|Shekhar Kapur Director||previously directed Elizabeth|
The story of young British soldier called a coward by his friends and fiancée for refusing to fight in Sudan.
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 since the British won the actual battle with only 76 men killed.
This is a modern remake of the 1939 classic.
3 More Quotes
An officer who gave his life for his country deserves far more respect than I do.
|Heath Ledger||Harry Feversham|
|Wes Bentley||Jack Durrance|
|Djimon Hounsou||Abou Fatma|
|Kate Hudson||Ethne Eustace|
|Rupert Penry-Jones||Tom Willoughby|
|Michael Sheen||William Trench|
|Kris Marshall||Edward Castleton|
|Mohamed Bouich||Sudanese Storyteller|
|Campbell Brown||Dervish Ansar|
|See Full Credits|
The Four Feathers is the newest adaptation of the classic novel of the same name written by A.E.W. Mason. It is an action adventure film set during the British effort to relieve General Gordon at the siege of Khartoum in 1884-1885. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur for Mirimax Studios, with the orchestral score by James Horner.
Harry Faversham is a gentleman and an officer with the Royal Cambrians regiment along with his friends Jack Durrance, Tom Willoughby, William Trench and Edward Castleton. He is the son of a General and is affianced to Ethne Eustace his life is going well. There then comes word of an upraising in the Sudan and his regiment will be shipping off to war and put down the rebellion. At this news Harry is shocked and terrified of what this means leading to him resigning his commission from the army the next day. He then meets Ethne to tell her the news and while there he receives a package from Willoughby, Trench and Castleton containing three white feathers, the sign of cowardice. Seeing the feathers Ethne wants to know what is going on so he explains he is afraid and Ethne is disgusted leading Harry to believe there should be four feathers and leaves her. Living in disgrace Harry decides to go to the Sudan and try and redeem himself in the eyes of his friends.
He arrives in Egypt and pays a man to take him across the desert to the British army but while on route the mans slaves rise up and kill him leaving Harry alone in the desert. He travels as far as he can and is on the verge of death when he is rescued by Abou Fatma, a scout for the British. Harry then disguises himself as an Arab working and travels with the army with Abou until they see enemy spies leaving the camp and leave to follow them. They track them to a British fort that has been taken over by the enemy forces. Harry sends Abou back to warn the British while he stay behind. The warning is not heeded however and when the Arabs attack they fall for the ruse of the enemy disguised as the relief force. Castleton is killed in the battle and Trench is capture, while Durrance is blinded by a misfiring rifle. In the aftermath Harry helps Jack back to the British and confronts Willoughby over his warning and returns his feather, then heads back to try and rescue Trench.
Harry earns that captured British have been taken to th prison at Omdurman and he get himself captured and meets Trench there and returns his feather. He has money to bribe a guard to get them out but on the day of the escape Trench is ill and unable to go so the guard allow another person to go instead but he is quickly killed in the attempt. Now with no hope Harry begins to break down until he receive help from Abou who gives him and Trench a poison that makes them appear dead. Once outside the prison Abou helps them escape and helps Harry fight off the pursuit by the jailers. Once back in England he meets with Ethne to return her feather and then sees Jack, who is now blind, where they discuss Ethne and Jack agrees to stand aside once he realises Harry saved him in the desert.
Kapur's film includes some historical inaccuracies (regarding the 1884/1885 expedition) to suit its message: the Battle of Abu Klea, depicted in the film as a severe defeat of the British forces in Sudan was actually a victory; the desert column continued to push towards Khartoum only to arrive two days after its fall and Gordon's death. It is filmed on locations in the landscapes of Morocco and the manor homes of England, notably Highclere Castle.
Upon release the film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike and currently holds a rating of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 49 on Metacritic.