Far too many film versions of the The Four Feathers have been made over the years, which is especially surprising considering that this 1939 Korda brothers production is surely definitive. The film simultaneously celebrates and pokes fun at British imperialism, showing the kind of dogged stiff-upper-lippery that forged an Empire, but also the blinkered attitudes and crass snobbishness of the ruling classes (and those accents--did people ever really talk like that?). Whatever political subtext may or may not be read into it, though, the film is best celebrated for its magnificent vistas: partially made on location in the Sudan, as well as at the famous Denham Studios, this is British cinema from the days when it thought to rival Hollywood for sheer spectacle. Vincent Korda's production design and the glorious early color cinematography are helped greatly by fellow Hungarian émigré Miklos Rozsa's epic score.
John Clements is the notional hero, the man who determines to show the world that he is not a coward after resigning his commission (even though it would surely have saved everyone a lot of bother if he had just stuck with it) but the film is stolen by Ralph Richardson, magnificent as an officer struck blind and led to safety by Clements' Harry Faversham. The later scenes when Richardson's Capt. Durrance realizes the truth and its implications are the most poignant and emotionally truthful in the film. C. Aubrey Smith is delightful as the old buffer who relives his battles on the dinner table; to a modern audience, however, the "blackface" casting of John Laurie as the Khalifa strikes a discordant note. But adjusting some expectations for its vintage, this is a triumph of derring-do and far and away the most gripping version of this oft-told story on film. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the best movies from the 1930s, and much better than the Heath Ledger version. The acting is solid, and the history (Britain vs. the Madhi) is almost accurate IMO.Published 11 months ago by Scarberian
You sent me a copy of The Four Feathers in PAL: We Don't use PAL in North America.Published 16 months ago by John Sciberras
I really enjoy the old movies. I found this version much more detailed than the newer one with Heath Ledger so was very pleased that I had purchased it.Published 22 months ago by Debra M. Michaud
This is a classic war movie in every sense. The story, the setting and the artistry are wonderful. A great addition to any war-buff's collection.Published on Oct. 4 2013 by Bruce Cowan
suberb acting and story...really capivated me. Would highly recommend this movie as it's very, very enjoyable. Incredible acting and storyPublished on April 25 2013 by Hezzie