"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men."
Description: Sean Connery as Daniel Dravot, explains the soldier’s trade to new recruits in the motion picture The Man Who Would Be King (1975).
Daniel Darvot and comrade-in-arms Peachy Toliver Carnehan (Michael Caine) are two ex-soliders from Britain who decide to seek their fortunre in the far off kingdom of Kafiristan after their tour of duty ends in India.
|District Commissioner:||It would have been wiser if you had both gone home at the end of your army service.|
|Peachy:||Home to what? A porters uniform outside a restaurant and tanner tips from belching civilians for closing cab doors on them and their imminently blowzy women?|
|Daniel:||Not for us, thank you! Not after watching Afghans come howling down out of the hills and taking battle field command when the officers copped it!|
|Peachy:||Well said brother Dravot!|
|District Commissioner:||There may be no criminal charges against you, but I'll see these files reach Calcutta with the recommendation that you be deported as political undesirables! Detriments to the Dignity of the Empire and the Izzat of the Raj!|
|Peachy:||Detriments you call us? Detriments? Well I want to remind you it was detriments like us that built this bloody Empire and the Izzat of the bloody Raj! Hats on! About turn! By the left, quick march!|
Before their journey Daniel and Peachy, aware of both of their weaknesses, draft a document and sign a contract spelling out the terms of this venture that states there will be no drinking and no women until they have their made their fortune. Their deal is witnessed by Rudyard Kipling (Christopher Plummer), a writer for the Northern Star.
As he sits in a first class carriage on the train to Marwar Junction, Daniel summarizes their plan:
“In any place where they fight, a man who knows how to drill men can always be a King. In those parts say to any King we find ‘D'you want to vanquish your foes?' and we will show him how to drill men; for that we know better than anything else. Then we will subvert that King and seize his Throne and establish a Dynasty.”
Carrying twenty Martini rifles, Peachy and Dravot encounter difficult terrain, hostile natives, freezing temperatures, and an avalanche high in the mountains, until they come upon small village of Er-Heb where they make a deal with a local leader to train his villagers to use the rifles so they can protect themselves from marauders. With the help of an Indian named Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), who speaks English, they instruct their new recruits in the art of war.
"Now listen to me, you benighted mockers! We're going to teach you soldiering, The world's noblest profession! When we're done with you, you'll be able to stand up and slaughter your foes like civilized men! But first, you will have to learn to march in step. And do the manual of arms without even having to think! Good soldiers don't think, they just obey! Do you suppose that if a man thought twice, he'd give his life for Queen and Country? Not bloody likely! He wouldn't go near the battlefield! One look at your foolish faces tells me that you're going to be crack troops. Ohhh him there with the five-and-a-half hat size has the makings of a bloody hero!"
With a well-trained group of warriors, Daniel and Peachy lead their solders to victory after victory of many mountain villages. When an arrow shot at Dravot bounces off of his chest in a battle (it hit an ammunition belt under his jacket), the natives believe that Daniel is some kind of god and soon begin to worship him as a deity, believing he is the divine Son of Sikander ("Alexander the Great ") who has returned after 2200 years to again rule Kafristan.
When Billy Fish asks if his associates are gods, Peachy replies, "Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing." Peachy also says, "Danny's only a man. But he breaks wind at both ends simultaneous - which is more, I reckon, than any god can do."
Taking advantage of their new status, Daniel assumes the role of their King accepting a token gift of gold and riches left by Alexander in 328 B.C.. Peachy and Daniel have now fulfilled their destiny, becoming the richest men in the world.
Everything would have been perfect until Daniel becomes delusional and believes he acutally is a god ( 'in spirit, anyways") and orders Peachy to bow down before him. Peachy decides to grab his share of their loot and leave, while Daniel decides to marry a mortal called Roxanne (Shakira Caine). But when the reluctant bride bites Daniel at the wedding ceremony and draws blood, the holy men of the village realize he is not an immortal and sentence both of the impostors to death. Daniel is directed to the center of a rope bridge that hangs over a deep gorge. As he waits for monks to cut the ropes and drop him to his doom Damiel reconciles with Peachy who is forced to watch.
|Daniel:||Peachy, I'm heartily ashamed for gettin' you killed instead of going home rich like you deserved to, on account of me bein' so bleedin' high and bloody mighty. Can you forgive me?|
|Peachy:||That I can and that I do, Danny, free and full and without let or hindrance.|
|Daniel:||Everything's all right then.|
Soon after Peachy is crucified on two pine trees, but when he survives through the night, the monks believe it is a miracle and release him. Peachy then climbs into the valley, cuts off the head of his friend, still wearing the crown and returns tattered, and half-mad to civilization where he presents Daniel's head to Rudyard Kipling as proof that they had accomplished what they had set out to do - to cross the border through the Khyber pass into Kafiristan in Afghanistan to become kings and get rich.