Farewell to the King
Though officially based on Pierre Schoendoerffer's novel L'Adieu au Roi, Farewell to the King also bears echoes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim--with a lot of filmmaker John Milius' own Hemingwayesque slant thrown in. During World War II, American POW Learoyd (Nick Nolte) escapes a Japanese firing squad. Hiding himself in the wilds of Borneo, Learoyd is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Nyak Indians, who consider him "divine" because of his elaborate tattoos. Before long, Learoyd is the reigning king of the Nyaks. When British soldiers approach him to rejoin the war against the Japanese, Learoyd resists (in language so flowery that it could have been written by Sir Walter Scott). But when his own tribe is threatened by the invaders, the "king" deigns to fight for their rights. Farewell to the King is breathtakingly photographed and quite exciting at times.