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Farewell to the King (1989)

Nick Nolte , Nigel Havers , John Milius  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

Price: $34.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Nigel Havers, Frank McRae, Gerry Lopez, Marilyn Tokuda
  • Directors: John Milius
  • Writers: John Milius, Pierre Schoendoerffer
  • Producers: Albert S. Ruddy, Andre Morgan, Charles Hannah, Gopala Krishnan, Ralph Marshall
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F1IQIW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Farewell to the King" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

During the Second World War, an American soldier escapes his Japanese captors and flees into the jungles of Borneo, where he is found and taken in by Dayak headhunters. Two years later, British commandos arrive and are amazed to discover that the American has become king of the tribe. Initially reluctant to help the commandos, the king wages an all-out war on the Japanese after the invaders destroy his village.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milius's Most Underrated Film October 18, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"Farewell to the King" is a superb adaptation by John Milius ("Red Dawn" "Conan the Barbarian") of Pierre Schoendoeffer's novel. Epic in scope, beautifully photographed, scored and acted, it is Milius's most underrated film.
Milius has done a fine job of reshaping a difficult novel, to be more faithful to the story would have required a six hour movie. He is also more optimistic than the novelist in both the story's ending and in the treatment of the episode of the phantom Japanese column, but it is still a haunting, powerful film that undeservedly failed at the boxoffice. Much of the film was actually filmed on the island of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sarawak (formerly ruled by the White Rajahs until 1946).
This is just the type of visually and aurally appealling film that cries out for rediscovery in the DVD format, with commentary by the director and lots of bonus material.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Farewell to the King should have been John Milius' masterpiece. Harking back to Joseph Conrad and the days of high adventure so beloved of the writer-director, this WW2 tale of a deserter who becomes a king in Borneo only to lose everything fighting the Japanese and betrayed by the Allies, it seemed made to measure for his brand of bravado and myth making. Even had Milius not ill-advisedly taken Spielberg's advice to trim half an hour from his original cut and the film not been released in two slightly different cuts on either side of the Atlantic, Farewell would almost certainly still have been an awkward and under-achieving film so problematic are many aspects: yet for all its many faults, there's enough there that IS unique to keep on drawing me back time and again. Part old-fashioned adventure, part folie de grandeur, all box-office disaster, it's a mess, but it's an intriguing one that's hard to dislike despite its many flaws, and Basil Poledouris' remarkable score is a thing of wonder.

The performances are variable: Nigel Havers is fine as the narrator who knows that one day he'll have to betray the King, but in a part that really calls for a Steve McQueen or a Russell Crowe, Nick Nolte has a few too many eccentric moments and isn't always able to make Milius' dialog sound as good as it reads (a common problem in many of his scripts). Frank McRae, Marius Weyers and Milius' old surfing buddy Gerry Lopez offer good support, but there's a truly terrible but mercifully brief performance from the future Mrs Milius, Elan Oberon. The film feels somewhat cramped at times due to Milius' decision not to shoot in Scope (he dislikes 2.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very fine film June 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of my favorite flicks. The acting is right on cue, the score is beautiful and fits perfectly and the story is tight and easy to get into. Another reason I know that this is a great film is because I actually like Nolte in it. Normally his work bores me to tears. It's very hard to find, so get it while you can.
Check it out!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites. June 22, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw this movie in the theatre when it first came out. Something very necessary to fully enjoy it. In my opinion this is a very highly underrated film and I would recommend it to anyone. The musical score is excellent and the filming is as well. Takes you back to Kipling like adventure stories of your youth. Something very lacking in today's video game world.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OVER LOOKED WAR EPIC June 29, 2006
I was stunned to see this movie is finally out on DVD format. I have waited years for this film to appear, it deserves a bigger audience. Like a previous reviewer, I have a number of war films in my collection. I rate this picture 4 and a half stars.

Nick Nolte does a solid job as a former Marine who leaves the war behind him and finds refuge with a head hunter tribe in Borneo. Through fate and circumstance, he becomes king and leader of his tribe. He takes a wife, and believes that WW II is behind him. Then the Japanese forces arrive near his domain.

His emerald forest changes, fate forces him to revert to his military tactics to save his tribe.

A British commando team discovers him and tries to get him to

fight the Japanese. Nolte will have no part in the war until it

arrives at his front door. Farewell To The King does a great job in showing the angst and sadness of joining another battle,

a man torn in two by war, frustration at not being able to control the events around you.

John Milius does a good job directing this picture. It has a similarity to a David Lean picture, not unlike Bridge On The River Kwai, or Lawrence Of Arabia. He directed previous action movies such as Red Dawn, Big Wednesday, and the first Conan feature. This movie was better than recent WW II films that came out in the last two years. Empire Of The Sun shows war through the eyes of a child. Farewell To The King shows war through the eyes of a man who has been to hell and back.

Thank you MGM for finally releasing this film, now, if only someone will release Boys In Company C, and Twilights' Last Gleaming.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be a classic war-film! September 1, 2006
This is one of those rare movies one can watch a number of times, and its always a spectacle! An American soldier, utilizing common-sense, flees the Philipines after its conquest by the Japanese forces in the early years of World War 2. In doing so, he avoids a miserable death in a concentration camp, as so many other allied POWs experienced. Instead, he finds himself amongst the indigenous people of Borneo, a culture of warriors and hunters, living as they did for thousands of years in the forests and mountains. They are a people whose hearts and minds yearn for an age of heroic deeds to equal that of their legendary ancestors. They live by the sword, spear, and axe, courage and valor in battle is the highest ideal. The soldier becomes a leader among them, uniting the clans, and lives in peace as the war rages abroad. However, near war's end, he and his new people collaborate with a special-operations team of allied SOE/OSS personnel, who train them to fight a guerrilla war against the remnants of Japanese forces on the island. As a result, the people are subjected to unspeakable atrocities and war-crimes...but the Japanese soldiers soon find they have subjugated a people who will take terrible revenge!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 days ago by Joseph Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars We thoroughly enjoyed the film that we had remembered
The film was as described, brand new in original wrapping. We thoroughly enjoyed the film that we had remembered. The seller was prompted in sending the film.
Published 1 month ago by Suzanne R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie.Jack
Published 2 months ago by jack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I got this as a gift for my husband and he truely enjoys this movie.
Published 2 months ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This movie is great. I saw it in the theater years ago in the 80's. A good World War Two story.
Published 3 months ago by Chuck Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Millius
British Special Forces in Borneo during WWII and its very well done. This is a sleeper that we all missed at the theater. Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Good ww2 movie of action in the Far East Burma nice detail and characters shows natives at their best maybe more cholths than they wore
Published 5 months ago by Bill Sims
5.0 out of 5 stars See it!
Great Movie. Original and thought provoking.May not be for everyone, but worth your time. You will be glad you give it a try.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay
Some of the reviews are truly misleading. Here is a brief and score about this movie
1. Filming: 3/5 the views are superb yet hardly took any advantage of this superb... Read more
Published 6 months ago by W. Noshie
4.0 out of 5 stars A King for all Seasons
A highly engaging story that teaches many good leadership principles, courage, and willingness to sacrifice for others. Holds you captivated until the end.
Published 6 months ago by John Norton Jr
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