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Three Kings






USA / Australia


Film: Oct 1999 (USA)
DVD: Apr 2000; Sep 2007 (2-DVD)
VHS: ?
Video Download: Oct 2007


David O. Russell


John Ridley (story); David O. Russell (screenplay)


George Clooney (Maj. Archie Gates); Mark Wahlberg (Sfc. Troy Barlow); Ice Cube (SSgt. Chief Elgin); Spike Jonze (Pfc. Conrad Vig); Cliff Curtis (Amir Abdullah); Nora Dunn (Adriana Cruz); Jamie Kennedy (PV2 Walter Wogaman); Saïd Taghmaoui (Capt. Said); Mykelti Williamson (Col. Ron Horn); Holt McCallany (Capt. Doug Van Meter); Judy Greer (Cathy Daitch); Christopher Lohr (Teebaux); Jon Sklaroff (Paco); Liz Stauber (Debbie Barlow, Troy's Wife); Marsha Horan (Amir's Wife)


George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube star in "Three Kings," the story of a small group of adventurous American soldiers in Iraq at the end of the Gulf War who are determined to steal a huge cache of gold reputed to be hidden somewhere near their desert base. Finding a map they believe will take them to the gold, they embark on a journey that leads to unexpected discoveries, enabling them to rise to a heroic challenge that drastically changes their lives. (imran)

In the days immediately after the Gulf War, a group of American soldiers come across a secret Iraqi map, which discloses the whereabouts of a bunker where Iraq is storing stolen gold and treasure from Kuwait. The soldiers hope to take the gold and keep it for themselves. However, when they arrive at the site, they discover that the Iraqi army is more concerned about persecuting its civilians than stopping them from stealing the gold. They learn that the civilians have been encouraged by the U.S. government to rise up and fight Sadaam Hussein, but are facing certain execution because the U.S. military refuses to help them. This incident creates a crisis of conscience for the American soldiers. Do they take the money and run, leaving the civilians to face certain death at the hands of the Iraqi army? Or do they risk losing the gold in order to escort them to safety across the border into Iran? (jgp3553)

At the end of the Persian Gulf War, four U.S. soldiers plan to steal a secret stash of Kuwaiti gold. Instead, they find themselves getting involved with civilians being executed by Saddam Hussein and left defenseless by the U.S. military. (Chief Elgin)

A confident hybrid of M*A*S*H, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Dr. Strangelove, Three Kings is one of the most seriously funny war movies ever made. Improving the premise of Kelly's Heroes with scathing intelligence, it explores the odd connection between war and consumerism in the age of Humvees and cellular phones. Writer-director David O. Russell's third film (after Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster), it's a no-holds-barred portrait of personal conscience in the volatile arena of politics, played out by one of the most gifted filmmakers to emerge in the 1990s.
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze (director of Being John Malkovich) play a quartet of U.S. soldiers who, disillusioned by Operation Desert Storm, decide to steal $23 million in gold hijacked from Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's army. Getting the bullion out of an Iraqi stronghold is easy; keeping it is a potentially lethal proposition. By the end of their mercenary mission, the Americans can no longer ignore wartime atrocities (and neither can we--the film is boldly unflinching), and conscience demands their aid to Iraqi rebels abandoned by President George Bush's fickle wartime policy. This is serious stuff indeed, but Russell infuses Three Kings with a keen sense of the absurd, and the entire film is an exercise in breathtaking visual ingenuity. Despite a conventional ending that's mildly disappointing for such a brashly original film, Three Kings conveys the brutal madness of war while making you laugh out loud at the insanity. (Jeff Shannon,


English, Arabic


114 min (Film 2000) / 115 min (DVD, VHS, Video Download) / 245 min (2-DVD)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Gloria (Cum Sancto Spiritu in Gloria dei Patris) from Mass in B minor BWV 232
Neville Marriner / Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields Chorus & Orchestra
From: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Philips) [V-1]


Film: Color (Technicolor), DTS / Dolby Digital / SDDS
DVD: See below.
VHS: See below.
Video Download:


Film: Warner Bros. Pictures; Village Roadshow Pictures (in association with); Village-A.M. Partnership (in association with); Coast Ridge; Atlas Entertainment; Junger Witt Productions
DVD: Warner Home Video
VHS: Warner Home Video
Video Download: Warner Bros.


Watch selections:

2-DVD Set includes: The Perfect Storm / Three Kings (Double Feature)

Buy movie at:

DVD: [AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1] | [NTSC , Region 2] | [Anamorphic, NTSC, Region 2]
2-DVD: [Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC]
VHS: [Closed-captioned, Dolby]
Video Download:


Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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