One of the all-time great adventure films. THE FOUR FEATHERS is based on the 1902 tale of cowardice and courage by A.E.W. Mason, filmed at least six times but never as well as in this marvelous production.
The tale of empire, battle, and redemption begins when Harry Faversham (Clements), the son of a brigadier general, refuses to follow family tradition and join the army, choosing instead to settle down and wed Ethne Burroughs (Duprez). He resigns his commission just before his regiment leaves for
the 1898 Sudan campaign conducted by Lord Kitchener, and his friends--John Durrance (Richardson), Peter Burroughs (Gray), and Tom Willoughby (Allen)--present him three white feathers symbolizing cowardice. Also disgusted by his actions is Ethne, who gives him the fourth feather. Determined to
prove his courage, Faversham leaves for Egypt alone and disguises himself as a native, his skin stained and an "S" branded on his forehead to mark him as a Sangali tribe member with his tongue cut out by enemies. Eventually Faversham is able to redeem himself in the eyes of those he loves.
One of the great British films of the 1930s and one of producer Alexander Korda's finest achievements, THE FOUR FEATHERS is directed by Alexander's brother, Zoltan, with the elan demanded by the action-packed story. His talent is evident in the magnificent battle scenes, particularly the awesome
attack of the "Fuzzi Wuzzies" against the British lines, shown in wide panorama by cameras mounted high on hilltops overlooking the battlefield.
The acting is distinguished throughout, with Clements a sensitive and dashing nonconformist, Richardson superb as a man who must reconsider a friendship, and Smith equally good as a crusty career officer whose hypocrisy is revealed. A film unafraid to question those traditions it celebrates, THE
FOUR FEATHERS balances its highly impressive spectacle with a drama of substance and intelligence.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: One of the all-time great adventure films. THE FOUR FEATHERS is based on the 1902 tale of cowardice and courage by A.E.W. Mason, filmed at least six times but never as well as in this marvelous production. The tale of empire, battle, and redemption begins… (more)