King Rat (1965)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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James Clavell incorporated a few of his own experiences as a British POW in his novel King Rat. Bryan Forbes' film version stars George Segal as the mastermind of all black market operations in a Japanese prison camp. He is called "King Rat" because of his breeding of rodents to serve as food for his emaciated fellow prisoners; the nickname also alludes to Segal's shifty personality. British officer James Fox helps Segal expand his operation to include trading with the Japanese officers. Though on surface level a thoroughly selfish sort, Segal saves the ailing Fox's life by wangling precious antibiotics from the guards.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures


George Segal
as Corporal King
Tom Courtenay
as Lt. Robin Grey
James Fox
as Peter Marlowe
Denholm Elliott
as Lt. G.D. Larkin
William Fawcett
as Steinmetz
Leonard Rossiter
as Maj. McCoy
John Standing
as Capt. Daven
Hamilton Dyce
as Chaplain Drinkwater
Joe Turkel
as Dino
Wright King
as Brough
John Ronane
as Capt. Hawkins
Geoffrey Bayldon
as Squadron Leader Vexley
John Barclay
as Spence
David Haviland
as Masters
Roy Dean
as Peterson
John Mills
as Col. Smedley-Taylor
Gerald Sim
as Col. Jones
Alan Webb
as Col. Brant
John Merivale
as Foster
John Warburton
as Commandant
James Donald
as Dr. Kennedy
Hedley Mattingly
as Dr. Prodhomme
Reg Lye
as Tinkerbell
John Orchard
as Pvt. Gurble
Laurence Conroy
as Townsend
Arthur Malet
as Blakely
Edward Ashley
as Prouty
Dale Ishimoto
as Yoshima
Teru Shimada
as Japanese General
Louis Neervort
as Torusumi
George Pelling
as Maj. Barry
Brian Gaffikin
as Prisoner in hut
Anthony Faramus
as Prisoner
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Critic Reviews for King Rat

All Critics (4)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A cynical look at what humanity will do to survive under extreme circumstances.

Full Review… | November 23, 2015
Three Movie Buffs

No excerpt available.

May 7, 2007

No excerpt available.

June 7, 2005

Audience Reviews for King Rat

Good POW film that doesn't make you forget the Bridge on the River Kwai or any of the other prison films that William Holden pops up in but it nonetheless is interesting to see the story of a survivor and the choices that he makes with his fellow Brits and the Japanese that keep him locked up.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Well shot, acted, and original but the script was rather lacking. Still, I like war films and prison movies so a POW film usually does it for me.

Sean Chick
Sean Chick

Based on the clever novel by James Clavell, the movie misses most of the themes about class, to focus on the scheme by which enlisted POIW's in a Jap concentration camp sell rat meat to the officers.

Katherine Black
Katherine Black

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