King Rat (1965)

Film details


Singapore 1945. Tale of survival in a Japanese pow camp at the end of World War Two. Corporal King, an American prisoner of war, is a successful black marketeer who trades with a number of guards in Changi Jail. His success, noticed through his physique and laundered clothing, stands in contrast to the rest of the prisoners who are maltreated and emaciated. British Flight-lieutenant Marlowe comes to the attention of King through his ability to speak Malay - a skill that could ease communication with the guards. Seeing the privileges enjoyed, Marlowe becomes King's aide. The two get involved in a number of scams including the creation of a rat farm, in which rats are bred and sold to officers under the pretense that it is jungle deer. They are constantly under threat of exposure from either the legit Japanese guards or Lieutenant Grey, the camp provost marshall who personally aims to bring King to retribution. When Marlowe damages his arm, King arranges the provision of an anti-toxin and it is saved. During his injury, Marlowe is almost caught by Grey in the trading of a Japanese diamond but before any charges are brought the end of the war is declared. At this news King describes his pain at having to accept a low position in civilian life, the privileges he is accustomed to will stop with the end of the black market. As the American and British companies prepare for liberation, Marlowe and King leave the camp seperately.

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