Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades - disguised as ...
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When British officer Harry resigns from his regiment, he is labeled a coward by his family and friends. Harry receives four white feathers as a mark of a coward. In order to redeem himself ... See full summary »
Set in the India of the British Raj. All the Indians are portrayed as untrustworthy, plotting to overthrow their British masters. The only 'loyal' Indian is Prince Azim who tries to warn ... See full summary »
Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer 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
To prove he can read Braille, Durrance (Ralph Richardson) scans with his fingers and reads out a speech spoken by Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest, before admitting he 'knew that bit by heart anyway.' Richardson played Caliban in the famous Old Vic production of The Tempest in 1930, which starred John Gielgud as Prospero. See more »
The newspaper account of the climatic battle Dr. Sutton reads to Durrance says "the Dervishes' army flung themselves with fanatical bravery upon the British square". However, the battle scenes show Kitchener's troops were not in a square but were formed in two long ranks, the first kneeling in front of the second. See more »
Why worry? Be a coward and be happy.
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.
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Opening credits prologue: In 1885 the rebellious army of cruel dervishes enslaved and killed many thousands of defenseless 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 »
It's ridiculous that movies like THE FULL MONTY and 28 DAYS LATER that have a British producer , director and screenwriter that were filmed entirely in Britain with an entirely British cast are not classed " British " simply because they were made by American studios . Somewhat ironic then that one of greatest British - And I mean truly British -films owes so much to the Korda brothers who came to this country from Hungary while the man responsible for the breath taking colour cinematography was from France
But I'm not going to be internationalist about THE FOUR FEATHERS because this is a movie that makes you proud to be British , something that is sadly no longer allowed to happen these days . Perhaps the most stirring thing I can say about this movie is the way it wipes the floor with the contemporary competition that was coming out of Hollywood at the time . While the American studio were making similar monochrome movies with Errol Flynn and David Niven as the leads Ralph Richardson's performance alone is a reason to watch this movie and even if it wasn't there's still the story itself featuring themes like courage , honour , romance and redemption . You want battle scenes ? There's several in this movie as well choreographed as any thing seen in cinema at this time but perhaps the most what sets this British movie apart from other movies that were being produced across the pond is that it's a bit more gritty and sadistic than what Hollywood was producing . In one scene a British officer is flogged like a dog and he screams in pain as the camera pans on to the Mufti's face , a face lit up in sadistic glee , then the scene cross fades into a crowded dungeon where the prisoners are kept , a dark hell hole where the audience can actually taste the pain , fear and misery from the unfortunate prisoners . Even in those days Hollywood would pull their punches while a film like THE FOUR FEATHERSwould not
Sadly THE FOUR FEATHERS was released in 1939 which meant it qualified for the legendary Oscar ceremony the following year when GONE WITH THE WIND swept the board . A great pity because this very British movie deserved a hat full of awards . Sadly too Britain no longer has a film industry of its own and is reliant upon American finance , but perhaps the saddest thing is even if we did have a film industry no one in the business would want to film such an exciting historical epic in case they were labeled reactionary or racist
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