The Four FeathersHD
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About the Movie
This Technicolor spectacular, directed by Zoltán Korda, is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A. E. W. Masons classic 1902 adventure novel about the British empires exploits in Africa, and a crowning achievement of Alexander Kordas legendary production company, London Films. Set at the end of the nineteenth century, The Four Feathers follows the travails of a young officer (John Clements) accused of cowardice after he resigns his post on the eve of a major deployment to Khartoum; he must then fight to redeem himself in the eyes of his fellow officers (including Ralph Richardson) and fiancée (June Duprez). Featuring music by Miklós Rózsa and Oscar-nominated cinematography by Georges Périnal and Osmond Borradaile, The Four Feathers is a thrilling, thunderous epic.
Regimental Honour and Jolly Good Chaps
I knew this story from the movie "Storm Over The Nile" (1955) and had watched this 1939 version long, long ago on black and white TV. I've never seen the 2002 version and maybe I'll rent it sometime. Really, though, this 1939 one must be the the definitive classic version. The story is very much one of British Empire, regimental honour and jolly good chaps, with action scenes like a mass of cowboys and indians on camels. It's corny, predictable and full of cliches and political incorrectness ("fuzzy wuzzies"?), but that is its charm so long as it is viewed in the context of its age and culture. It definitely belongs in The Criterion Collection. The restoration is good, the Technicolor not overdone but, as usual, sound quality seems to have been less successfully restored.