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Khartoum (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Khartoum -- A spectacular historical epic set in 1885.  Commanded by a determined religious leader called "The Mahdi" (Laurence Olivier), 80,000 fierce Sudanese warriors massacre 8,000 untrained, British-led Egyptian troops in the desert, 100 miles beyond Khartoum.  British Prime Minister Gladstone (Sir Ralph Richardson) learns of the slaughter and that The Mahdi is determined to claim the great city of Khartoum to prove his divine mission and power.  General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) is persuaded to try and make peace.  He must also find a way to evacuate the Egyptian army defending Khartoum and protect its inhabitants.  Directed by Basil Dearde.  The stunning action sequences were directed by Yakima Canutt.


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Release Date:
15 June 1966 (USA) See more »
They say the Nile still runs red from the Battle of Khartoum! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Drama and Detail See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charlton Heston ... Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon

Laurence Olivier ... The Mahdi

Richard Johnson ... Col. J.D.H. Stewart

Ralph Richardson ... William Gladstone

Alexander Knox ... Sir Evelyn Baring
Johnny Sekka ... Khaleel

Michael Hordern ... Lord Granville
Zia Mohyeddin ... Zobeir Pasha

Marne Maitland ... Sheikh Osman

Nigel Green ... Gen. Wolseley

Hugh Williams ... Lord Hartington
Ralph Michael ... Sir Charles Dilke
Douglas Wilmer ... Khalifa Abdullah
Edward Underdown ... Col. William Hicks
Peter Arne ... Maj. Kitchener
Alan Tilvern ... Awaan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Anthony ... Herbin (uncredited)
Roger Delgado ... (uncredited)

Leo Genn ... Narrator (uncredited)
Lisa Guiraut ... The Dancer (uncredited)
David Lawton ... Man (uncredited)
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ... Lord Northbrook (uncredited)
Alec Mango ... Bordeini Bey (uncredited)
George Pastell ... Giriagis Bey (uncredited)
Robert Rietty ... Various Roles (voice) (uncredited)
Jerome Willis ... Frank Power (uncredited)

Directed by
Basil Dearden 
Eliot Elisofon (introductory scenes)
Writing credits
Robert Ardrey (written by)

Produced by
Julian Blaustein .... producer
Original Music by
Frank Cordell 
Cinematography by
Edward Scaife (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Fergus McDonell 
Casting by
Weston Drury Jr. (uncredited)
Art Direction by
John Howell 
Set Decoration by
John Bodimeade (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Hilda Fox .... hair stylist
Bill Lodge .... makeup artist
Tom Smith .... makeup artist
Production Management
Basil Appleby .... unit manager
Frank Ernst .... unit manager
Charles Orme .... production supervisor
Nigel Wooll .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yakima Canutt .... second unit director
Bluey Hill .... assistant director
John Peverall .... assistant director
Terence A. Clegg .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Terry Marcel .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Bernard Williams .... second assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Art Department
Pamela Cornell .... set dresser
Scott MacGregor .... associate art director
Ted Tester .... associate art director
Martin Atkinson .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Peggy Gick .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Brian Herbert .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Peter Wood .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Laurie Clarkson .... sound recordist
John Dennis .... sound recordist (as John S. Dennis)
Dino Di Campo .... sound editor
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
Bert Ross .... sound recordist
Tom Buchanan .... boom operator: second unit (uncredited)
Michael Hickey .... sound (uncredited)
Archie Ludski .... sound editor (uncredited)
Don Sharpe .... sound editor (uncredited)
Otto Snel .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Vivian Temple-Smith .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Richard Parker .... special effects
Nick Allder .... special effects: second unit (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Cliff Culley .... special photographic effects
Ken Buckle .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Nosher Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Atcheler .... camera operator
Ray Parslow .... camera operator
Gilberto Petrucci .... still photographer
Kelvin Pike .... camera operator
Jeff Seaholme .... camera operator
H.A.R. Thomson .... camera operator
Harry Waxman .... photographer: second unit
Ronald Anscombe .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Steve Claydon .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harry Gillard .... still photographer (uncredited)
Norman Gryspeerdt .... photographer: second unit (uncredited)
Tony Spratling .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John McCorry .... wardrobe supervisor
Music Department
Frank Cordell .... conductor
Other crew
Julian Blaustein .... presenter
Mary Bruce .... researcher
Eileen Head .... continuity
Kay Rawlings .... continuity
Robert Easton .... accent coach (uncredited)
Ala Gabry .... location wrangler (uncredited)
S.E. Sabbour .... special location consultant (uncredited)
Jilda Smith .... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
134 min | USA:128 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Finland:K-12 | Netherlands:6 (DVD rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating: 122m) (1986) (cut) | USA:Approved (PCA #21216) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Roger Delgado is dubbed by Robert Rietty.See more »
Factual errors: Prime Minister Gladstone is shown in Parliament sitting on a red bench. The benches of the House of Commons have traditionally always been green.See more »
Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon:If my life has a single point, it's this: I've learned to be unafraid of death but never to be unafraid of failure.See more »
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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Drama and Detail, 12 October 2001
Author: Kakueke

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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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Khartoum (1966)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Did anyone else laugh at Laurence Olivier's accent? de_niro_2001
Any extras die during filming? RABerg66
Beautiful Score by Frank Cordell Gordon_123
Trivia item NOT CORRECT xzcgb
Glorification for someone who does not deserve it. Lacoby
AMAZING battle sequences!!! teejay6682
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