- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Classis Story, Beautifully Made
Here is an epic story of tradition, bravery, self-sacrifice and redemption. It is also wonderful spectacle in the Korda tradition. This version captures the realities of the last centuries with a well translated story from a great adventure book to a great film. This film version is even better than the book. This style of story telling no longer exists, which may be why films now come off as so thin.
The Characters make this Movie
This movie impressed me with a glory of war, then turned it around to show the truth and sacrifice of war. I loved C. Aubrey Smith as General Burroughs telling and retelling the story of the great battle he was in, using the fruit on the table for the battlefield is classic. Plus all the other great actors like Ralph Richardson make it special. The remake doesn't come close.
Five Star film!
The acting in this film would by itself merit five stars but the cinematography certainly puts it over the top! As the movie was actually filmed in the Sudan, this fact lends a great deal of credence to the story itself and Zoltan Korda brought it all to life. What a director! My sympathies lie with the lead, Lt. Harry Faversham, who is brought up believing in the British way of life for a male which was making your career in the British Army. As a child, he hears harrowing tales of courage and of cowardice. These tales forever color his view of being in the Army but he does enlist; however, on the eve of being sent to Khartum where he knows the Army is being sent to avenge the death of Gordon, he hands in his resignation and returns to his home. His fiancee & his family do not welcome him and he receives three white feathers, the sign of cowardice, from his three best Army friends who have sailed for Khartum. The fourth feather, he plucks from his fiancee's fan, as she does not defend him either. He later decides to make amends and sails hoping to join his regiment. The story proceeds from here and he is eventually a hero, after being captured and cruelly treated. He returns to his home and his fiancee who welcome him. I do not believe you can view this film without being touched. War is so cruel in so many ways and this is amply borne out in this film. It is not just the wounds you see that must be healed. Sometimes, the wounds you do not see are far more serious!
I ws stationed at the emhbassy in khartoum for 8 months and use to drive out to the location of the Omdurman battle of 2 Sept 1898. At the time the area was just as it was in 1898, the town of Omdurman was almost the same with mud houses and no paved roads once you crossed the bridge from Khartoum to Omdurman at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile into the The Nile. I had to drive a couple times in the middle of the night to an alternate airport down the Nile about 10 miles north on a dirt track along side the river and passed through a Fuzzy Wuzzy village. Their dogs and my headlights of my embassy hard top jeep woke the people up and they came out of the huts with the same dirty robes, hair do'es, spears and swords. i slowly drove straight ahead holding back sobs and did not look right or left. On the way back they did not come out again. I was not told about that village at the embassy by the man who should have and when I told him, he just gave a slight smile. He knew about it and pulled a good one on me. One of the original gun boats was tied up in the Blue Nile in front of the old palace where General Gordon was killed in 1882 by the natives when they took Khartoum after a long seige and the British were out of the country until they took it back in 1898. I lived in the only hotel (the Grand) on the Blue Nile that they built circa 1900 and only place in town at the time for Europeans. Went away once and came back in the high season and no rooms and had to stay in an old paddle wheeler river steamer tired up in front of the hotel in the river. I was six weeks on the 5th one out and they just added boats side by side as needed. On Xmas day the manager called me to the office and told me I had a room inside, I fell to my knees and kissed both of his hands. Other natives (Arabs) still wore white robes and white turbans except for the workers from the Negro south of the country, Dinka and Nuer tribes. All were very black.
A wonderful story in an authentic Set
This is one of the best of the British Colonial Adventure movies ever. The story is great, acting is excellent, and the setting and period costumes are extremely accurate. In fact, i've heard that the extras were clothed in the actual uniforms from the Sudan period - not sure if that is true, but it sure looks like it. Highly Recommended.
One of the best
- James Malady
Excellent acting, directing and cinematography
The Four Feathers
- Mark Sutch
The Four Feathers
- Greg Wathen
Possibly the finest example of classic British cinema ever made. From the cast to the screenplay to the direction, the Four Feathers is a film that deserves critical acclaim and the type of film restoration a firm such as Criterion can deliver.
The Four Feathers (1939)
- James Higgins
The production is certainly spectacular, the cinematography is amazing. The cast is terrific, John Clements, Ralph Richardson and especially C. Aubrey Smith stand out. Its a fine often filmed story and this is the best of all the versions. It can be a little tedious at times but I never lost interest. A classic in every sense of the word.
Release FOUR FEATHERS 1939
- joe lantolf
This is among my very few cherished films. I saw it on a bitter cold winter day in 1939 while sitting in a very chilly theater wearing a heavy sweater and a ski jacket. Scenes of the desert and blazing sun affected me so that I had to remove my outerware and broke into a sweat. I stayed to see the second showing and became a life-long fan of Sir Ralph. My other favorites are Keys To The Kingdom, For Whom The Bells Toll, The Good Earth and West Side Story. I am an ardent viewer of TCM and hope that these classics will make the list to be shown. ANY CHANCE OF HAVING THE "OLD ONES "available for home video?????
- Nancy Olmi
It's hard to believe this move is not available for home video. Hopefully when it comes out (if) it will be available in widescreen. The scenery is breathtaking
Re. 1977 remake.
Along with Seymour and Bridges, who both entered into matrimony for the first time during or just after this film was made, Robert Powell and Simon Ward round out this cast very nicely. As late as '03 when I got it, a Canadian company had a very good quality DVD of this out. It's no longer for sale but there is a 4 film British Greats disc with this version in it for $38+to $39+ from DeepDiscount.com among others. This version is very close to the '39 version. For Seymour fans her version of The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews is as good if not better than the Leslie Howard/Merle Oberon version, and that's very high praise from me(PS. the Howard/Oberon version shown on TCM recently was as clean and sharp as if it were brand new THANKS!! TCM.) Join me in asking for showings on TCM of the '77 Four Feathers, the Seymour/Andrews Pimpernel and Seymour's tv mini series of Jamaica Inn on TCM. Thanks, Dave.
VG remake about 20 yrs ago for TV
- Michael J. Greenberg
There was a remake for TV made about 20 yrs or so ago with Beau Bridges & Jane Seymour.I have an orig copy taken off a NYC TV station of the 1939 version,but the Beau Bridges version follows the 1939 script to a tee.Also VG viewing. Nothing like the recent remake a few yrs ago.(different story line) MJG
did i mention
the movie is from 1939??? even though it wasn't out of hollywood, it still came out during the golden year.... pique your interest, more?
this is a great film.
i have not seen the remake, d/t my fear of it being redone in a way that does not pay homage to the original view. I put this movie up there with Gunga Din and Beau Geste. All 3 are top rate, and in a small way have similarities. This is a British-made movie, and frankly, it is as good as many Amareican movies of that era.
One of My Favorite British Empire Movies
- Jeffrey Kenison
I love this movie, especially it takes place during the British Empire. I kind of like that it was based on how Herbert Kitchener reoccupied Khartoum. I even like the Technicolor.
Want it available on DVD
- Doreen Henry
I saw this film years ago, loved it and fortunately taped it on VCR. A friend was telling me about the newest film version of Four Feathers and I gave him my copy to watch. He attends college studying for a film career. He admits that this version is great. Hoping for a DVD version as my tape is getting old and worn.
outstanding movie of the british military history.
- bill palmer
I first saw this movie on tcm several years ago, and I was impressed then saw the remake about 3yrs ago thought so,so then tcm reran the first version and I was hooked no seeing it again I feel it is a real classic in films.I'm not a fan of modern movies only a few every year entice me to see. I'll take the classics from the 30's and 40's anytime.TCM is the first channel I turn to to watch tv. thanks Bill Palmer
The four feathers
- craig brewster
the Bristh seem to a real nack for telling stories of history. If it there view or the other side.
An Adventure classic
One of the best adventure action films ever made, Four Feathers is a fantasy escape film for kids of all ages, from preteen to over-65. It combines elements of love, cowardice, betrayal, heroism, and redemption with incredible action flmed on location in Egypt in 1939. This film literally has a cast of thousands, including Fuzzie wuzzies and Dervishes, portraying Lord Kitchener's march on the Sudan to avenge the death of General Charles "Chinese" Gordon in the late 1800s. The photography is stunning, the plot exciting, and the casting excellent. A better action/adventure film has never been made.