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The Four Feathers (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  20 September 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 26,991 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 213 user | 105 critic | 32 from

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.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mohamed Bouich ...
Sudanese Storyteller
Campbell Brown ...
Dervish Ansar
Andy Coumbe ...
Colonel Other Regiment
Angela Douglas ...
Aunt Mary
Karim Doukkali ...
Egyptian Orderly
Megan Hall ...
James Hillier ...
Drunken Corporal
Nick Holder ...
British Lion
Colonel Hamilton


Set in 1884 Sudan, this fifth film to be adapted from the A.E.W. Mason novel follows a British officer who resigns his post right before his regiment ships out to battle the rebels. Perceiving his resignation as cowardice, his friends and fiancée give him four white feathers, the symbol of cowardice, but little do they know he's actually going undercover and plans to redeem his honor. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Freedom. Country. Honor. Passion. To save his best friend, one man must risk everything he loves. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disturbing images, violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las cuatro plumas  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,857,879 (USA) (20 September 2002)


$495,874 (Japan) (26 September 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jude Law was the original choice for the role of Harry Feversham. See more »


When Jack is chasing the sniper, the sniper is shown running through an alley way with two adults and a child in front of him. After climbing onto the roof, jumping off, and climbing a couple of walls...he is shown again in the same scene running through the alley with the same three people there. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: By 1884 over a quarter of the earth's surface had been conquered by the British Army. There was no greater honor for a young man than to fight for Queen and Country. Those that refused the call to arms brought shame and humiliation on their friends and families...
Title Card: The Symbol of their disgrace was the white feather of cowardice...
See more »


Featured in My Tango with Porn (2003) See more »


The British Grenadiers
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User Reviews

Sweeping new adaptation plenty of idealism , heroism and overwhelming battles
5 January 2008 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

This sixth rendition about known story by A.E.W. Mason concerns on a British young officer named Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) . Resigning from Army , he's rejected by his father (Tim Pigott-Smith), branded as a coward and sent four white feathers by his friends (Wes Bentley, Michael Sheen) and his engaged fiancée (Kate Hudson) . Determined to save his honor he heads to Sudan against Derviches . There arrives the expedition of help commanded by General Wolsey and Kitchener for stifle the rebellious Sudan's tribes ruled by 'the Madhdi', the ¨expected one¨ (events narrated in ¨Khartoum¨ film -1966- with Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier , directed by Basil Dearden). The Madhi along with Arab tribes had besieged Khartoum (1884) and vanquished General Gordon . Faversham disguised himself as a native will save his friends from certain death and he will retrieve the lost honors . He's only helped by a valiant African-Muslim native (Dijimon Honsou) . Then , there took place the major fight scene , the Battle of Abu Klea , on January 17, 1885 when British Desert Column of approximately 1,100 troops fought a Mahdist force of over 12,000 dervishes .

This spectacular adventure detailing the epic feats of a brave hero contains noisy action , idealism , romance , unlimited courage , breathtaking battles and impressive outdoors . Heath Ledger as a stubborn officer is cool , Wes Bentley as his best friend is convincingly played and Kate Hudson as his girlfriend is enjoyable . Special mention to Dijimon Honsou as the corpulent helper . Sensational battle scenes made by hundreds of extras and by means of computer generator . Evocative cinematography reflecting the late 1800's and spectacular African landscapes by cameraman Robert Richardson . Appropriate and atmospheric musical score by James Horner . The motion picture was professionally directed by Shekhar Kapur . He's a costumer/epic expert , as he proved in ¨Bandit queen ¨and ¨Elizabeth I¨ and its sequel . Other adaptations about this famous story are the followings : The classic rendition by Zoltan Korda (1939) with John Clemens , Ralph Richardson and Jane Duprez ; 'Storm over the sand' (1955) by Terence Young with Anthony Steel , James Robertson Justice , Mary Ure and Laurence Harvey ; and for TV (1978) By Don Sharp with Beau Bridges , Jane Seymour and Robert Powell.

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