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The Four Feathers (1939)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  3 August 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,207 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 37 critic

A British army officer who resigns his commission on the eve of his unit's embarkation to a mission against Egyptian rebels seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former ... See full summary »



(by), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Four Feathers (1939)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Clements ...
Allan Jeayes ...
Jack Allen ...
Donald Gray ...
Frederick Culley ...
Clive Baxter ...
Robert Rendel ...
Archibald Batty ...
Derek Elphinstone ...
Hal Walters ...
Norman Pierce ...
Sergeant Brown
Henry Oscar ...


A British army officer who resigns his commission on the eve of his unit's embarkation to a mission against Egyptian rebels seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades disguised as an Arab. When his unit is overwhelmed and captured by the rebels, the hero finds an opportunity to return the 'feathers' of cowardice sent to him by his former comrades by freeing them. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Real Adventure! Real Life in the Raw! (from re-release print ad) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las cuatro plumas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alexander Korda decided not to direct, because his last two directorial efforts, The Private Life of Don Juan (1934) and Rembrandt (1936), had not been commercial successes. He had also lost considerable money on the aborted I, Claudius, a film that was well into production when it was abandoned. On top of that, the pressure of running the large, recently purchased Denham Studios made it all the more appealing to turn to a proven success like Mason's story and to concentrate on producing while brother Zoltan Korda directed. See more »


When Willoughby comments to the others about the dervishes cutting off noses, his hands are behind his back, and then on the back of a chair. See more »


Dr. Harraz: Why worry? Be a coward and be happy.
Harry Faversham: I AM a coward, Doctor. If I'd been anything but a soldier I might have lived my whole life and concealed it. But to be a soldier AND a coward is to be an impostor, a menace to the men whose lives are in your hands.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In 1885 the rebellious army of cruel dervishes enslaved and killed many thousands of defenceless natives in the Sudan, then laid siege to Khartoum. The scanty garrison's heroic commander, General Gordon appealed for help from England - but no help reached him. See more »


Version of The Four Feathers (1921) See more »


March from the opera Scipione
Written by George Frideric Handel
Played by military band during the review of troops by Lord Kitchener
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What's Good Is Still Good
26 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

No, this isn't how we regard military service or Empire anymore, and I hope it's not how we regard other peoples and races, but there are things about this picture that still getcha.

The film celebrates friendship and mutual obligation. It celebrates courage and determination. It celebrates a beautiful young couple and the love that conquers all, and celebrates the fact that the movies never let the funny-looking guy get the girl. It celebrates C. Aubrey Smith's eyebrows, and that's reason enough to watch any film.

The real heroes are Ralph Richardson, for acting at least 100% in every scene, never coasting or losing concentration for a minute, and the euphoniously named Osmond Borrodaile, whose second unit cinematography in faraway locations with monstrous cameras under difficult conditions enlivened many a movie.

47 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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