When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 the Allied POWs, mostly British but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to escape to.
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Strange how an impressive number of characters played by actors in this film could have been played by actresses. Of course, I don't mean by that that Changi prison was a prison for repressed or unconscious homosexuals but rather that the behaviour of the men surrounding King or Grey results from a feminine psychology. Now, I also love this film for numerous other reasons. Masterpiece.
The first half of the film is about mob politics, ego, and survival; it's a gritty take on the difference between greed and fighting for your life. Then, the film jarringly shifts into a study of sentiment and emotionality, and the homoerotic subtext is off the charts. Not a smooth transition, but a welcome one. Come for James Fox and Tom Courtenay, stay for the social politics surrounding eating a dog.