6.9/10
5,802
56 user 37 critic

Khartoum (1966)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 15 June 1966 (USA)
In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by a British General defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

Writer:

Robert Ardrey
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon
Laurence Olivier ... The Mahdi
Richard Johnson ... Col. J.D.H. Stewart
Ralph Richardson ... William Gladstone
Alexander Knox ... Sir Evelyn Baring
Johnny Sekka ... Khaleel
Michael Hordern ... Lord Granville
Zia Mohyeddin ... Zobeir Pasha
Marne Maitland ... Sheikh Osman
Nigel Green ... Gen. Wolseley
Hugh Williams ... Lord Hartington
Ralph Michael Ralph Michael ... Sir Charles Dilke
Douglas Wilmer ... Khalifa Abdullah
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Col. William Hicks
Peter Arne ... Maj. Kitchener
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Storyline

After an Egyptian Army, commanded by British officers, is destroyed in a battle in the Sudan in the 1880's, the British government is in a quandary. It does not want to commit a British military force to a foreign war, but they have a commitment to protect the Egyptians in Khartoum. They decide to ask General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, something of a folk hero in the Sudan, as he had cleared the area of the slave trade, to arrange for the evacuation. Gordon agrees, but also decides to defend the city against the forces of the Mahdi, the expected one, and tries to force the British to commit troops. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They say the Nile still runs red from the Battle of Khartoum! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kartum See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Laurence Olivier was paid two hundred fifty thousand dollars for just eight days work. See more »

Goofs

When Kitchener's army is seen training near the pyramids on the wide screen print you can see two people strolling in modern dress on the sand dunes in the background. See more »

Quotes

Zobeir Pasha: [disbelieving] The General will defend me. The great Christian hero will defend Zobeir the slaver.
[angry]
Zobeir Pasha: Before I receive my country from your bloody hands, I shall see it die. You killed my son!
Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon: I executed him.
Zobeir Pasha: Do you have sons, Gordon Pasha? Do you have sons? No! You killed mine!
Gen. Charles 'Chinese' Gordon: God forgive me, Zobeir but let the dead bury their dead.
Zobeir Pasha: You killed my flesh, my blood, my Suleiman! Get thee from my house and may ye die in the desert untended! May vultures consume thy flesh, sands thy blood!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The cinema version was uncut but UK video and DVD releases were cut by 29 secs by the BBFC to edit footage of dangerous horsefalls. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Time Tunnel: Raiders from Outer Space (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breathtaking movie with two exceptional actors : Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier
11 May 2005 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This large scale epic film is rightly based on historic deeds . Set in the Sudan , in 1884-85 , and deals with the Major General Gordon (Charlton Heston , but Burt Lancaster turned down the role) who participated in Crimea war (1854-56) and vanquished the Taeping's riots in China is assigned by Gladstone (Prime Minister and leader of Liberal party who along with Disraeli -Tory leader- forged the colonial empire) stifle Sudan's rebellious tribes ruled by the Mahdi (Laurence Olivier), nicknamed the ¨expected one¨ . The devout Christian Gordon had been governor of Khartoum for five years and he will have to dominate them but is besieged by the Arabs tribes in 1884 . The Anglo-Egyptian forces led by Major Gordon made a heroic defense during ten months against the invading Muslim army . The expedition of help commanded by Lord Wolsey and the famous Kitchener (who soon after he'd finish Anglo-Boer war and created the first concentration camp) would arrive late .

The picture has extraordinary interpretations from main actors . Charlton Heston as the thoughtful and impulsive General Charles George Gordon is top-notch and Laurence Olivier as the fanatic Muslim is awesome . Heston actually did bear a remarkable resemblance to Major General Gordon , but he was considerably taller than the real Gordon . While Laurence Olivier has an extreme make-up to incarnate the religious fanatic , Ahmed El Mahdi , ¨the Expected One¨ . The support cast is equally outstanding , thus : Ralph Richardson (as Gladstone), Nigel Green (Wolsey) , Peter Arne (Kitchener) , among others . The film was based on facts , though was really criticized for neglecting to mention the many very good reasons why Prime Minister Gladstone was reluctant to send an army into the Sudan . The colorful and shimmer cinematography by Edward Scaife is magnificent , being well reflected in desert landscapes ; it was shot in Ultra Panavision , though was later reduced for exhibition in 70mm and 35mm release prints . Production design is overwhelming , it is the best part of the film , including a giant screen originally exhibited in Cinerama venues . Battles staged by Yakima Canutt are spellbound and spectacular . Frank Cordell's musical score is rousing and impressively adjusted to historical film . The motion picture was perfectly directed by Basil Dearden , though Lewis Gilbert was attached as director at one point . The yarn will appeal to historic epic buffs and Charlton Heston fans . Rating : Very Good . Above average, well worth watching .


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