The Man Who Would Be King

  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: Rudyard Kipling, John Huston, Gladys Hill
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

While working as a correspondent at the offices of the Northern Star newspaper, Kipling (Christopher Plummer) is approached by a ragged, seemingly crazed derelict, who reveals himself to be his old acquaintance Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine). Peachy tells Kipling the story of how he and his comrade-in-arms Danny Dravot (Sean Connery) traveled to remote Kafiristan (in modern-day Afghanistan), became gods, and ultimately lost everything.

A few years earlier, the pair of rogues had met Kipling at his office. After signing a contract pledging mutual loyalty and forswearing drink and women until they achieved their grandiose aims, Peachy and Danny set off on an epic overland journey north beyond the Khyber Pass, “travelling by night and avoiding villages”, fighting off bandits, blizzards and avalanches, into the unknown land of Kafiristan (literally “Land of the (Non-Muslim) Infidels”).

They chance upon a Gurkha soldier who goes by the name Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), the sole survivor of a mapping expedition several years before. Billy speaks English as well as the local tongue, and it is he, acting as translator and interpreter of the customs and manners, who smooths the path of Peachy and Danny as they begin their rise, first offering their services as military advisors, trainers, and war leaders to the chief of a much-raided village.

The angry natives pursue him and Peachy. Billy tries to buy time by courageously charging the mob singlehandedly, but the pair are soon captured. Danny is forced to walk to the middle of a rope bridge over a deep gorge; he apologises to Peachy before the ropes are cut. Peachy is crucified between two pine trees, but is cut down the next day when he miraculously survives the ordeal. Eventually, he escapes, though his mind has become unhinged by his sufferings. As Peachy finishes his story, he presents Kipling with Danny’s head, still wearing its crown, thereby proving the tale is true.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

  • Directors: George Roy Hill
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: William Goldman
  • Genres: Adventure, Crime, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross

Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford), the leaders of the Hole in the Wall Gang, are planning another bank robbery. As they return to their hideout in Hole-in-the-Wall, they find out that the gang has selected a new leader, Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy). He challenges Butch to a knife fight, which Butch wins, using a ruse. Although Logan is defeated, Butch quickly embraces Logan’s idea to rob the Union Pacific Flyer twice, agreeing with Logan that the second robbery would be unexpected and likely to involve even more money than the first.

The first robbery goes very well and the marshal of the next town (Kenneth Mars) can’t manage to raise a posse. Butch and Sundance listen to his attempts, enjoying themselves. Sundance’s lover, Etta Place (Katharine Ross), is introduced; both men vie for her attention as she also goes bike-riding with Butch during a dialogue-free musical interlude, accompanied by the Oscar-winning song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

The second robbery goes wrong. Not only does Butch use too much dynamite to blow the safe, but a second train arrives, which is carrying a posse that has been specially outfitted by E. H. Harriman to hunt Butch and Sundance. The gang flees in multiple directions, with the posse following Butch and Sundance. They try hiding in a brothel but are betrayed. They try riding double on a single horse in the hope that the posse will split up, but that fails. They then try to arrange an amnesty with the help of the friendly Sheriff Bledsoe (Jeff Corey). But he tells them they have no chance of getting one, and that they will be hunted down until they are killed by the posse.

The film ends with freeze frame sepia tone shot of the two of them exiting the house firing their guns, while a voice is heard ordering: “Fuego!” (“Fire!”) and the sound of dozens of rifles being fired in three consecutive volleys.