King and Country

Overview

King and Country was adapted by Evan Jones from John Wilson's play Hamp. Misfit World War I British soldier Tom Courtenay, on trial for desertion, is defended by martinet officer Dirk Bogarde. Disgusted by the assignment, Bogarde wearily asks the dullwitted Courtenay the reasons for his actions. Courtenay replies that, after being the sole survivor of a battle and discovering that his wife had been cheating on him while he was serving his country, he didn't see any purpose in going on; thus, he "went for a little...
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Overview

King and Country was adapted by Evan Jones from John Wilson's play Hamp. Misfit World War I British soldier Tom Courtenay, on trial for desertion, is defended by martinet officer Dirk Bogarde. Disgusted by the assignment, Bogarde wearily asks the dullwitted Courtenay the reasons for his actions. Courtenay replies that, after being the sole survivor of a battle and discovering that his wife had been cheating on him while he was serving his country, he didn't see any purpose in going on; thus, he "went for a little walk." Bogarde's dislike of his client melts into sympathy, which in turn leads to temporary indignation over the manner in which the average enlisted man is treated by his aristocratic superiors. Despite his pleas for leniency, Bogarde's client is sentenced to be shot; after all, an example must be made. On the day of the execution, the men on the firing squad are so drunk that they're unable to carry out the sentence. Once more incensed by the "rabble" that he's forced to deal with, Bogarde takes the law into his own hands.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
King and Country is a distinctive anti-war effort that won't be to all tastes but one which those in tune with director Joseph Losey's take on the material will find both fascinating and utterly involving. Those not on the director's wavelength -- or those who don't necessarily appreciate its anti-war message or its denunciation of class favoritism -- will have a different reaction and will most likely find King slow going and predictable. Indeed, it's the kind of story that has been told many times; but Losey and his writers believe there is still a great deal of truth in some familiar tales. What's interesting about Losey's technique is that he makes the piece somewhat Brechtian, raising some walls that make the audience aware that what it is watching is a distillation of real life rather than the real thing, an approach that works well with a court martial-themed piece, in that such trials are themselves distillations of real life that take place in a faux-theatrical setting, with the purported (though not always actual) aim of arriving at the truth. The artifice that Losey employs doesn't negate the drama, but somehow heightens it. He is helped by the adept performances of his cast. Dirk Bogarde turns in an expert performance that takes advantage of all opportunities to plumb the contradictions of his character. Leo McKern is magnificent as an immovable object battling an irresistible force. And above all, Tom Courtenay is pure gold as the Everyman who is a pawn in a game that he in no way understands.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2014
  • UPC: 089859860225
  • Original Release: 1964
  • Rating:

  • Source: Vci Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,822

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dirk Bogarde Capt. Hargreaves
Tom Courtenay Private Hamp
Leo McKern Capt. O'Sullivan
Barry Foster Lieutenant Webb
James Villiers Capt. Midgley
Peter Copley Colonel
Barry Justice Lt. Prescott
Vivian Matalon Chaplain
Jeremy Spencer Pvt. Sparrow
James Hunter Pvt. Sykes
David Cook Private Wilson
David Cook Private Wilson
Larry Taylor Sergeant-Major
Jonah Seymour Cpl. Hamilton, M.P.
Keith Buckley Corporal of the Guard
Derek Partridge Captain at Court-Martial
Brian Tipping Lieutenant at Court Martial
Terry Palmer Soldiers in Hamp's Platoon
Technical Credits
Joseph Losey Director, Producer
Larry Adler Score Composer
Denys Coop Cinematographer
James Lansdale Hodson Screenwriter
Evan Jones Screenwriter
Richard MacDonald Production Designer
Reginald Mills Editor
Peter Mullins Art Director
Roy Ponting Costumes/Costume Designer
Norman Priggen Producer
John Wilson Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King and Country
1. Chapter 1 [4:16]
2. Chapter 2 [11:47]
3. Chapter 3 [9:45]
4. Chapter 4 [7:11]
5. Chapter 5 [9:41]
6. Chapter 6 [4:27]
7. Chapter 7 [9:08]
8. Chapter 8 [8:41]
9. Chapter 9 [6:42]
10. Chapter 10 [9:46]
11. Chapter 11 [3:59]
12. Chapter 12 [1:20]
13. Chapter 13 [:01]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- King and Country
   Play
   Scenes
   Extras
      English Subtitles
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
      Trailers
         Campbell's Kingdom
         Agent 8 And The Three Quarters
         Dirk Bogarde Promo
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