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.
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.
John Laurie (the Khalifa in command of the "Dervishes" and "Fuzzy Wuzzies") played Private Fraser in Dad's Army (1968) alongside an old soldier (Lance Corporal Jones) who was a veteran of the Sudanese Campaign, and told many stories, usually ending with the fact that the "Fuzzy Wuzzies" very much disliked a bayonet charge because "They don't like it up 'em!" See more »
The position of Durrance changes after he falls the second time, to include the angle of his arm, and the position and orientation of the hat. See more »
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 »
Auld Lang Syne
Lyrics by Robert Burns, music traditional
Heard during the departure of the Regiment See more »
Rousing Adventure Epic
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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