Sunday, November 1, 2020

Movies XII - The Man Who Would Be King

 The Man Who Would Be King starred Sean Connery and Michael Caine.  It was filmed in 1975 in Morocco. Directed by John Huston and based on the story by Rudyard Kipling, it was a film that Huston had been trying to get made for 20 years. Made in the time when movies were transitioning to what I think of as the modern era, it has elements of the classic swashbuckers, some humor, and a touch of Indiana Jones. 

I watched it last night in commemoration of Sean Connery's passing. I wanted to pick something he had starred in and when I learned that this was his personal favorite film that sealed it. 

The trailer is terrible, in the way that trailers often were, but the movie holds up pretty well considering that it comes from a time just before computer generated special effects were possible. I looked at clips to share, but this short homage really captures something of the movie.


drjim said...

Michael Caine has also stated it was his favorite movie he was in.

Rick said...

It is one of my very favorite movies. I had hoped to find a free video online but having not succeeded in that, found I was quite content to listen to a reading of Kipling's actual words.

libertyman said...

Yessir, that movie is the top of my list.I will get the movie out this week for a view again. Christopher Plummer makes a brief appearance as Kipling, (I always thought it was Ben Kingsley who played that role) and the fellow who played the Ghurka was perfect.
Great movie.

Eagle said...

Excellent film - a fun romp.

Connery was also in a film made from a book by Umberto Eco: "The Name of the Rose". It may not have been his favorite film, but it's on my personal "best films" list.

libertyman said...

He did a great job in The Name of the Rose which is also a favorite of mine.

Old NFO said...

That is an excellent movie!

LSP said...

Always loved that movie.

Aesop said...

I made my SC Film Festival list the day he passed on. This was on it.
Of course.

1) Caine and Connery were the best of lifelong friends, both being poor kids who'd broken into the lush life in a crazy business.

2) Huston loved working with them both.

3) The beauty who undid the whole plan near the end of the movie was, IRL, Caine's then-new wife, Shakira. They have been together 47 years, so far. It was more of a family and friends vacation than a movie shoot.

4) It didn't hurt the movie that Kipling's part was played in the movie by Christopher Plummer, 90 years old when last I looked, a slouch of an actor with only one Oscar, two Tonys, and two Emmys, to date, and that's after doing The Sound of Music. That's the caliber of guy Huston got for a small part.

5) Having the score done by the guy that won Oscars for writing the music to Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago never hurts, either.

In short, TMWWBK was epic Kipling, and classic high Hollywood art, done by first-rate people at every point, who also happened to be good friends, all at the peak of their careers.

The only mistake possible is not to watch it.

It was the 1970s equivalent of putting Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHaviland in a movie, making Basil Rathbone the villain, and/or having Erich Korngold write the score.

You can't lose.

Kevin said...

It's my favorite Connery role as well. Good find.