King & Country

1964

Action / Drama / War

39
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 1562

Synopsis


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June 26, 2014 at 01:25 PM

Director

Cast

Tom Courtenay as Private Arthur James Hamp
Dirk Bogarde as Captain Hargreaves
Leo McKern as Captain O'Sullivan
Barry Foster as Lieutenant Webb
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
702.43 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Prismark10 6 / 10

The deserter

King & Country is directed by the American Joseph Losey and stars Tom Courtenay as a young soldier in the Great War, shell shocked and facing a court martial for desertion.

Dirk Bogarde plays the officer whose duty is to defend him, at first he seems to be reluctant in his dealings with him, viewing him as a working class imbecile and cowardly to boot. However once he gets to know him a little, Bogarde discovers that many of Courtenay's friends and comrades in his battalion have died, he takes the case more seriously especially as he will be executed if found guilty.

The film is very much a stage play but is also arch as well as having a stylistic template with actual photos of dead bodies from the Imperial War Museum. The set tries to recreate the trenches with a cold, damp, dank setting.

The film has a grim atmosphere as displayed by the foot soldiers and Courtenay is one of them, a soldier who does not realise what he has done and the trouble he is in.

The film highlights the class aspect of the war as the officers have little compassion for the lower ranked soldiers and show no mercy for those driven to despair or madness.

Reviewed by JoeKulik 10 / 10

A Very Thought Provoking Film.

Joseph Losey's King And Country (1964) Is a very good film. Although one might justifiably place it in some such genre as War I Films, such a taxonomic pigeon hole really doesn't do justice to this rather complex film.

This is clearly a film about class divisions in Great Britain, with the much educated, upper class officers passing judging on a lowly private charged with desertion, a lowly private who tells his upper crust military defense attorney that he quit school at 12 years old to become a cobbler, just like his father and grandfather before him.

It is a film about a long ago war when the full nature and extent of combat PTSD was not known, nor so much a concern of the officers in charge.

This is a film about a lowly working class stiff who volunteered for the army for love of country, very early on the war and, after enduring three years of relentless battle amidst the horrors of the trenches, wasn't given a "break", a second chance after the first blemish on his record.

This is a film about a military defense attorney, portraying the staid and "proper" British upper class demeanor, and just assuming that his client is guilty even before the trial has begun who, in the course successive personal contacts with his client undergoes somewhat of a transformation of personality and character, as the story of his client's "desertion" becomes an analogue in his mind for the futility of the Great War, a futility that neither side was willing to admit, while more and more young men were sent to their slaughter in a vain attempt to just to obscure the obvious truth of that futility.

This is a film about "just following orders", of "just following the rules", even when such blind obedience to such verbal prescriptions blinds us also to the utter humanity of the situation at hand.

The sober BW cinematography in this film relentlessly grinds these themes into our souls, as it gives us unrelenting shots of a mud drenched, claustrophobic environment, where it never stops raining, and where this bleak, hopeless atmosphere is punctuated by archival still photos that give us a close up, "in your face" look at the actual horrors of trench warfare.

This film is a quite compelling, and thought provoking portrayal of not only WW I, but also of the utter senselessness of fighting any war whatsoever.

Reviewed by Tom Dooley 9 / 10

Shocking and Powerful World War I Court Drama

Tom Courtenay plays Private Hamp, he is the lone survivor of his battalion having volunteered in 1914 – some three years prior, the rest whittled away by the arbitrary wantonness of war. He has been accused of desertion and is facing a court martial. Under martial law he is allocated an officer to represent him – this falls to Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde). What follows is the trial set amidst the rain and mud just behind the allied front line.

Courtenay plays the gullible soldier to a tee, he is basically an innocent lad who is probably suffering from PTSD or shell shock as it was sometimes referred to back then. Bogarde who was always exceptional plays the officer class perfectly with palpable changes in his attitude as the case unfolds. There is also a magnificently pompous portrayal of a disinterested Medical Officer from Leo McKern who steals the scene.

This was made in 1964 and was done for a shoe string budget – that apparently it never made back and that was despite winning awards and being critically acclaimed. However, recent renewed interests might just get this hidden treasure of British cinema some of the wider recognition it so richly deserves – massively recommended

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