Movie of the Month - The Man Who Would Be King (August 2017)


Movie of the Month - The Man Who Would Be King

August 2017

Still working on editing the podcast with Holden and Slappy, but per usual I wanted to open this thread to see what people had to say about The Man Who Would Be King. It seems to have been regarded as a mini-classic closer to its release, but isn't talked about as much today; I didn't realize it featured Connery and Caine, for example, and nobody's reviewed it on MoFo yet.

What do you guys think?

You can't win an argument just by being right!
When I was a little kid this was on tv and my parents rounded us all up to watch 'this classic'. I'll try to get a copy for tonight.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Seen it over a dozen times - three or four in the theatre.
The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 1975)
+ - Huston directs a grand Rudyard Kipling adventure (in fact, Kipling is an important character and he's played by Christopher Plummer) which soon enough turns into a cautionary fable a la his The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Two ex-soldiers (Sean Connery and Michael Caine) of the British Army in India decide to leave the country before they're jailed for their various crimes and travel to Kafiristan where they plan to become kings. Action, spectacle, and comedy are intermixed in a story filmed on incredible locations and leading up to several surprising revelations concerning another man who once may well have been King of the World 2200 years earlier. Caine and Connery are a terrific team in roles which were originally intended for Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

You can't win an argument just by being right!
Sean Connery and Michael Caine together. Think I'll have a nerdgasm. OMG Christopher Plummer, Michael's wife Shakira (I forgot they fell in love on this set). Multiple nerdgasms.

Oops no, my beautiful mother who loved this movie was wrong:

She met her husband, Michael Caine, after he became obsessed with meeting "the most beautiful woman he had ever seen" in a "Maxwell House" commercial. He was planning on going to Brazil to track her down but it turned she was living in London, England. A friend gave him her phone number and the rest is history.

"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

You can't win an argument just by being right!
I've tried to watch that video, Holden, but Carson's jacket is giving me brain damage.

Hey, two podcasts in a row that come in under an hour! Amazing. There are a lot of extra bits in this one that I'll either post later or summarize via text, though, because they could make for good discussion.

As always, a big thanks to @Slappydavis, and to our very special guest @Holden Pike, who graced us with an abundance of interesting trivia about this film, and in particular it's place in the larger context of John Huston's career. Lots of good, topical stuff in here about imperialism, too.

The best way to get it is to subscribe with iTunes. The next best ways are to just download it with this link (or add the podcast feed into your RSS reader). Or you can just listen right now with this embedded player:

The 1970s was an interesting period in Connery's career, and he did some fantastic work. He tried to shed the already iconic Bond image after 1967's You Only Live Twice before being coaxed back for Diamonds are Forever in 1971. Martin Ritt's coalmine drama The Molly Maguires (1970) is excellent and decidedly un-Bond. Connery first worked with Sidney Lumet back in 1965 in The Hill, but in the '70s he was in three more: the stylish heist flick The Anderson Tapes (1970), the intense police interrogation piece The Offence (1973), and aboard the all-star Agatha Christie whodunnit Murder on the Orient Express (1975). John Boorman's outrageous Sci-Fi whatzit Zardoz (1974) is more of a curio than a classic of the genre, but it definitely wasn't playing it safe and it definitely wasn't 007. He may be inherently miscast but does a terrific job all the same in John Milius' The Wind and the Lion (1975), Dick Lester's Robin & Marian (1976) is a character-driven understated take on the Robin Hood tale, and Michael Crichton's The Great Train Robbery (1979) is a gritty and clever period caper.

By the 1980s when the aged Connery had that flourish that gave him an entire second career starting with supporting roles in things like Time Bandits and Highlander before winning the Oscar for The Untouchables which made him a movie star all over again, I fear his '70s output was too easily forgotten by younger generations who knew him as Indiana Jones' father and the escape artist from The Rock and maybe even as the first James Bond but a film like The Man Who Would Be King would never be on their radar. Connery had a fantastic career, and the movies from the 1970s showcase some of his best work, even if the films are less iconic than the pop culture high points from the rest of his career.

At first I thought this was a funny coincidence, but more and more I'm convinced it was deliberate, either as an ad-lib by Caine or a cheeky reference from Nolan.

You can't win an argument just by being right!
Wooo. Will be listening a bit later.

The important thing is that when you're done with the podcast and reading Holden's post that you realize that Kipling was more than James Bond and the dad in Indiana Jones, and Connery is more than the Jungle Book guy.

I just listened to this and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'd seen the movie before and watched it again leading up to the 70s countdown, and this podcast made me want to pop it in again.

I do have what may be an ignorant question: Are there more podcasts for other movies? And is there a single place where all the podcasts are available?
I may go back to hating you. It was more fun.

Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Yeah, we have all the podcasts together in one feed, which you can see on iTunes or just by accessing the RSS feed directly.

We've been doing them long enough that I probably should put together a nicer looking archive, though, huh?

The world doesn't owe you a damn thing
that was a really great podcast with some fantastic tidbits for a movie that seems to be under the radar around here.
Great job all around!!