King Rat

Overview

James Clavell incorporated a few of his own experiences as a British POW in his novel King Rat. Bryan Forbes' film version stars George Segal as the mastermind of all black market operations in a Japanese prison camp. He is called "King Rat" because of his breeding of rodents to serve as food for his emaciated fellow prisoners; the nickname also alludes to Segal's shifty personality. British officer James Fox helps Segal expand his operation to include trading with the Japanese officers. Though on surface level a...
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Overview

James Clavell incorporated a few of his own experiences as a British POW in his novel King Rat. Bryan Forbes' film version stars George Segal as the mastermind of all black market operations in a Japanese prison camp. He is called "King Rat" because of his breeding of rodents to serve as food for his emaciated fellow prisoners; the nickname also alludes to Segal's shifty personality. British officer James Fox helps Segal expand his operation to include trading with the Japanese officers. Though on surface level a thoroughly selfish sort, Segal saves the ailing Fox's life by wangling precious antibiotics from the guards.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Remastered in high definition; Widescreen presentation; Audio: English; Subtitles: English, Japanese; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although movies had previously dealt with prisoner-of-war (POW) camps (e.g., Stalag 17), most of these films focused on the efforts of the men trapped inside to escape. Although escape and freedom are discussed in King Rat, the film really is more concerned with how men survive inside the prison. Indeed, the title character is not necessarily looking forward to an eventual liberation of the camp. Inside, he is somebody to be feared and respected; outside, he is one of the crowd. The film also examines how people create prisons of their own making, such as Grey, who is trapped by his own rigid (and unsatisfying) code of conduct. This is easier to make work in a novel than onscreen, and too often the film settles for melodrama rather than insight. The actors, however, are consistently good. George Segal gives what is arguably the best performance of his career, capturing the smugness and toughness of the character, never flinching from presenting his flaws, yet still making him somewhat sympathetic. It's a performance that grows richer upon repeated viewings. Tom Courtenay delivers another one of his impressive performances, of which there were many in the 1960s, and James Fox is a good counterbalance to Segal. A bit too long and sometimes afraid to delve deeply enough into its subject, King Rat is still an interesting and involving character study.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2003
  • UPC: 043396100558
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:14:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Segal Corporal King
Tom Courtenay Lieutenant Grey
James Fox Peter Marlowe
Patrick O'Neal Max
Denholm Elliott Lieutenant Colonel Larkin
John Mills Col. Smedley-Taylor
Todd Armstrong Tex
James Donald Dr. Kennedy
Leonard Rossiter Major McCoy
John Standing Capt. Daven
Alan Webb Col. Brant
John Ronane Capt. Hawkins
Hamilton Dyce Chaplain Drinkwater
Joe Turkel Dino
Geoffrey Bayldon Squadron Leader Vexley
George Pelling Maj. Barry
Dale Ishimoto Yoshima
Edward Ashley Prouty
Laurence Conroy Townsend
Roy Dean Peterson
Reg Lye Tinkerbell
Sammy Reese Kurt
Gerald Sim Col. Jones
Michael Lees Stevens
Wright King Brough
John Merivale Foster
Arthur Malet Makeley
Hedley Mattingly Dr. Prodhomme
Teru Shimada Japanese General
Richard Dawson Weaver
Michael Stroka Miller
William Fawcett Steinmetz
John Orchard Private Gurble
John Warburton Commandant
David Haviland Master
Dick Johnson Pop
John Barclay Spence
David Frankham Cox
Brian Gaffikin Prisoner in hut
Technical Credits
Bryan Forbes Director, Screenwriter
John Barry Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph di Bella Makeup
John Burke Special Effects
Burnett Guffey Cinematographer
Ben Lane Makeup
Robert Emmet Smith Production Designer
Walter Thompson Editor
Frank A. Tuttle Set Decoration/Design
Ed Ware Costumes/Costume Designer
James Woolf Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [4:44]
2. Lt. Grey [1:42]
3. Cpl. King [4:02]
4. Max [1:50]
5. Flight Lt. Marlow [6:02]
6. The Theft of a Gold Ring [10:24]
7. Gurble & Townshend [6:39]
8. "Where's the Wireless?" [3:22]
9. Capt. Daven's Bunk [3:38]
10. Doctor Kennedy [5:37]
11. The Rat Scam [3:31]
12. Squadron Leader Vexley [4:39]
13. Beggars Can't Be Choosers [1:39]
14. The Facts of Life [4:08]
15. "Get Rid of the Dog" [2:18]
16. Mystery Meat [3:11]
17. Tampered Weights [7:38]
18. The Fix Is In [6:09]
19. A Stitch in Time [4:44]
20. "I've Got Gangrene" [4:40]
21. The Diamond Deal [2:10]
22. Chaplain Drinkwater [5:37]
23. Saving Marlowe's Arm [2:26]
24. Mouse Deer Aficionados [8:29]
25. The War Is Over [4:26]
26. The Top Sgt. Assumes Command [:18]
27. Capt. Weaver [3:18]
28. The Yanks Move Out [3:53]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Japanese
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      The Bridge on the River Kwai
      From Here to Eternity
      The Guns of Navarone
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