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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 27,038 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


What would you kill for? 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 the British soldiers, led by Lt. Durrance, are chasing the sniper in the village, one of the British soldiers shoots two rounds in rapid succession at the fleeing sniper, which is impossible with the Martini-Henry rifles with which they were armed. Martini-Henrys are single-shot rifles. 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 »


Version of The Four Feathers (1978) See more »


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User Reviews

As an entertaining adventure film, "The Four Feathers" stands firm…

The story is set in 1884 during the British Empire uprising…

Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) is a young army officer from a distinguished military family who never wanted to join the army… He did it for his father… He resigns his commission on the eve of his regiment's departure for Sudan… Harry has already disgusted his strict father, a respected General in the Queen's Army, by declaring no interest in a soldier's life and now that he is about to be married to his beloved Ethne (Kate Hudson), he wants to settle down…

When his closest friends and fellow officers find out that he disgraced the regiment, they send him a box of feathers of cowardice… When Ethne sends him another feather, he then disappears to redeem himself, to face up to his fears, to discover himself, to win back his self-respect...

Shekhar Kapur's "The Four Feathers" is beautifully filmed and performed… The themes of love, honor, loyalty, friendship, trust, redemption, wisdom, true strength, and true courage are all there… They made the characters entirely plausible… But what truly lingers in the memory about it are the stunning sequences filmed in the Sudan and the splendid staging of several battles, showing the then standard British tactics employed in holding off attackers—the forming of squares, with riflemen deployed in standing, kneeling, firing, holding line, and keeping eye on the target… These exciting scenes of combat and carnage are truly impressive…

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