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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 ... 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

According to two unidentified, but contemporary news items from 1937, contained in the American Film Institute Library, Producer Alexander Korda announced that Robert Donat was to play the lead, after which Paramount Pictures, which owned the rights to the A.E.W. Mason novel, announced that it was refusing to sell their rights to the property. See more »

Goofs

Just after the Khalifa moves his troops away from the river owing to the ruse, and the British/Egyptian boats start to move, one of the boats shows a white ensign in which the union flag (in the first quarter) is upside down. See more »

Quotes

General Faversham: [to his old friend, Dr. Sutton] I don't mind telling you, Doctor, I'm worried about him. I can't understand the boy. I send him to the best army school in England, spend half me time telling him about his famous ancestors, and what do you think? I found him this morning reading a poetry book! Shelley, of all people. So I want you to help me lick this boy into shape - make him hard.
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

Referenced in The Falls (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

March from the opera Scipione
(uncredited)
Written by George Frideric Handel
Played by military band during the review of troops by Lord Kitchener
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Classic adaptation with overwhelming battles and impressive scenarios
19 June 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In 1885 the rebellious army of cruel Dervishes enslaved and killed many thousands of defenceless natives in Sudan . Then laid siege to Kartooum , the scanty garrison's heroic commanded General Gordon appealed for help from England , but no help reached him . The film deals about Harry Faversham (John Clemens), a British officer young man . He resigns from military army and being rejected , he is branded as a coward , receiving four feathers as symbols of cowardice by his engaged fiancée (Jane Duprez) and his three comrades friends . Determined to save his honour , he heads towards Suakin on the red sea (Sudan) . His purports are the helping his friends from uprising ¨Madih¨ who had defeated to General Gordon (deeds narrated in ¨Karthoun¨ by Basil Dearden with Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier) . He's determined to prove his courage and retrieve the lost honors . Meanwhile , the Kitchener army heads for Ondurman to fight against the Dervishes and Fuzzy Whuzzi rebels .

This is the best version of A.E.W Mason novel and contains a plethora of adventures , heroism, a love story and breathtaking battles. John Clemens as brave hero is memorable and Jane Duprez as gorgeous heroine is charming . Ralph Richardson as the blind comrade is awesome . Touch of humor is supplied by C. Aubrey Smith as the resourceful veteran military . Special mention to cinematography in a colorful and glimmer Technicolor at charge of George Perinal . Spectacular musical score by the classic musician Miklos Rozsa . The film has been magnificently realized by Korda brothers , Zoltan (direction) , production design (Vincent) and production (Alexander Korda). Other versions of Mason novel are ¨Storm over the sand¨ (1955) by Terence Young with Laurence Harvey, Anthony Steel and Mary Ure ; 1977 Television remake with Beau Bridges , Robert Powell and Jane Seymour and last adaptation (2000) by S. Kapoor with Heath Ledger , Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson . The motion picture will appeal to adventure genre fans and classic cinema enthusiasts .


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