, 2012
Just too unbelievable, the Borneons do not look anything like those I see on NatGeo!
½ November 1, 2011
Well told adventure story, although without any visual impact despite an exotic setting.
July 6, 2011
film worth viewing though probably more for him than for her
June 22, 2011
Nolte in his prime, great movie!
½ October 27, 2010
Odd WWII flick about desertion in the South Pacific during the gloomy days of the Allied campaign. Nick Nolte, not my favorite, is a stranded G.I. who because of his blue eyes is saved from certain death by native head hunter tribe.

Is this some kind of a joke?

In the last days of World War II, a British captain is parachuted into Borneo to organize resistance against the Japanese. In order to accomplish his mission, he must deal with an American who has made himself almost a God in the eyes of the local inhabitants.

While a generally well made film, the plot here is a stretch. This deserter marries into this tribe of headhunters after being saved by his new wife. The question is whether he can be happy in "paradise" or return to the world he left.

In the end he sides with his past and the British who seek him out. Depending on your level of movie sophistication, this one may entertain or may not.

Nick Nolte (the King)
Nigel Havers
Frank McRae
Aki Aleong
James Fox
Marilyn Tokuda
William Wise

Director: John Milius
Producer: Andre Morgan
Screenplay: John Milius
Editor: Anne V. Coates
Art Director: Virginia Bieneman
Set Decorator : Virginia Bieneman
Associate Producer: Charles Hannah
Associate Producer: Gopala Krishnan
Art Director: Bernard Hides
Associate Producer: Ralph Marshall
Production Designer: Gil Parrondo
Composer: Basil Poledouris
Costume Designer: David Rowe
Editor: C. Timothy O'Meara
Producer: Albert S. Ruddy
Choreography: Anne Semler
Cinematographer: Dean Semler
Based on a Work by: Pierre Schoendoerffer

Original Release Date: Jan 1, 1989
February 16, 2010
Nick Nolte se escapa de los japoneses, quienes lo tenian cautivo como prisionero de guerra en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, para ser acogido por una tribu de cazadores de cabezas en Borneo. Al intentar rescatarlo sus camaradas ingleses, se dan cuenta que el fue proclamado rey y que ya no quiere volver. Piense en "Dances With Wolves", "Emerald Forest" y "Avatar", revueltas en un adefesio vomitivo.
January 25, 2010
a strange spin of the apocalypse now, and the old adventure novels, that shows us the way to the primitive to avoid politics and wars of interests, and to be heroes. also, lots of mindless action takes some points of the film, but this story is well balanced.
½ December 12, 2009
It was a good movie, nothing incredible.
November 29, 2009
a kill or be killed war movie
½ November 30, 2008
a good premise for a film with decent actors behind it. but the directing ruined it a bit for me. poorly executed Mr. Milius.. for shame! BUT, the film was still decent however boring it seemed some times. it`s worth watching at least once. (the dvd transfer was shit on both sound and image, so it may have had a impact on my rating)
½ November 22, 2008
Interesting war film...tragic and absorbing...
½ November 18, 2008
Magnificent!almost an Epic!
½ November 7, 2008
This is a great flick that mirrors and surpasses the contemporary "Dances With Wolves" and matches "The Last Samurai". These stories are very similar in that the lead character finds himself living with 'primitive' native people during a time of conflict with 'progress'. In this movie, the perfectly cast Nick Nolte leaves the US war effort in World War II to find tranquility with Pacific Islanders who know little about the terrible conflict surrounding them. Nolte and his adoptive people become deeply enmeshed in the violence and the story takes several interesting turns between the fight against the Japanese and then an insurgent campaign against the Allies. It's a surprising turn for Nick Nolte and a well laid out narrative.
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