During the Mahdist insurrection in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, veteran colonial private Baker teams up with freshly arrived gentleman Murchison, trying to evacuate from southern Barash the ...
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During the Mahdist insurrection in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, veteran colonial private Baker teams up with freshly arrived gentleman Murchison, trying to evacuate from southern Barash the emir's daughter Asua and her English governess, Miss Woodville. It's a perilous journey on the Nile and its banks. They must face crocodiles, Arab slavers and a backward Negro tribe they prey on, where king Gondoko's missionary-raised brother Kimrasi saves and joins them. Once in capital Khartum, they find the revolt has reached it and the men join the fight. Written by
Baker is mistaken for a major by Miss Woodville and Murchison as he supposedly is wearing a major's jacket. However the jacket has the three pips of a captain on the epaulets, rather than the crown of a major. See more »
EoS has been screened several times recently on British TV and the synopsis seemed promising. It turned out to be a mix of "Ice Cold in Alex" (Anthony Quayle and Sylvia Syms escaping from a beleaguered town), "North West Frontier" (heroic Brit, governess and child escaping from a beleaguered town), "The Four Feathers" (much stock footage) and several travelogues (stock footage of various animals and native dancing).
Other reviewers here on IMDb have already commented on the amateurish mixing in of the footage of charging animals. I am resigned to the heroine in films of this vintage apparently having access to make-up and hairdressing facilities as she undergoes various privations, Miss Woodville continuing to look glamorous at the end. And Murchison's rapidly falling in love with Miss Woodville is par for the course, though usually in films such relationships develop into a three-way romance with rivalry between the two men. In EoS his passion seems to have fizzled out as quickly as it appeared.
But there were at least three risible scenes. The first was when, after Baker had rued the small stock of ammunition, Murchison fires his revolver several times in enemy country to stampede a herd of animals to delight Asua. Then he sets off the signal fire when he sees a boat on the Nile. Not even the most callow officer would be so stupid. Thirdly, when the fugitives are hiding from the slavers they are barely concealed by a few fronds of foliage; they are fully visible to the camera - and thus to the men searching for them inches away who do not notice them.
One might also think Baker very well-spoken for a private soldier who had been demoted from sergeant several times, but, as other films ("Beau Geste", "Under Two Flags") have shown, "gentleman-rankers" did exist.
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