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King Rat Reviews

Set in a WW II Japanese POW camp, this nicely photographed adaptation of the James Clavell novel stars George Segal as King, an American corporal who operates a number of lucrative rackets, including the sale of rats to his sickly British, Australian, and American fellow prisoners to supplement their meager food rations. When King learns that British officer Marlowe (James Fox) speaks the language of their Malaysian guards, he enlists his help in expanding his operation outside the confines of the camp. When Marlowe becomes gravely ill, King does some wheeling and dealing with their captors and secures a much-needed antibiotic. Segal is excellent as the title schemer, and Fox and the rest of the cast, notably Tom Courtenay, provide strong support. At 134 minutes, KING RAT is not as consistently interesting as it might have been at a more concise length. If you're looking for another STALAG 17, forget it. Nominated by the Academy for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.