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Khartoum (1966)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 15 June 1966 (USA)
In the Sudan, in 1884-85, Egyptian forces led by a British general defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sir Evelyn Baring
Johnny Sekka ...
Khaleel
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Lord Granville
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Zobeir Pasha
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Sheikh Osman
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Gen. Wolseley
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Lord Hartington
Ralph Michael ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
Khalifa Abdullah
Edward Underdown ...
Col. William Hicks
Peter Arne ...
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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Khartoum -- where the Nile divides, the great Cinerama adventure begins! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kartum  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final screenplay credit for Robert Ardrey, who had actually done most of the writing for the film several years earlier. By the time the film went into production, Ardrey had already begun to gain a major reputation for his anthropological books, and the year of this film's release coincided with the publication of his most famous book, "The Territorial Imperative". This was a huge international best-seller, and Ardrey was no longer dependent on film work to earn a living wage from writing. See more »

Goofs

When Mahdi told that it's prayer time. They said "Allahoo Akbar" while bending and said the same when they were standing. But, actually while standing in prayer after bending, followers of Mohammad (PBUH) say: "Samee Allahoo Layman Hamidah". These are Arabic texts. See more »

Quotes

The Mahdi: It is sometimes wise, Gordon Pasha, to provide the man with a few sunny hours of fraudulent hope so that when night comes he will have a more perfect inward vision of the truth of his hopelessness.
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Connections

Referenced in The Hateful Eight (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Drama and Detail
12 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

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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