During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.
A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »
Franklin J. Schaffner
In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries and scouts.
The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both ... See full summary »
After an Egyptian army, commanded by British officers, is destroyed in a battle in the Sudan in the 1880's, the British government is in a quandary. It does not want to commit a British military force to a foreign war but they have a commitment to protect the Egyptians in Khartoum. They decide to ask General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, something of a folk hero in the Sudan as he had cleared the area of the slave trade, to arrange for the evacuation. Gordon agrees but also decides to defend the city against the forces of the Mahdi - the expected one - and tries to force the British to commit troops. Written by
The paddle steamer early in the movie where Gordon and Scott leave England is the Princess Elizabeth, built in 1927 and a veteran of the May 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, where she made four trips carrying British soldiers back to Britain. From 1970 to 1987 she was a pub restaurant in London, near Tower Bridge, then moved to Paris and used as an art gallery. Since 1999 she's been a tourist attraction in Dunkerque, France. See more »
The attack on Khartoum starts with an artillery shell completely destroying the top of a tower located in the city, yet later in the film a night shot displays the tower again intact. See more »
The General will defend me. The great Christian hero will defend Zobeir the slaver.
Before I receive my country from your bloody hands, I shall see it die. You killed my son!
Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon:
I executed him.
Do you have sons, Gordon Pasha? Do you have sons? No! You killed mine!
Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon:
God forgive me, Zobeir but let the dead bury their dead.
You killed my flesh, my blood, my Suleiman! Get thee from my house and may ye die in the desert untended! May vultures consume thy flesh, sands thy blood!
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Khartoum is an account of the 1885 massacre of British General Charles (Chinese) Gordon (played by Charlton Heston) and British Egyptian troops in Khartoum in the Sudan by the hard-line Muslim forces of The Mahdi (The Chosen One), played by Sir Laurence Olivier--good make-up job.
This is an even-handed job (meaning, of course, all the favorable sides of things might have been assumed to be with Gordon, but they are not)--the views of both sides of the struggle are sympathetically represented, and Gordon's vanity is not spared. Nevertheless, he clearly has heroic stature, embellished by dramatic flourishes and some historical bending. Indeed, there is substantial historical detail in the tradition of epic films, much of it basically true, but certain parts are pure fantasy. In a film like this, neither is a problem for me--after all, isn't the point of this event its sheer drama, a white man mystic hero being massacred in a lonely outpost and achieving martyrdom? And I am one who is all for the historical stuff, and a checker of detail. The cadences of the screenplay and the swirling climax are entirely appropriate and make for great entertainment. Although Gordon's conduct in handling the situation was less unobjectionable than presented here (and not to say that there were no criticisms brought to the forefront in the film), it is likely his passion for the Sudan and the Sudanese and his desire for martyrdom are not much exaggerated. One of my favorites.
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