The Man Who Would Be King (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Would Be King1975

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Man Who Would Be King Photos

Movie Info

A late-career masterpiece from legendary director/adventurer Huston and adapted from a Rudyard Kipling story, it stars Sir Sean and Michael Caine as a pair of opportunistic Victorian chappies scheming to take over a remote middle-eastern kingdom, with Saeed Jaffrey and Christopher Plummer rounding out a star-studded cast. EIFF's long-serving patron has often named John Huston's rip-roaring adventure classic among his own personal favourites. We're therefore especially delighted to present this much-beloved film with the generous support of Park Circus. 35 years on, we've become accustomed to watching movies on our televisions, our laptops, even our mobiles. But of all the films selected for this year's programme,The Man Who Would Be King is the one which emphatically demands to be seen on the biggest of screens. It's surely what Huston would have wanted - this is the man who once said "Edinburgh is the only film festival that's worth a damn."

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Sean Connery
as Daniel Dravot
Michael Caine
as Peachy Carnehan
Jack May
as Commissioner
Paul Antrim
as Mulvaney
Graham Acres
as Officer
Kimat Singh
as Sikh Soldier
Gurmuks Singh
as Sikh Soldier
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News & Interviews for The Man Who Would Be King

Critic Reviews for The Man Who Would Be King

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

John Huston has been wanting to make this movie for more than 20 years. It was worth the wait.

April 20, 2010 | Full Review…

A too-broad comedy, mostly due to the poor performance of Michael Caine.

October 22, 2008 | Full Review…

Connery and Caine (both excellent) become classic Huston overreachers, and echoes of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Moby Dick permeate the mythic yarn.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a tall tale, a legend, of steadfastness, courage, camaraderie, gallantry and greed, though not necessarily in that order.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/4

It's been a long time since there's been an escapist entertainment quite this unabashed and thrilling and fun.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The result, as one might expect, is lively, totally assured, and certainly one of Huston's more bracing movies, though inevitably the story emerges much expanded, with different emphases.

January 27, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man Who Would Be King

Good old fashioned adventure film after a lesser known Rudyard Kipling story. Two British soldiers decide to create an empire on their own by traveling from India into the wild Afghan mountains, soon finding traces of Alexander the great. There is plenty to see here, two excellent leading men with Connery and Caine, gorgeous landscapes and buildings as well as bizarre local rituals make for a very entertaining, sometimes funny, often brutal ride, even if the heroes are cocky and still believe in making the world a better place just by being British. You see their eventual downfall coming but still cheer for them of course. Gladly, the tragic ending doesn't feel forced but as the only possible outcome of imperial feeling of superiority.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Two scrappy if amoral Brit Adventurers decide to carve out a bit of the third world for themselves (just as they've seen nations, particularly their own, do). They don't make 'em like this anymore, and hence the love this work generates, while it's stars, connery and caine, both sort of embody the last of the era they portray. The story, if slight, is played with heart. And Pith helmets.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Quite possibly the most over-rated film of all-time concerning two con men (Sean Connery, Michael Caine) who pull off the ultimate heist of making a city of people believe that Connery is a god and thus, make him their king. This is not so much a bad movie as it is just really unremarkable. I don't understand why it has a 96% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. You can tell that Connery and Caine are obviously just winging this thing, their acting has seen much better days, and the movie is not nearly as funny as it thinks it is. And yeah, I guess it is adventurous and the cinematography is good to look at, but this thing plods along and becomes overblown by its conclusion. I just never got into it, and I think the overall story is way to simple and I did not really like any characters in the story or wanted to see them succeed.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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