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
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 »
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...
The Symbol of their disgrace was the white feather of cowardice...
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After being rated R by the MPAA the film was cut for a more commercial PG-13 certification. See more »
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Would be epic turns into a jumbled, boring mess.
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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