Studiocanal’s 4K restoration of Joseph Losey’s ‘King and Country’ will be available in the UK for the first time on Blu-ray and digital and on a new DVD from 6th November.
In another excellent collaboration, revered British actor Dirk Bogarde works under the masterful direction of Joseph Losey, soon after they had created the British film masterpiece ‘The Servant’ together.
Bogarde plays Captain Hargreaves, an army lawyer tasked with defending Private Hamp, portrayed brilliantly by Tom Courtenay of ‘Billy Liar’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago’ fame. Courtenay’s outstanding performance not only earned him the Best Actor award at the 1964 Venice Film Festival but also a much-coveted BAFTA nomination.
Joining this stellar cast were Leo McKern, known for his role as ‘Rumple of the Bailey’ and Barry Foster from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Frenzy’.
‘King and Country’ transports viewers to the deathly backdrop of World War I, delving deep into the profound impact of war on the human psyche. This project marked the third collaborations between Losey and Bogarde, following the 1954 thriller ‘The Sleeping Tiger’ and the groundbreaking 1963 drama ‘The Servant’. They would pair up again for ‘Accident’ (1967), all of which were available in the Vintage Classics collection.
Crafted from the original camera negative preserved at the BFI, this stunning restoration offers audiences more than just a cinematic experience. It includes a brand-new interview with Tom Courtenay, complemented by an archive interview with the legendary Dirk Bogarde. Additionally, viewers can explore a captivating gallery of ‘Behind the Scenes’ film stills.
The heart of the story revolves around a young soldier, Hamp (Courtenay), who deserts his post during the most harrowing days of World War I. His desperate escape from the relentless barrage of guns and mud was driven by an overwhelming desire to return home. Captain Hargreaves (Bogarde), an aristocratic British Army lawyer, is called upon to defend Hamp before the unforgiving army tribunal. Desertion was a crime that carried the sentence of execution. Hargreaves’s efforts on Hamp’s behalf become increasingly impassioned and sincere.
‘King and Country’ is a gripping and emotionally charged exploration of the human condition in the face of the horrors of war and the brutality of bureaucracy. It is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to resonate with audiences. This restoration ensures that its impact will endure for generations to come.
Pre-order ‘King and Country’ from Studiocanal’s Vintage Classics range.