In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).
After an Egyptian Army, commanded by British officers, is destroyed in a battle in the Sudan in the 1880s, 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 (Charlton Heston), 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 Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier), "The Expected One", and tries to force the British to commit troops.Written by
This film, which I saw in downtown Detroit when I was eight years old,remains one of my all-time favorites.Its a little talky, a little pretentious, but still grand fun, with exciting battle sequences, wonderful, over the top performances,and a truly stirring, if corny score. Robert Ardrey, notorious theorist of the "territorial imperative",wrote the script, and Basil Dearden directed. Martin Scorsese once listed it among his guilty pleasures.
29 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this