A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a ... See full summary »
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.
C. Aubrey Smith
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, however, is a fictional version of the actual battle. See more »
The battle of Abu Klea was a British victory. 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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I gave it 2 for some attempt at historical detail... To echo another reviewer, all the actors behave as in the 20th/21st centuries, not the Victorian 19th. The actors behave far too freely and with hardly any attempt at the formal dignity, stiff social restraint of the time, and no apparent attempt to represent the social mores and customs of the era. Watch the original version with Ralph Richardson to see what I'm driving at.
Or watch Zulu, Zulu Dawn, or Charge of the Light Brigade for more authentic historical recreation of how people were in those days.
The battle scenes in this version may have been 'fierce', but the pacing was far too 20th-21century. Even warfare was a more 'formal' and 'dignified' affair then than it is today. It took the First World War to change that.
IF you want 20th-21st century romance and military heroics transposed to the 19th century, this film is OK, for anything more historically 'real', best look elsewhere...
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