The Man Who Would Be King
Directed by John Huston. UK. 1975. PG. 129 minutes. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun., March 18, 2012
Famed director and writer John Huston dreamed of bringing Rudyard Kiplings thrilling adventure story about India in the 1880s to the screen for many years, but he was never quite able to find the right cast or the right amount of funding for the project. Then, in 1975, he was able to secure the services of Michael Caine and Sean Connery, both at the height of their popularity and charisma and, as the saying goes, the rest is cinematic history. In a film filled with brave derring-do, witty banter and fanciful skullduggery, Caine and Connery, as two British army pals, set about bamboozling the people of Kafiristan (an erstwhile province of Afghanistan) into believing that Connery is a god, there to lead that nation into glory, as they scheme to indulge their own greed. However, much to their dismay, and to our entertainment, their best laid plans end up going wildly astray. If you enjoy films of wit and high adventure, along the lines of Gunga Din and Beau Geste, and thrill to clever dialogue and a sense of everyone involved having a jolly-good time, then this is the film for you! (Bill Roth)