What it lacks in grandeur, this 1978 TV version of The Four Feathers makes up for in fidelity to A.E.W. Mason's classic novel. By cannibalizing the superior 1939 production for epic shots and sequences, this modest adaptation draws attention to its meager production values, relying heavily on casting and chemistry to compensate. That it succeeds, more or less, in capturing the essence of Mason's grand adventure is largely due to the appeal of Beau Bridges and Jane Seymour in the prime of their early careers. (Bridges's film career was gaining momentum; Seymour would rise from here to the similarly romantic Somewhere in Time.) Bridges is the shamed soldier Harry Faversham, transcending cowardice by rescuing his closest friends during Britain's bloody campaign in 1870s Sudan; Seymour is his beloved back home, torn between Harry and the seemingly braver Jack (Robert Powell). TV veteran Don Sharp provides tepid direction, while screenwriter Gerald DiPego would continue his prolific career for decades to come. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
However, the DVD has less than ten tracks, picture quality that is not really enhanced, and some rather poor sound quality. I watched the DVD with headphones and heard slight hissing that one would expect from a dated VHS recording. For these technical reasons, I can't give full stars to this DVD recording.
Harry Faversham is a young officer tired of the military, having grown up in the army - his father is a general. He is engaged to a woman who is also of the army, but more inclined to accept it. This then is the basis of the story. Two people, similar backgrounds, different goals. He wants his children to grow up without the Army, she is impressed with a regimental wedding.
War breaks out again in the Sudan and Harry is put to the test - does he stay with the Army. However, before he can have his resignation accepted, a recall of officers occurrs and telegrams arrive at his engagement party demanding the return of Harry and his officer guests to the regiment. Harry burns the telegrams and is seen by one officer.
When the officers discover what he has done, each of the three send him a white feather, a sign of cowardice. His fiancee, when she sees this is at first outraged that they would do this, but when Harry tells her what he did, she adds her feather to the other three - making a total of four feathers. The movie is the story of how Harry redeems his honor by giving the four feathers back to their senders, after an act of courage in each case.
This movie has better role definition for some charecters that is missing in the '30s version. The general, played by Harry Andrews is exceptional. Jane Seymour as Ethney is also excellent as the woman who scorns a man for a percieved act of cowardice but doesn't see the inner turmoil he is suffering. The three officers do well. They give off the feeling of priviledge leaders common to the British Army of the time.
Corners were cut by slicing footage from the 30s edition into the current film.Read more ›