Search - Kim on DVD

Actors: Peter O'Toole, Bryan Brown, John Rhys-Davies, Ravi Sheth, Julian Glover
Director: John Howard Davies
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
UR     2006     2hr 30min

Rudyard Kipling's exciting tale of adventure and intrigue in colonial India is brilliantly brought to the screen. Peter O'Toole stars as the Lama, a Tibetan holy man who befriends the mischievous, free-spirited orphan Kim ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter O'Toole, Bryan Brown, John Rhys-Davies, Ravi Sheth, Julian Glover
Director: John Howard Davies
Creators: Michael Reed, David Conroy, Jean Walter, Mark Shelmerdine, Peter Manley, James Brabazon, Rudyard Kipling
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Espionage, Indie & Art House, Drama, Family Films, Television
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 09/12/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/1984
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1984
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Boy's Adventure in India; Great Location, and It's Faithful
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Though less known than the 1950 Errol Flynn version, this made-for-TV adaptation of the famous Kipling story is in fact a pretty good one, being faithful to the book in spirit and in story. The main episodes of the original are not changed much, and still the film manages to realize the world of Kiping's India, where some adventure is waiting for you around the corner.Kim, or Kimball O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier in India, and Kim spends his time as vagabond in Lahore, where he climbs upon the big cannon of the town. From this famous opening, in which he is taken up as a guide by a travelling Tibetan lama (Peter O'Tool, in bald-head wig), the film follows the boy's adventures in the country, meeting colorful characters, the best of whom are the dashing Muhbub Ali (Bryan Brown) and suave agent Babu (John Rhys-Davies).Assisting the jourey of the lama who tries to find out "The River of the Arrow," Kim also learns the life of the people in India through the mission given to him from the higher officers. The episodic story of Kipling remains basically the same, and you will find the major episodes from the book, such as the two Russians from the north.The greatest thing about this "Kim" is its location. As it is shot in India, the picture can really show the hot and humid climate of the place (the Planes), or the cold and chilling air of the mountains (the Hills). You will understand why the lama could regain his health after going back to the mountains if you see the film, for you can feel the great contrast between the two places.The original Kim is slightly enigmatic boy (or a teen?), whose growth is implied between the lines. The Kim here played by an Indian young actor is fairly good though the fact remains that he is virtually an amateur. Still, he looks great, and the supports are effective, especailly Brown as the horse-riding, menaceful (but somehow humourous) Ali. As to Peter O'Toole, at first you might find him miscast, but I think no one can really play the role of the lama exactly as the book shows.This newer "Kim" is slightly overlong, but its faithful adaptation with realistic Indian background is certainly worth your money, especially when you find the original book charming."
KIm reaches DVD at last
David Hope | Gurgaon, India | 02/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As a great fan of Rudyard Kipling's great novel Kim (I have at least 5 copies, including a first edition) I watched this second movie version with interest, first on the original VHS tape and again recently on the DVD transfer. The first movie, made in the 30s with Dean Stockwell as Kim, focused almost entirely on Errol Flynn as Mahboob Ali, completely destroying Kipling's story. But this 1990s version, with the excellent - if slightly too old - Ravi Sheth as Kim, follows the story much more closely, though rather strangely inserting a sub-plot not in the novel involving a British soldier and his Indian wife.
It's a good re-telling of Kipling's story with excellent characterisations of all the main characters (Kim himself, Mahboob Ali, the Babu and Lurgan Sahib) except one - the Lama. The Lama is central to the whole story and is played here by the great Peter O'Toole, but - somehow - to me it just doesn't work. O'Toole adopts a stumbling English, sounding out each syllable, and while I presume he is indicating the Lama's difficulty in speaking the local language it just sounds silly! He's a wonderful actor, but, I'm sorry, it just doesn't work for me.
The DVD is a good transfer, bright and colourful, and thoroughly enjoyable whether you know the novel or not. Highly recommended."
A huge disappointment...
Chris | USA | 02/16/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I think this is the most disappointing movie I've ever seen. I am a huge Kim fan, and this movie is just awful. It captures none of the magic of the novel. They even made up leaden dialogue instead of using Kipling's pitch-perfect language. And why, oh why, did they choose to have everyone speaking English all the time? If you love Kim, don't watch this leaden lump of a movie. Peter O'Toole as a Tibetan monk, with a laughable rubber bald head, is absolutely dreadful, and the worst miscasting in a film since John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the 1950's. There are no words to describe how awful he is in this. Why couldn't they have hired one of the many wonderful Tibetan actors for this part and added a tiny shred of authenticity? The boy they cast to play Kim is at least two feet too tall, and his acting would have to improve to be bad. And why do moviemakers feel they have to dress Pashtun characters up like Vaudeville clowns? It looks like they used all the leftover costume crap from The Horsemen to make Mahbub Ali look like a buffoon, and he conveys none of the willy hillman of Kipling's story. And the addition of a sappy love story between a British soldier and an Indian girl makes me wonder if the Director was on some kind of drugs. Perhaps one day Ridley Scott or a Director with some talent will make this movie right, but until then, just read the book again. I rate this movie zero stars, but the computer makes you give it at least one to proceed with a review."
The Not-So-Great Game
F. S. L'hoir | Irvine, CA | 04/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The best thing to be said for this film is that the locations are truly magnificent.

I am, however, appalled at the liberties taken with Kipling's classic. The scriptwriters have introduced an insipid love story that is not in the book and is totally tangential to the film. In addition, in an apparent effort to make Kipling politically correct, they have taken anachronistic snipes at the British Empire (I am reminded of Monty Python's "Well, what did the Romans ever do for us???"). As is the case with the love story, there is nothing in the original to justify this apparent rewriting of history.

On the technical side, the editing seems amateurish: scenes persistently end in "fade to black" (for television commercials?). The makeup is equally opprobrious! To give only one example: When the Lama takes his dunk in the River of the Arrow, tiny beads of water cling to his (patently rubberized) bald head, as they could not possibly cling to human skin.

As for the acting, the boy in the title role is quite engaging, as is the actor playing Mahbub Ali, given the material that both have to work with. And while I am ordinarily a devoted admirer of Peter O'Toole (as my reviews of "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Venus" demonstrate), his "interpretation" of the Lama is such that I could not possibly comment further upon it except to say that it must have been performed during one of his "bad spells." Where was the director?

The biggest disappointment for me though was the lack of suspense or excitement that thrilled me when I read (and re-read) the book, and saw the 1950 film which, with all its faults, captured the mystery and adventure of the Great Game--the behind-the-scenes struggle between Imperial Britain and Russia for supremacy in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The scenes set in Simla, in Lurgan Sahib's darkened den for apprentice spies, with its beaded lampshades and horrific masks, were truly fascinating. The camera focused on the sparkling gems on the tray; it focused on the broken shards of the water jar as they slowly moved back together. My disbelief was gladly suspended! In this "Kim" Lurgan Sahib's house is indescribably drab, and we don't even get a look at the tray (I pass over the inept camera work with the jar).

Both the book and the 1950 film infected me with an incurable love for tales of espionage in general and the Great Game in particular. Had I seen this version first, I would very likely have been inoculated successfully and permanently against that dread disease!"