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2000s, Combat - 19th Century

The Four Feathers (2002)

Duration 2h 12m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A book by A.E.W. Mason (1865 to 1948) and maybe one or other of the previous versions of the story.
Writer/s Script Michael Schiffer, Hossein Amini
Director Shekhar Kapur
Starring Wes Bentley, James Cosmo, Djimon Hounsou, Kate Hudson, Alex Jennings, Heath Ledger, Kris Marshall, Rupert Penry-Jones, Michael Sheen
Elevator Pitch A group of young men who have recently completed training as lieutenants in the British army are sent to the Sudan with their regiment subsequent to the loss of Khartoum to the Mahdi. But one resigns, and is given four white feathers from his friends and fiancee – the sign of cowardice. He journeys to the Sudan and disguised as an Arab, rescues some of the survivors of a military action, thereby redeeming himself.
Content A lot of posh boys playing rugby (or the Eton Wall Game), some formal social events with dancing, but mostly British soldiers fighting the Mahdi forces amongst the dust and detritus of the Sudan – supposedly in 1885.
A View As a boy I saw the 1939 versionof this story and remember being on the edge of my seat throughout. I was not on the edge of my seat for this, and nor was anyone else, since it lost a lot of money. And at over two hours far too long. If you want to see a film relating to this period try “Khartoum” from 1966. It is impressive.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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