7.6/10
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The Four Feathers (1939)

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:

See...The Dreaded Dervishes! - Kipling's Famous FUZZY WUZZIES! 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

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
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

To prove he can read braille, Durrance (Sir Ralph Richardson) scans with his fingers and reads out a speech spoken by Caliban from Act III, scene ii of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", before admitting he "knew that bit by heart anyway". Richardson played Caliban in the famous Old Vic production of "The Tempest" in 1930, which starred Sir John Gielgud as Prospero. See more »

Goofs

When Durrance collapses from the heat, the long shot shows him fallen near his hat with the hat's flap towards him. The next shot, closer to him, show the hat's flap on the other side of the hat, away from him. 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 Their Finest (2016) 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

Never disgrace the regiment
30 January 2004 | by mail-671See all my reviews

This is one of the best from the now happily recovered & preserved great Korda collection(for some years blocked by much litigation)when the huge Denham Studios were on a roll,having arisen from the embers of an earlier fire. Under the sheer dedication of the hungarian Kordas, they simply couldn't fail until in the middle of what must be their most popular hit, The Thief of Baghdad,they were forced to move to the US by the outbreak of WW2. Each brother has left much to posterity. Alex, the entrepreneur was subsequently knighted for his contribution to British films. In a fascinating but poignant BBC documentary of the 70s,on the great studio's rise & fall, Elizabeth Bergner {another European import) referred to him as "a prankster". This vividly technicolored remake is splendid adventure, its Sudan locations compare well with those of Lawrence of Arabia and as in "Thief" the object of my attention had to be the beautiful, husky young June Duprez.

As in Stanley Baker's "ZULU" these giant black warriors are fearsomely portrayed with the scenes inside the primitive prison where the "dumb" spy Harry Faversham eventually finds himself are quite grim. And as another reviewer has commented, crusty Sir Aubrey as ever is the perfect & amusing retired tactician at the start & finish. A glare from under those bushy eyebrows was always enough! Great entertainment.


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