Farewell to the King

Synopsis: An American soldier who escapes the execution of his comrades by Japanese soldiers in Borneo during WWII becomes the leader of a personal empire among the headhunters in this war story told in the style of Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling. The American is reluctant to rejoin the fight against the Japanese on the urging of a British commando team but conducts a war of vengeance when the Japanese attack his adopted people.
Director(s): John Milius
Production: MGM
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

Borneo. For most of you,

Borneo doesn't exist.

An imaginary name on a map

like Tibet or Tierra del Fuego.

The ends of the earth.

But I know the island exists.

You see, I was there near the end

of the Second World War.

My war. My youth.

I was a botanist before.

I've been a botanist ever since.

That's why they chose me, I suppose.

Special Operations trained me.

I was to help lead the tribes

against the Japanese.

But I didn't lead them, really.

No, that was someone else.

I knew him. He was the last King of Borneo.

It's all right to tell his tale now.

The wind has swept away the stench

of the corpses.

And all that we remember

is the flare of our youth.

Oh, God damn.

Tenga, are you all right? Tenga?

Yes, sir.

Don't appear to have broken anything, sir.

- Yourself, sir?

- Well, I'm upside-down.

Yes, sir.

- Use your knife.

- Yes, sir.

Sorry about that, sir.





He said Comanche, sir. He speaks English.

I Comanche.

South-southeast, sir.

Towards the center and up,

into the middle of Borneo.

- I'll take the first watch.

- Yes, sir.

- Well, good night, sir.

- Good night, Tenga.

What the hell is going on, Tenga?

He's a white man, my God.

He's as white as we are.

My name is Fairbourne.

I'm a British serving officer.

Now, why have you done this?

Oh, God.

As I said before,

I'm a British serving officer.

My name is Captain Nigel Fairbourne.

This is Sergeant Lionel Tenga, my radioman.

I'm with Zed Force, Special Operations.

The Japanese are losing the war,

as well as the Germans.

Our side is winning. Am I right, Tenga?

- Right, sir.

- Thank you.

General MacArthur is back

in the Philippines.

The Australians will be landing shortly

to recapture...

I mean, liberate this country.

I have the task of organizing resistance

amongst the tribes.

We need your help, sir.

The wind has veered to the West again.

The British will be back.

Learoyd. I am Learoyd.

When I first arrived at this house, they

wanted to sell my head to the Japanese...

but I didn't know about it.

I had to learn their language like a child.

They know a little English.

It's sacred. Religious.

I ought to explain

that you are in the spirit country.

My people are the sons of the first man,

living by the law of the ancients.

All we men are free.

I have a special relationship with the spirits.

I died once.

I had to.

I had to give up everything.

Even the will to live.

It started in April of '42.

Just before the fall of Corregidor.

When MacArthur skipped out...

some of us figured it was time to go, too.

Took a small boat

driffted all the way down here to Bornio

I suppose we were all deserters.

In say that way

I remember the waves.

Giant waves.

He's dead. He's dead!

- Lights! It's a village.

- No, no. That's Japanese.

There's no choice!

No, I've had enough.

Bataan. Corregidor. You were wrong!

We're free now. We're free.

Free to go our own ways.

We're free.

I left the coastal plains,

and I wandered inland.

And then I came

to where the real jungle begins.

I was suffocated by the trees.

I longed for the sky.

But I was free.

Free to do what?

He had been hunting,

and he caught nothing.

Only me.

It was Gwai who brought me here.

Of course, it was this dragon

tattooed on my chest...

that probably saved me.

I got it in Manila one night

when I was drunk.

Lian the Magnificent

was all for selling my head to the Japs.

He had a bunch of hotheads with him,

and they were all steamed up.

They were running these people down.

It was the women who stopped him.

They were fascinated by my eyes.

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John Milius

John Frederick Milius is an American screenwriter, director, and producer of motion pictures. He was one of the writers for the first two Dirty Harry films, received an Academy Award nomination as ... more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Farewell to the King" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Mar. 2023. <https://www.scripts.com/script/farewell_to_the_king_8019>.

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