68 user 37 critic

The Four Feathers (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 3 August 1939 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »



(by), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Lothar Mendes, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Richard Arlen, Fay Wray, Clive Brook
Beau Geste (1939)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston
The Four Feathers (TV Movie 1978)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When British Lieutenant Faversham resigns his commission rather than fight in the 1882 Sudan war, his army pals present him with the four white feathers of cowardice.

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Beau Bridges, Robert Powell, Simon Ward
Gunga Din (1939)
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson
Drums (1938)
Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Sabu, Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutinary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be ... See full summary »

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard
Four Feathers (1915)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: J. Searle Dawley
Stars: Edgar L. Davenport, Fuller Mellish, Ogden Childe


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 ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sudan | cowardice | hero | gun | pineapple | See All (76) »


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?


Although he was a stickler for historical fidelity, Zoltan Korda was not above stretching the truth for the sake of spectacle. As shooting was about to begin on the lavish ballroom scene, he went into a fit over the fact that the officers were all clad in blue uniforms. The picture's military adviser, Brigadier Hector Campbell, informed him that this was the proper dress for a private party in the late 1800s. "But this is Technicolor!" Korda roared, and the uniforms were changed to bright red. See more »


Sutton's position changes, when at the table and he tells General Faversham that General Gordon was killed. 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 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 »


Edited into Master of the World (1961) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Robert Burns, music traditional
Heard during the departure of the Regiment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rousing Adventure Epic
26 January 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A young English army officer resigns his commission just as war in Africa breaks out. His 3 best friends, officers all, and his fiancée each give him a white feather - the sign of the coward. Shunned & ostracized, he undertakes a mission to clear his honour & prove his courage.

This is a wonderful British adventure film, equally on a par with anything Hollywood was to produce in that golden year of 1939. Shot in color, with spare-no-expense filming in the Sudan, THE FOUR FEATHERS is a paean to the glory days of Victoria's Empire & the men who fought to build it.

Sir John Clements is excellent as the young hero. Although virtually unknown to American audiences his entire career, Sir John was a very fine actor with a warmly distinctive voice which he uses here to advantage. Sir Ralph Richardson appears, terrific as always, as one of the friends; so does John Laurie, very good as the troublesome Khalifa. Sir C. Aubrey Smith, magnificent as a curmudgeonly old general, provides the final hurdle Sir John must jump to regain his reputation.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Confused on cowardice malcolm_mccallum
Bought the wrong "Four Feathers" argreen
Sir C. Aubrey Smith smiley-39
Blu-ray concern anneandwalt-1
what is the poem richardson quotes from? rogerpentley
Actual Running Time???? ldmartin9999
Discuss The Four Feathers (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: