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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > British TV > World War I > Politics > Telefilm > All The King's Men (Telefilm)

All The King’s Men (British Telefilm)


Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Telefilm: B-



In order to keep their rigid caste system alive back in World War One, did the British Government purposely send the first successful regiment of Her Majesty’s Army into a Vietnam type situation where they would be annihilated with a lack of resources and preparation because they were comprised of men from the lower socio-economic class?  Julian Jarrold’s All the King’s Men (1999) suggests just that, with the twist that even Queen Alexandria (Maggie Smith in exceptional form) could not get a straight answer as to what happened, despite her strong support for them.


The telefilm takes much of its time and showing what kind of people made up the regiment, the kind of good people they were, the lives they led, the loyalty they had to Queen & Country and how this was all essentially betrayed for political reasons, something that seems to be happening all over again as you read this.  The teleplay does its best to explore all that happened and did not, resulting in a disaster that is still pretty much being ignored to this day.  The film may go too far with it war sequences in their length, but the rest of the production is solid.


The 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 letterboxed image is much softer than it should have been for such material, deserving the anamorphically enhanced treatment.  It is nicely shot and edited for the most part and just passable here.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic surrounds, which is much more like it.  There are again no extras except the obligatory weblink, but the telefilm exists and those who would like to censor it can’t do anything about it.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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