King Rat (1965) Online
When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, the Allied P.O.W.s, mostly British, but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a P.O.W. camp like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences, for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to which to escape. Included among the prisoners is the American Corporal King (George Segal), a wheeler-dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp. While most of the prisoners are near starvation and have uniforms that are in tatters, King eats well and and has crisp clean clothes to wear every day. His nemesis is Lieutenant Robin Grey (Sir Tom Courtenay), the camp Provost who attempts to keep good order and discipline. He knows that King is breaking camp rules by bartering with the Japanese, but can't quite get the evidence he needs to stop him. King soon forms a friendship with Lieutenant Peter Marlowe (James Fox), an upper class British officer who ...
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|George Segal||-||Cpl. King|
|James Donald||-||Dr. Kennedy|
|Sam Reese||-||Kurt (as Sammy Reese)|
Some of the actors had been P.O.W.s in World War II. Denholm Elliott, while serving in the Royal Air Force, had been shot down and taken prisoner by the Germans.
Paul Newman and Steve McQueen were offered the chance to star in this movie. They turned it down.
In interviews, Writer and Director Bryan Forbes said he had to fight the Screen Actors Guild over the most of the fifteen British Equity members he wanted to cast. The Screen Actors Guild wanted British SAG members, most of whom were fairly elderly, and not suitable for this movie.
Due to the cast and director and setting, this is often assumed to be a British movie, but it was entirely filmed in California.
There are no women in this movie.
Sir Dirk Bogarde was offered the extended cameo of Smedley-Taylor.
Nat "King" Cole approached Writer and Director Bryan Forbes looking for a part in this movie, but Forbes had to tell him there wasn't anything suitable available. Forbes was a huge fan of Cole.
Frank Sinatra was considered for the starring role.
Marlon Brando turned down the lead role.
Tony Curtis was originally intended for the lead role.
The character of Corporal King bears several strong resemblances to that of Sergeant Sefton in Stalag 17 (1953).
This was first announced as a Stanley Kramer production.
In the scene where Corporal King (George Segal) and his inner circle of fellow prisoners are cooking the dog, the actors (other than Segal) were not told what they were supposed to be eating in the scene. Their reactions are authentic and ad-libbed.