225 user 97 critic

The Four Feathers (2002)

2:29 | Trailer
A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.


Shekhar Kapur


A.E.W. Mason (novel), Michael Schiffer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Wes Bentley ... Jack Durrance
Mohamed Bouich Mohamed Bouich ... Sudanese Storyteller
Campbell Brown Campbell Brown ... Dervish Ansar
Daniel Caltagirone ... Gustave
James Cosmo ... Col. Sutch
Andy Coumbe Andy Coumbe ... Colonel Other Regiment
Angela Douglas ... Aunt Mary
Karim Doukkali Karim Doukkali ... Egyptian Orderly
Lucy Gordon ... Isabelle
Megan Hall Megan Hall ... Millie
James Hillier ... Drunken Corporal
Nick Holder ... British Lion
Djimon Hounsou ... Abou Fatma
Kate Hudson ... Ethne Eustace
Alex Jennings ... Colonel Hamilton


Set in 1884 Sudan, this fifth film to be adapted from the A.E.W. Mason novel follows a British officer who resigns his post right before his regiment ships out to battle the rebels. Perceiving his resignation as cowardice, his friends and fiancée give him four white feathers, the symbol of cowardice, but little do they know he's actually going undercover and plans to redeem his honor. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Freedom. Country. Honor. Passion. To save his best friend, one man must risk everything he loves. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disturbing images, violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The major fight scene is the Battle of Abu Klea, which took place on January 17, 1885. A British Desert Column of approximately 1,100 troops fought a Mahdist force of over 12,000 dervishes. The scene depicted in the film is a fictional version of the actual battle. See more »


Abu Fatman shows Harry a necklace he plans to wear after he kills his tenth man. He briefly wore the necklace in a previous scene. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: By 1884 over a quarter of the earth's surface had been conquered by the British Army. There was no greater honor for a young man than to fight for Queen and Country. Those that refused the call to arms brought shame and humiliation on their friends and families...
Title Card: The Symbol of their disgrace was the white feather of cowardice...
See more »

Alternate Versions

After being rated R by the MPAA the film was cut for a more commercial PG-13 certification. See more »


Version of The Four Feathers (1929) See more »


Good Night Ladies
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User Reviews

Would be epic turns into a jumbled, boring mess.
4 March 2003 | by dmatthews03See all my reviews

There was obviously money spent here, it shows in some glorious desert vistas and some lavish (but not very well directed battle scenes) but like most people after seeing Shekhar Kapur's film "Elizabeth" I found this film a deep disappointment.

It seems that about half way through the film completely loses it's focus and like Stephen Leacock's Knight "gets on it's horse and rides off in all directions". Heath Ledger just wasn't right in the main role and disguised as an Arab he would have fooled no-one in their right minds but according to the whims of the plot, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't.

I was expecting this to be different to the 1939 classic version and it is but not in a good way. The plot becomes incoherent sometimes and characters seem to pop up then disappear for no good reason. The scenes in the squalid prison camp showing Ledger's mental breakdown seem to go on for ever and serve no purpose plotwise. After Ledger's return to England (right as rain and seemingly unchanged) the would be dramatic scenes between him Ethne and the blinded Durrance are very badly handled,dramatic pauses are held too long almost as if they were trying to drag out the film's length. I found myself almost shouting at the screen "Get on with it!".

I'm not surprised the film did badly at the box office.

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Four Feathers See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,857,879, 22 September 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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