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The Four Feathers (1939)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 4 August 1939 (USA)
A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.

Director:

Zoltan Korda

Writers:

A.E.W. Mason (by), R.C. Sherriff (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Clements John Clements ... Harry Faversham
Ralph Richardson ... Captain John Durrance
C. Aubrey Smith ... General Burroughs
June Duprez ... Ethne Burroughs
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... General Faversham
Jack Allen Jack Allen ... Lieutenant Willoughby
Donald Gray Donald Gray ... Peter Burroughs
Frederick Culley Frederick Culley ... Dr. Sutton
Clive Baxter Clive Baxter ... Young Harry Faversham
Robert Rendel ... Colonel
Archibald Batty Archibald Batty ... Adjutant
Derek Elphinstone Derek Elphinstone ... Lieutenant Parker
Hal Walters Hal Walters ... Joe
Norman Pierce Norman Pierce ... Sergeant Brown
Henry Oscar ... Dr. Harraz
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Storyline

Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades, disguised as an Arab. When his unit is overwhelmed and captured by the rebels, the hero finds an opportunity to return the "feathers" of cowardice sent to him by his former comrades by freeing them.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Real Adventure! Real Life in the Raw! (from re-release print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las cuatro plumas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For historical accuracy, Zoltan Korda hired a military Technical Advisor, Brigadier Hector Campbell, and had him drill the actors and extras exactly the same as soldiers would have been in the period of this movie's setting. See more »

Goofs

Ethne's hair changes after her father leaves the room and Harry has received the feathers in the mail. See more »

Quotes

Harry Faversham: The man who tries to cheat his fate is more than a coward, he's a fool as well.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In 1885 the rebellious army of cruel dervishes enslaved and killed many thousands of defenceless natives in the Sudan, then laid siege to Khartoum. The scanty garrison's heroic commander, General Gordon appealed for help from England - but no help reached him. See more »

Connections

Edited into Storm Over the Nile (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Robert Burns, music traditional
Heard during the departure of the Regiment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Rousing Adventure Epic
26 January 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A young English army officer resigns his commission just as war in Africa breaks out. His 3 best friends, officers all, and his fiancée each give him a white feather - the sign of the coward. Shunned & ostracized, he undertakes a mission to clear his honour & prove his courage.

This is a wonderful British adventure film, equally on a par with anything Hollywood was to produce in that golden year of 1939. Shot in color, with spare-no-expense filming in the Sudan, THE FOUR FEATHERS is a paean to the glory days of Victoria's Empire & the men who fought to build it.

Sir John Clements is excellent as the young hero. Although virtually unknown to American audiences his entire career, Sir John was a very fine actor with a warmly distinctive voice which he uses here to advantage. Sir Ralph Richardson appears, terrific as always, as one of the friends; so does John Laurie, very good as the troublesome Khalifa. Sir C. Aubrey Smith, magnificent as a curmudgeonly old general, provides the final hurdle Sir John must jump to regain his reputation.


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