The Four Feathers (1939)

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A young man is pressured into military service by his overbearing career military father but resigns on the eve of a campaign to retake the Sudan. Branded a coward, he sets off to redeem himself and his name.

Although filmed many times, Zoltan Korda’s version of A. E. W. Mason’s classic tale of honour, self-sacrifice and derring-do is still the definitive version. John Clements heads up an fine cast, particularly Ralph Richardson, and the early colour photography still looks impressive today; the glorious African landscapes and flora and fauna makes a great backdrop to the epic battle scenes.

The film does not go into detail about the context of the conflict, simplifying it into good guy versus bad guy but it never pretends to be a political commentary; it’s simply a classic old school ripping yarn.

7/10

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