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Lieutenant Faversham resigns his officer's commission rather than fight in the Sudan war.His army pals mockingly present him with four white feathers for cowardice.Lieutenant Faversham regains his honor by fighting in the Sudan incognito.
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
In the actual 1884-1885 campaign in the Sudan, the British soldiers were wearing grey tunics instead of the scarlet ones depicted in the movie. The British soldiers wore Khaki uniforms later on. See more »
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...
The Symbol of their disgrace was the white feather of cowardice...
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Warn my friends! Save my friend! These are 2 of the lines spoken at two different times by a very noble but desperate man who had everything, and I mean everything going for him. He spoke these words to another man who had nothing, and came from even less, but was willing to help. This other man belonged to a tribe of slaves, spoke English and Arabic, but was a Christian. He would adorn himself with different pieces of white jewelry which among his people, spoke of the number of men you had killed. His name is Abou.
Harry is the man who had everything but through one selfish decision, lost it all. After seeing the pain his mistake caused all those who loved, respected and admired him - he regrets the foolish decision, and attempts to restore what was lost. This very fine film is filled with virtue, honor and the great strength required to redeem yourself after doing unintended damage to some of the most precious things we possess. Our relationships. Especially the strong right good ones - the ones you would lay down your life for. It is a story mostly of recovery. And is the exact opposite of the everyone deserves a trophy attitude which plagues our modern generation. How refreshing.
While in the enemy prison at Omdurman in the Sudan, Heath Ledger's character has to be one of the most pitiful sights you'll ever see. A bright young British Calvary officer, the son of the General, engaged to a beautiful woman who loves him, a leader among his men, and surrounded by a tight knit core of his closest friends, all in the same regiment as himself . . . is reduced to human rubble. It is at his lowest point that Harry learns to overcome the Fear that led to his tragedy. The movie has been intentionally injected with several modern sensibilities which did not and never would have existed at that time, you'll know them when you see them (or hear them). They serve only to weaken the story and the film, all in the name of political correctness. Though plenty of the original Light is left to keep it right.
I believe this to be Heath Ledgers most mature role by far, alongside Wes Bentley's shining performance as the ideal soldier and friend. With a great cast all around, I am amazed at how many people have missed this movie. It is every bit as good as Gladiator or Troy, just different - and with a much more moral story. It is a classic film made from a classic novel about the way we were . . . not that long ago. One of my favorites. Anyone who appreciates the ever increasing rarity of good movies made from good stories should see this film.