King Rat

Interesting but flawed adaptation of James Clavell's novel about a Japanese POW camp in Singapore towards the end of World War II. Taking a leaf out of Billy Wilder's Stalag 17, it similarly sets out to demonstrate that survival was the name of the game (with Segal taking the William Holden role as the cynical collaborator/fixer-upper), but goes a stage further to delete all notions of heroism. The trouble is that the script gets lost between too many options, setting up a number of character conflicts but taking them nowhere much. Effective performances and camera-work (Burnett Guffey), but Forbes directs with his usual lapses into overstatement.

Release details

Duration: 134 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bryan Forbes
Screenwriter: Bryan Forbes
Cast: George Segal
Tom Courtenay
James Fox
Denholm Elliott
Todd Armstrong
Patrick O'Neal
James Donald
John Mills
Alan Webb
Leonard Rossiter
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