Kim (1950): Saville’s Adventure, based on Kipling’s Novel, Starring Errol Flynn and Dean Stockwell

One of Errol Flynn’s most commercially successful movies, the adventure Kim is based on the classic 1901 novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, adapted to the screen by Helen Deutsch, Leon Gordon and Richard Schayer.

MGM planned to make the movie during WWII, but it proved a risky proposition due to politics; the Russian were allies and could not be portrayed as villainous spies.

Kim
Kim - Poster.jpg

1950 Theatrical Poster

Directed by Victor Saville (who’s better known as producer), the film stars Errol Flynn, Dean Stockwell, and Paul Lukas.  All three are required to change their natural look

Lavishly produced, the film was shot in Technicolor on location in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, India, as well as the Alabama Hills, California.

Kim (Dean Stockwell), an orphan boy in 1885 India during the British Raj, works for his adult friend Mahbub Ali (Errol Flynn), a roguish horse trader who is a secret agent for the British.

Kim encounters an elderly Buddhist lama (Paul Lukas) from Tibet, who is on a quest to find the “River of the Arrow,” whose waters will cleanse him spiritually.

Mahbub Ali convinces Colonel Creighton, that the boy has the potential to become a wonderful spy.  Kim is then sent to help Hurree Chunder (Cecil Kellaway) keep an eye on two Russian spies posing as surveyors. When he finds Chunder murdered, Kim continues the mission by persuading the Russians to hire him as their servant.

Midway, Flynn changes his physical appearance, called for by the story, sporting short red hair and red beard and mustache.

Cast

Errol Flynn as Mahbub Ali, the Red Beard
Dean Stockwell as Kim
Paul Lukas as Lama
Robert Douglas as Colonel Creighton
Thomas Gomez as Emissary
Cecil Kellaway as Hurree Chunder
Arnold Moss as Lurgan Sahib
Reginald Owen as Father Victor
Laurette Luez as Laluli
Richard Hale as Hassan Bey
Roman Toporow as The Russian
Ivan Triesault as The other Russian

Credits:

Directed by Victor Saville

Produced by Leon Gordon

Written by Helen Deutsch, Leon Gordon, Richard Schayer, based on Kim
1901 novel by Rudyard Kipling

Music by André Previn

Cinematography: William V. Skall

Edited by George Boemler

Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date: December 7, 1950
Running time: 113 minutes

Note:

TCM showed the movie June 13, 2020.