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Farewell To The King

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Farewell to the King
Cinema poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by John Milius
Release Date 1989
Language English
Studio Ruddy Morgan Productions
Distributor Orion Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
Learoyd Nick Nolte
Captain Fairbourne Nigel Havers
Colonel Ferguson James Fox
Sergeant Tenga Frank McRae
Gwai Gerry Lopez
Yoo Marilyn Tokuda

Farewell to the King is a 1989 World War II drama starring Nick Nolte and directed by John Milius (Red Dawn). Taking place in the PTO (Pacific Theater of Operations) during the war, the film contains an eclectic mix of British, American and Japanese small arms. The Allied weaponry comes about from the "operation" being a combined effort of the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) and the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services).

The following weapons were used in the film Farewell To The King:

Allied Weapons

Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III*

The iconic British Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* rifle which, in one form or another, saw service with various armies and militia for well over a century (and beyond) is the standard rifle carried by the headhunters in the film. Given the weapon's appearance it seems to be the older Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* rather than the more "modern" No. 4, the only exception being when Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) uses one with a scope to kill several Japanese machine gunners. I (the difference being in the sights as well as a short length of exposed barrel). The weapon is also in the hands of the Ghurkas at MacArthur's headquarters and the Australian troops at the end of the movie.

Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* - .303 British.
A Headhunter holds a Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* rifle during an argument over a newborn infant.
Gurkha sentries outside General MacArthur's headquarters with shouldered Lee-Enfield rifles.
Two of the Headhunters greeting Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) upon his return to the island carry the Lee-Enfield rifles.
Five Headhunters fire the Lee-Enfield rifles across the river. The soldier on his left is discharging a spent bullet, which can be seen above his action.
A Headhunter aims his Lee-Enfield at Japanese troops.
An Australian soldier carrying a Lee-Enfield.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I

Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) uses a scoped version of the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I to snipe and kill several Japanese machine gunners in the caves.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I (T) - .303 British
Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) takes aim with the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I rifle.

Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine"

Seen once in the hands of Yoo (Marilyn Tokuda), Learoyd's (Nick Nolte) wife during her confrontation with the Japanese at the "Long House" is a Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine", which is never fired and which the actress should have been grateful for since this version had a notorious recoil.

Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine" - .303 British
Yoo (Marilyn Tokuda) takes hold of a Lee-Enfield No. 5 "Jungle Carbine" as the Japanese enter the village.
Yoo aims the "Jungle Carbine".

M1 Carbine

"Dynamite Dave" (William Wise) uses an M1 Carbine when he lays demolitions in the cave. Gwai (Gerry Lopez) can be seen with an M1 Carbine later in the film, which he uses during the massacre of the Japanese.

World War Two Era M1 Carbine, with Dark Walnut Stock, 'L' peep sight and no bayonet lug - correct for most of WW2, shown with khaki sling and oiler and a period Magazine pouch for buttstock
"Dynamite Dave" (William Wise) running with an M1 Carbine slung around his shoulder.
"Dynamite Dave" fires his M1 Carbine.
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) with an M1 Carbine after shooting a Japanese soldier shortly after the village massacre.
Gwai fires the M1 Carbine at Japanese soldiers in the pool.

M1A1 Carbine

Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) uses the M1A1 Carbine, the paratrooper version with folding stock, as his personal weapon. Why he uses it as a British officer is never explained, but it is possible that he chose it because it had more range than the Webley revolver that a Captain would normally carry, and was lighter and had a higher rate of fire then the standard Lee-Enfield. Learoyd (Nick Nolte) briefly inspects one when the Headhunters bring Fairbourne and Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) to him, firing it to the awe of his Headhunters.

M1A1 Carbine with original L style rear sights, and side-folding stock, often referred to as the 'Paratrooper' carbine - .30 Carbine
Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) with his M1A1 Carbine after a particularly rough landing.
Fairbourne, whom is supposed to be on watch, falls asleep with his Carbine in his lap, a gross security violation that results in him and Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) being tied up by the Headhunters.
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) inspects an M1A1 Carbine captured from Fairbourne, flipping open the folding stock.
Fairbourne holds his Carbine as he tries to settle the argument over the baby.
Fairbourne with his Carbine as he and Learoyd are fired on by Japanese machine gunners.
Fairbourne fires on Japanese troops with his Carbine. This is one of the rare times the M1A1 is seen with the folding stock actually deployed.

Sten Mk III

The Sten Gun, the ubiquitous British SMG of the war seen being used by both the SOE/OSS men such as Sgt. Conklin (Marius Weyers) and Bren Armstrong (Wayne Pygram) and by Learoyd's headhunters, including Gwai (Gerry Lopez). It appears that it is mostly the Sten Mk III being fielded here rather than the more common Sten Mk II model. Also wielded by the Australian troops at the end of the movie.

Sten Mk III Submachine gun - 9x19mm
Sgt. Conklin (Marius Weyers) and Bren Armstrong (Wayne Pygram) show the headhunters how to use the Sten Gun. During the demonstration, Armstrong fires the Sten, startling Conklin.
A Headhunter fires the Sten, letting the recoil getting away from him.
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) holds a Sten when the Headhunters greet Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) when he returns.
Sgt. Conklin with his Sten before the massacre of the Japanese soldiers.

M1928A1 Thompson

The M1928A1 Thompson also makes its presence known in the movie. It is odd that this is the M1928A1 version considering that the M1A1 Thompson would have been more common given the move's time frame (1944-45). Used by Learoyd (Nick Nolte), his headhunters, including Gwai (Gerry Lopez) and the SOE agents, prominently by Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae).

M1928A1 Thompson - .45 ACP
Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) holds an M1928A1 Thompson as he reaches out to help Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) shortly after the landing.
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) inspects an M1928A1 captured from Fairbourne and Sgt. Tenga when they are kidnapped by the Headhunters.
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) holds an M1928A1.
Learoyd fires an M1928A1 across a river.
Learoyd with his M1928A1 as they await to ambush the Japanese column.
Gwai holds an M1928A1 Thompson as they meet up with Australians from the 9th Division.

M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle

One of the earliest Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW), the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle, is also issued to the Headhunters, including Gwai (Gerry Lopez) during their war against the Japanese. Definitely the M1918A2 version of the venerable weapon given the bipod which is mounted directly to the fore of the front sight.

‎Browning Automatic Rifle - .30-06
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) aggressively displays the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle in an argument between the Headhunters.
One of the Headhunters backing up Gwai with a BAR.
A Headhunter firing a BAR at fleeing Japanese troops.
A Headhunter with a BAR shortly before the massacre of the Japanese.
A Headhunter pulls out a BAR during the confrontation between Australian troops and Headhunters.
A Headhunter moving into position with the BAR.

Bren Gun

The Bren Gun, the SAW of choice for Commonwealth troops during the war, sees its way into the headhunters' arsenal. Given the bare metal flash suppressor attached to the barrel it appears that this is the Mk. 1 version of one of the most successful British small arms designs of all times. Australian Stretch Lewis (Richard Morgan) is the main user of the weapon, teaching the headhunters how to use it. Learoyd (Nick Nolte) uses one in the cave. Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) and an Australian soldier are respectively seen with the Bren Gun during the link-up and confrontation between the headhunters and the Aussies at the end.

Bren Mk1 - .303 caliber
Stretch Lewis (Richard Morgan) demonstrating the method for attaching the Bren Gun barrel for the Headhunters.
A Headhunter fixes the barrel onto the Bren.
Stretch fires the Bren at fleeing Japanese soldiers.
A pair of Headhunters carry Bren Guns.
Stretch with the Bren Gun as the Headhunters set up an ambush of the Japanese column.
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) rushing through the cave with a Bren Gun.
Learoyd fires the Bren Gun on a tripod mount.
Stretch carrying the Bren Gun.
Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae) pulls out a Bren Gun during the confrontation between the Australian Soldiers and the Headhunters.
An Australian soldier with a tripod-mounted Bren Gun.

Browning M1917

The immediate predecessor of the Browning M1919, the .30 Browning M1917 seems to be the GPMG of choice for the Headhunters, including Gwai (Gerry Lopez) even though the M1919 would arguably be a better choice. Identifiable by both the water cooling jacket and the somewhat bulky M1917 tripod.

‎Browning M1917 machine gun with tripod and ammo box - .30-06‎
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) fires the Browning M1917 at Japanese soldiers across the river.
A Headhunter prepares to ambush Japanese troops on a bridge with an M1917. Learoyd (Nick Nolte) appears to be his number two gunner during this scene.
The Headhunter opens up with an M1917.
Two Headhunters dismantle the M1917 after the bridge is blown. The Headhunter firing it had to be dragged away, suggesting that he either has an adrenaline rush or a fierce desire to kill the Japanese.

Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Gun"

This popular Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Gun" makes it solo appearance in the movie when it is used by Learoyd (Nick Nolte) during the massacre of the Japanese troops in the pool by Falcon's Beak. Easily identified by its ventilated barrel shroud, exposed hammer and almost sword like bayonet.

Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Gun" - 12 gauge‎‎
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) with the Winchester Model 1897 as the Headhunters run towards the pool.
Learoyd fires the Winchester, this time seen with a bayonet.

Colt M1911A1

The Colt M1911A1, the standard U.S. sidearm from WW I to the 1980's, is seen in the hands of Learoyd (Nick Nolte) at the beginning of the film where he witnesses the execution of his captured comrades, briefly contemplates suicide and during the headhunters' campaign against the Japanese when he gives the order to "advance the colors" while firing a pair of them akimbo. Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) also uses one when the headhunters are fired upon when listening to a radio address by President Truman, shooting a Japanese soldier who bayonets and wounds him.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) draws his Colt M1911A1 when he contemplates shooting Colonel Mitamura (Aki Aleong) during the massacre of the captured American soldiers.
Learoyd clutches an M1911A1 as he runs through the jungle.
Nearly driven insane from the horrors of the jungle, Learoyd presses the M1911A1 into his head as he contemplates suicide.
Learoyd fires an akimbo pair of M1911A1's as the headhunters "advance the colors" on the Japanese position.
Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) clutches an M1911A1 as he runs after Japanese troops.
Wounded and lost in the jungle, Fairbourne keeps his M1911A1 in his hands despite slipping in the mud.

Webley Mk VI

The Webley Mk VI is carried by Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) throughout the movie and seen being ritually washed in the pool after the massacre of the Japanese troops. It appears to be the Webley Mk VI due to the size of the revolver in the man's hands. The MK IV is rather small framed and the Mk VI is much larger. Sgt. Conklin (Marius Weyers) uses one during the ambush of the Japanese soldiers during the thunderstorm.

Webley MK VI - .455 Webley
Sgt. Conklin (Marius Weyers) fires his Webley Mk VI at charging Japanese soldiers.
Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) stares at his Webley.
Fairbourne pulls out his Webley.
Fairbourne clicks open his Webley and checks the barrel to ensure it is unloaded before washing it into the pool.

M2 60mm Mortar

The M2 60mm Mortar is seen during the weapons' training of the Headhunters by "Dynamite Dave" (William Wise) and during combat against the Japanese soldiers.

M2 Mortar - 60mm
"Dynamite Dave" (William Wise) shows the Headhunters how to use the M2 60mm Mortar. Another unmanned mortar can be seen to the right.
"Dynamite Dave" fires the mortar.
A Headhunter adjusts the mortar sights.
The Headhunters firing the mortar.
A Headhunter firing a mortar in combat.
Two Headhunter mortar crews in action.

Mk 2 Hand Grenade

Mk 2 Hand Grenades are used throughout the movie but especially dramatically by Learoyd (Nick Nolte) during his rescue of the delirious Fairbourne (Nigel Havers), throwing it to stop Colonel Mitamura (Aki Aleong).

Mk 2 "Pineapple" - High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Learoyd (Nick Nolte) pulls the pin off a Mk 2 Hand Grenade.

Japanese Weapons

The Japanese forces led by Colonel Mitamura (Aki Aleong) carry the standard Japanese weaponry of WW II including the:

Arisaka Type 99

The Arisaka Type 99, the updated version of the standard Japanese bolt action rifle, is shown being carried by Mitamura's men in the movie. Gwai (Gerry Lopez) carries one when he meets Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) and Sgt. Tenga (Frank McRae). It is difficult to tell them apart, but close scrutiny of the rifle barrel can determine the difference.

Arisaka Type 99 - 7.7x58mm
Gwai (Gerry Lopez) sporting an Arisaka Type 99.
A Japanese soldier hurriedly unslings his Type 99 when he spots Fairbourne (Nigel Havers) trying to take a photo of him. Sgt. Conklin (Marius Weyers) quickly cuts him down with a burst from the Sten.
A Type 99 ground into the body of a Headhunter.
A Japanese soldier with a Type 99 at the pool.

Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun

An evolution of the French Hotchkiss design, the Type 92 heavy machine gun makes an appearance in the movie, especially during the battle with Mitamura's forces in the cave leading to the "Path of the Clouds".

Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun - 7.7x58mm
A Japanese Machine Gun crew firing the Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun; one firing the weapon whilst his assistant gunner feeds him the 30-round stripper clip.

Type 99 Light Machine Gun

The "Bren-like" Type 99 Light Machine Gun is carried by the Japanese troops during the movie. Learoyd (Nick Nolte) can be seen with the weapon in some of the covers, but never in the movie. One of the Headhunters is briefly seen with one

Nambu Type 99 light machine gun 7.7x58mm Arisaka
A Japanese Gunner fires his Type 99 Light Machine Gun at advancing Headhunters, being forced to pull back when they are overrun.
A Headhunter with a Type 99 during a Headhunter patrol.

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