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How did Corporal King get such a cushy life in the POW camp?


Having watched the film, one thing that seemed to elude me was a plausible explanation (or demonstration) of the means by which Corporal King (George Segal) got to live such a remarkably cushy, privileged life in the Changi POW Camp. He must have had some pull with higher-up Japanese camp officials, but what this pull was or how it was put into effect was never shown or even really discussed in the film.

I assume the novel upon which this is based goes into it in greater detail. Anybody care to clue me in?

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He made money by being an unscrupulous businessman: buying and selling items from the other prisoners, trading with the guards.

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I wouldn't even say that he was particularly unscrupulous. He was a wheeler-dealer, a scam-artist, a hustler and a con-man, but he wasn't a collaborator or a traitor or a thief. He was just a very successful variant of your ordinary, run-of-the-mill free-market capitalist - buying and selling for whatever the market would bear. The people around him were envious of him, but I didn't see that anyone was victimized by him - beyond being outfoxed by him.

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Well written. He was King Rat, The supreme negotiator. The art of the deal(ugh) something the others didn't have. Segal was perfect in the role, fortunately none of the bigger stars that were offered took it. See trivia page for the list. Marlon Brando?

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