The Four Feathers (2002)
General Faversham: There is only one sacrifice nobler than sacrificing one's self for their country; that is marrying a man who does.
Harry Faversham: I've left the army.
[Ethne laughs in disbelief]
Harry Faversham: No, Ethne, I have left the army.
Harry Faversham: There was talk they might send us abroad. For a year or two. I didn't want to wait that long to get married.
Ethne: I would have waited. Or come with you. My mother did the same for my father.
Harry Faversham: Yes, I know, but it tisn't what I wnated for us. You're all that matters to me now.
Ethne: Where were they going to send you?
Harry Faversham: They weren't sure.
[the church door opens and a delivery boy from the army gives Harry a package that contains three white feathers]
Ethne: [Picking up the feathers from the floor] Is this your friends' idea of a joke? What is it, Harry?
Harry Faversham: Feathers of cowardice. Yesterday we were informed that our regement would be shipping out to Sudan. That we would be sent to war.
Ethne: You don't know where they were sending you, you said it yourself. You did it for me. No one in their right mind could call you a coward. Especially not your friends. If there's been some kind of misunderstanding you have to clear it out. You have to go back to the regement and clear it out.
Harry Faversham: No, I can't.
Ethne: Then I will. I'll go see Trench, Willoughby and Castleton myself and tell them it's my fault you resigned. You did it for me.
Harry Faversham: It has nothing to do with you, Ethne!
Ethne: Then why?
Harry Faversham: I never wanted to join the army! I did it for my father. I thought I'd serve my commission for a year or two and keep everyone happy and then I could...
Ethne: Do what? Wait until we were married to tell me the truth?
Harry Faversham: Ethne, I never meant to lie to you.
Ethne: No, but you were quite happy to let me deceive myself. Do you think people will let us forget this?
Harry Faversham: I don't care what people think, Ethne. All I care about is us.
Ethne: It's not about us, Harry. It's just not about us. Jack would give his life for you.
Harry Faversham: Don't you think I know that?
Ethne: Then go back. It's not too late. Tell them you wouldn't have resigned if it weren't for me.
Ethne: I would have resigned. And I wouldn't have gone to war for anything or anyone.
Ethne: Then you are a coward.
Harry Faversham: When something like this happens you are lost. You don't know who you are anymore and what you're capable of. Unless I do something this is always how people will remember me. A feather. And that is how I will always see myself: a coward. All I know is that I can't live with myself like this.
William Trench: Don't worry, Vicar. They're only women. They won't bite.
Abou Fatma: I found you half dead crossing the desert alone and you say you are afraid?
Jack Durrance: You may be lost, but you are not forgotten. For those who have travelled far, to fight in foreign lands, know that the soldier's greatest comfort is to have his friends close at hand. In the heat of battle it ceases to be an idea for which we fight. Or a flag. Rather we fight for the man on our left, and we fight for the man on our right. And when armies are scattered and the empires fall away, all that remains is the memory of those precious moments that we spent sided by side.
Abou Fatma: Are you a deserter?
Harry Faversham: Something like that. I was sent to fight and I ran away.
Abou Fatma: Why?
Harry Faversham: Why? I just... There are many reasons why. Mostly I was afraid.
Abou Fatma: [laughs] I found you halfdead crossing the desert alone. And you say you are afraid?
Harry Faversham: There's a different kind of fear. Why are you protecting me?
Abou Fatma: God put you in my way. I have no choice.
Harry Faversham: God? An Englishman... and a Christian? You must have done something terrible to offend him.
Ethne: Forgive me. I did you a great wrong.
Harry Faversham: There is nothing to forgive.
Ethne: Yes there is, I should have stood by you Harry. I should have understood. I used to be so sure about everything.
Harry Faversham: We both were, Ethne.
Ethne: And now?
Harry Faversham: And now...
[they tentatively hold hands]
Harry Faversham: Well... well, now I have no choice, Ethne. God put you in my way.
General Faversham: An officer who gave his life for his country deserves far more respect than I do.
[Upon learning his son has resigned from the army]
General Faversham: I don't know you.
Willoughby: [speaking of Harry leaving the regiment] We've been sent to war and the very next day he resigns. There's no doubt about it.
Jack Durrance: What's that supposed to mean?
Willoughby: I think it's perfectly clear what it means.
Castleton: Tom, don't be absurd!
William Trench: Shut up, Vicar.
Willoughby: It means he's a coward, Jack.
Jack Durrance: Say that to his face.
Willoughby: I would have done only he left the barracks before I had a chance.
Jack Durrance: Alright then, say it to my face.
William Trench: Easy, Jack.
Willoughby: Harry is a disgrace. He disgraced the regement.
Jack Durrance: He is the best soldier in the regement!
Willoughby: Obviously not when it counts. I will tell him. But not to his face. He doesn't deserve it. He deserves to be treated with the same contempt he treated us.
Jack Durrance: What contempt?
Willoughby: Did he talk to you about it? Did he talk to any of you? He's left with his back exposed and he didn't even have the courage to tell us. He was my friend too, Jack.
Jack Durrance: He'll be there.
Harry Faversham: Willoughby, you look wonderful, darling.
Jack Durrance: Princess Willoughby.
Harry Faversham: Miss Willoughby.
William Trench: A hair is out of place there, Tom.
Willoughby: When are you gentlemen going to grow up?
Harry Faversham: Gentlemen! Did he call us gentlemen?
Jack Durrance: I believe he did.
Harry Faversham: I won't take that from him.
Jack Durrance: Nor will I.
Jack Durrance: I suppose I'm going because you are going. There is no one I'd sooner trust my life with. You're all that matters.
William Trench: I can't move.
Harry Faversham: The poison's paralyzed your legs. It will wear off soon.
William Trench: I thought it was supposed to kill me.
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...