June 12th, 2013: The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

The Man Who Would Be King

Cast and Crew: John Huston (Director, Co-Writer); Maurice Jarre (Score); Albert Moses, Shakira Caine

What It’s About: A pair of British NCOs in 1800s India (Michael Caine and Sean Connery) leave the service and journey to an extremely remote section of Afghanistan, never seen by white men (or at least none who lived to tell the tale). They plan to set up a kingdom there, and make a contract to do so with Rudyard Kipling (Christopher Plummer), who they meet on a train. They are lucky at the start when Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), the lone Ghurka survivor of an exploratory expedition sent by the Brits joins them. One turn of events leads to another, and soon Connery’s Danny is crowned king….but can he keep the crown?

Why Watch it Today?: The man who inspired Rudyard Kipling’s original story, American adventurer Josiah Harlan, was born on this date in 1799.  Harlan actually managed to become king by his own hand in Afghanistan, at least until the British came to Kabul and reinstated an Afghan prince.

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