The Man Who Would Be King - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Would Be King Reviews

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July 2, 2017
Despite being somewhat of a cinephile's wet dream (John Huston, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer: together!), The Man Who Would Be King suffers from a highly improvable script, but has an auteuristic beauty that sets it apart from Huston's other films.
June 30, 2017
An epic tale of two British soldiers' rise and fall from power in a foreign land.
May 15, 2017
Great acting, moving and cool characters.
May 4, 2017
A great film set in the heyday of British colonialism that ends in a very dark place via a surprisingly lighthearted journey. The film is a good old-fashioned adventure story at its heart, with Caine and Connery as two roguish ex-army types seeking to become stinking rich by setting themselves up as kings in Kafiristan. Despite their amorality, the pair are quite charming and it is fun to watch them succeed, especially since we are not witnesses to the harm their actions will cause. There's even a strange nobility in their arrogance. The film makes a very clever decision here to have us see the pride and wonder of the British Empire before taking us on a tour of its dark side. By the time things turn bad, you're enough on their side to sympathize with them, even though their predicament is their own damned fault.

The music is excellent too, based around an old British army march given an orchestral airing.
May 2, 2017
Great old fashioned adventure that came in the wrong decade. But thank God it did. Connery and Caine are great. My only reservation comes in some of the storytelling. Caine's accent is so thick at the start that it's hard to decipher exactly what's what. The brief second of the stolen watch at the beginning is so fleeting, it doesnt convey what's happening. Some moments are too comical when it should have stayed dramatic. And what I mean by the wrong decade....this grand adventure would have been far better in classic Hollywood days. I keep picturing how wonderful Cary Grant would have been Peachy, and young James Mason as the forceful crazy Daniel Dravitt.
But anyway, the 70's were pretty dry on this sort of thing, and Huston has done a great job. Unforgetable haunting ending. Great flick.
½ March 27, 2017
Outstanding movie overall. The people that don't like it are the ones that need an action movie to keep their attention.
December 17, 2016
Huston, Connery and Caine at the apex of their game. An old-fashioned big screen spectacle, with scenes on par with Lawrence of Arabia in scope. When you see the wide pan shot of the marching armies, it's incredible to think these were real people, instead of CGI FX. A story you can watch over and over, picking up new things with each viewing, and never a wasted second of screen time.
November 23, 2016
Sean Connery and Michael Caine play a pair of razor-sharp scoundrels, scamming their way through an east Asian joyride during the twilight of the 19th century. On a thoroughly unpredictable adventure, the duo constantly converts lemon to lemonade as they meander from a publisher's office in India to a fictional holy land in the desert. There, intending to conquer a few villages and live the high life, the stakes suddenly spike as they find themselves anointed saviors, kings and (eventually) gods. Connery and Caine, good friends away from the screen, bubble with chemistry throughout. Their relationship is essential, and that obvious bond lifts an already-ambitious screenplay into something greater than the sum of its parts. When viewed with contemporary eyes, the pace is a little slow, akin to similar films of the era, but that deliberate tempo reaps unique rewards. By lingering in the atmosphere and dutifully setting the stage, director John Huston expertly depicts the vast cultural differences between our conniving, almost-modern Brits and the ancient ways of life still at play in turn-of-the-century Asia. A fine example of old-style filmmaking, loaded with snappy humor, surprising plot turns, high stakes and creeping peril.
August 10, 2016
Simply one of my favourite films of all time, since long before who I knew who John Huston was. It's a beautifully shot film with a compelling story and a brilliant rapport between two perfectly cast stars at the height of their powers (as well as great supporting performance by Christopher Plummer). Looking back, you can see the themes common to so many John Huston films - old fashioned rugged masculinity, obsession, and the corrupting power of riches. It follows Kipling's story quite faithfully and is therefore unabashedly orientalist, representing the worldview of its Victorian British characters (and of its author). It's probably not a film that would get made today, but taken on its own terms, it's a wonderful film.
April 17, 2016
I had planned on reading the popular book from Kipling but then I stumbled onto the movie. There are many classic adventure books that, after soaring to literary heights, plummeted when daft hands got hold of them and turned them into muddled unimpressive films. But when John Huston gets his hands on something, it will be impressive. However, I won't fawn over this film like the critics have. This epic is more haunting (at its best) and near ridiculous, in most respects, than memorable and moving. It is wrapped nicely though with grand sets, hundreds if not thousands of extras, and everything needed for an adventure; war, treasure, an ancient city, and two bumbling comics with a talent for disruption on a national scale. While I don't consider this a masterpiece, I wanted to watch it because where else do you get to see Michael Caine and Sean Connery fumbling around with swords, costumes, and conquest. I think Huston saw the potential for the grandeur of Kipling's tale but for me, 40 years after its release, there's not much in it that leaves an impression. It isn't a film for modern audiences but a more patient one. It has humor but it also suffers from implausibility and at the end of the day, who cares what happens in this superstitious remote part of the world. Hate to say it, but indifference is what happened. Reflecting, I do see pride becomes the villain and reconciliation is only possible after the truth is set free. While a solid adaptation, it isn't up there with my favorite epics but actually closer to the bottom half of large scale extravaganza that doesn't really leave you with anything.
½ December 12, 2015
My dad suggested we watch this together. It was a very interesting movie. It didn't conform to the predictable story line, and left me feeling a bit morose, but the cultural exploration and the spirit of the adventurer were depicted well.
½ November 21, 2015
Classic story of adventure that still holds up today, with great acting.
November 7, 2015
Good movie, kinda funny. Oh! Michael Caine. This fantastic movie has a young Michael Caine. He's an awesome actor, but also hot. Very hot.
September 26, 2015
Looking at some of the bad reviews of this film, I would say that this is one film that rewards repeated viewings.
September 18, 2015
Witting dialogue and fine direction with some great battle scenes. It serves to be both a great comedy and adventure film.
½ September 2, 2015
Classic action, Kipling story, Connery and Caine. Superb
July 3, 2015
Two rogues at they're very best. Outstanding.
May 29, 2015
one of my top 22 films
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2015
Good. Not great, merely good.
½ January 20, 2015
La pelicula de aventuras por excelencia.
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