in 1988, the wonderful Farewell
To The King is based on a novel by
Pierre Schoendoerffer set during the
Second World War in the Pacific where
an American soldier finds himself
stranded on the Japanese-occupied
island of Borneo and has to prove him-
self to the natives to become accepted
in order to stay alive...
JUST AFTER THE FALL OF THE PHILIPPINES in April 1942 the Japanese are triumphant
in the Pacific. Five American soldiers struggle to keep afloat as their boat
is tossed on the rough sea before finally being thrown by the enormous waves
towards the coast of Japanese-occupied Borneo.
One of the men dies after being slammed into the rocks and another, American
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) becomes separated from his friends only to see them captured
by the Japanese and forced to dig their own graves before being shot. From his
hiding place, the distressed Learoyd watches the Japanese Colonel Mitamura (Aki
Aleong) astride a magnificent horse close by, seemingly unaware of the American.
and terrible story with
a creditable sense
and emotionally traumatised, Learoyd quickly makes his way through the jungle
to avoid the enemy only to be surrounded by hostile natives…
Three years later British Commandos Nigel Fairbourne (Nigel Havers), a former
botanist, and Tenga (Frank McRae), of the King's African Rifles, parachute onto
the island to help lead the tribes against the Japanese. Landing in the thick
jungle, they immediately come face-to-face with the natives and are taken to
the village to stand before their king Learoyd.
Learoyd has 'gone native' and has married Yoo (Marilyn Tokuda). Fairbourne tries
to persuade him to help as he is to organise the resistance among the tribes,
but the American is reluctant to become involved.
Fairbourne unwittingly causes the village to come under attack from the Japanese
and it is full-scale combat as Learoyd, who is finally beginning to trust Fairbourne
and Tenga, seeks revenge.
There is a tough time ahead and a terrible discovery as the Japanese try anything
and everything in order to survive as the war draws to a close.
Filmed in 1988 amid spectacular waterfalls and lush jungle, the action-packed
adventure classic Farewell To The King tells a fascinating and terrible
story with a creditable sense of period. This fine movie has echoes of the script
of Director John Milius (Red Dawn) from Apocalypse Now as he makes
a similar foray into the "heart of darkness".
Farewell To The King also features: Marius Weyers as Conklin; Elan Oberon
as Vivienne (Fairbourne's fiancée); William Wise as Dynamite Dave; John Bennett
Perry as General MacArthur; James Fox as Ferguson; Gerry Lopez as Gwai; Wayne
Pygram as Bren Armstrong; Richard Morgan as Stretch Lewis; Choy Chang Wing as
Lian; and Michael Nissman as General Sutherland.
Based on the novel by Pierre Schoendoerffer, L'Adieu au Roi; Music by
Basil Poledouris; Musical Score Performed by The Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra;
Director of Photography is Dean Semler ACS; Produced by Albert S Ruddy and André
Morgan; Written for the Screen and Directed by John Milius.
Farewell To The King comes to DVD
in its first widescreen release, courtesy of Second Sight, on 14 May 2012. Certificate:
12 | Running Time: 112 Minutes | RRP: £15.99 | Catalogue No: 2NDVD3215.
"Farewell To The King tells a fascinating and terrible story with a creditable
sense of period" Maggie Woods, MotorBar