Monday, November 30, 2015

King Rat (1965)

Academy Awards, USA 1966

Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Burnett Guffey
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
Robert Emmet Smith
Frank Tuttle

Columbia Pictures
Directed by Bryan Forbes
My rating: 4 stars out of 4
(DVD, Columbia TriStar)

American and British soldiers struggle for survival in a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines. American George Segal rises above the fray through black market sales with locals at the expense of his fellow prisoners. An idealistic young provost marshal tries to expose him, but when he uncovers another racket involving his direct commander he runs into a brick wall. An uncompromising portrayal of the daily lives of desperate men in a hopeless situation: the sweltering heat, the omnipresent buzzing of flies, thin and sickly men where death is never far away. It's not all bleak though, with comedy relief provided by Segal and associates from their latest racket involving the numerous rats in the camp.

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