The Four Feathers (1939) - Zoltan Korda

Posted By : amlo01 | Date : 16 Jan 2010 22:27:15 | Comments : 0 |

The Four Feathers (1939)

The Four Feathers (1939) - Zoltan Korda
DivX | MP3 - 128 kbps (2 ch) | 640 x 480 | English | 01:55 min | 1.15 GB
Director: Zoltan Korda | Countries: UK, USA | Genres: Adventure, Drama, War

Cast: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith, June Duprez, Allan Jeayes

This was the first sound production of A.E.W. Mason's classic adventure novel, which was brought to the screen three times in the silent era. Harry Faversham (John Clements) is the son of a military man who expects his son to follow in his footsteps on the fields of battle. Gen. Burroughs (C. Aubrey Smith), the father of Faversham's sweetheart, Ethne (June Duprez), was also a hero in the Crimean War, and he often regales Harry with tales of his exploits under fire. However, Harry is not so sure he believes in the family's tradition of military service and resigns his commission in 1898, shortly before his company is scheduled to head into the Sudan. Three of Faversham's comrades in arms, Capt. John Durrance (Ralph Richardson), Lt. Peter Burroughs (Donald Gray), and Lt. Arthur Willoughby (Jack Allen), each present Harry with a white feather, symbolizing their belief that he is a coward; Ethne shares their belief, and gives him one as well. Disgusted with himself, Faversham disguises himself as a Sangali tribesman and travels to the Sudan so that he might be able to move behind enemy lines and serve the British forces as a scout and reconnaissance agent. When his former regiment is attacked, Faversham is able to lead Burroughs and Willoughby to safety, with the wounded Durrance not realizing that the Arab who saved his life was in fact the man that he accused of cowardice. The Four Feathers was a great critical and commercial success and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. (allmovie.com by Mark Deming)

Zoltan Korda's 1938 The Four Feathers was the last and best traditional patriotic film of the pre-World War II era. Based on a 1902 novel by A.E.W. Mason, it benefited from glorious Technicolor photography and unique location shooting: Korda and his second unit crew, under Osmond H. Borradaile, not only shot the action scenes where the battles really took place but also included among the extras people who'd actually seen the fighting (and participated in it) 45 years earlier. Coupled with Korda's skills as an action director (he'd been a cavalry officer, and he knew how to move men and their mounts quickly and to good effect), the result was a movie that captured the imagination of the public on the eve of World War II with its vision of self-sacrifice and gallantry. The movie is a reminder of a time when it was possible to believe that armies could liberate peoples from tyranny, and that the use of force could be a good thing. The film is not unquestioning in this belief, as attested by its brutally humorous treatment of the aging general played by Sir C. Aubrey Smith ("Those were the days when war was war, and men were men"), but ultimately it comes down on the side of action as opposed to inaction. Korda's and Borradaile's African footage was so good that it has been reused in dozens of other movies (including remakes of this one). Follow That Camel, by the British Carry On company, was a direct and savage satire of The Four Feathers; and, as was revealed in an interview shortly after its release, it was The Four Feathers and not Beau Geste that Marty Feldman was satirizing in The Last Remake of Beau Geste, but it was too late to change the title once he'd realized his mistake. (allmovie.com by Bruce Eder)


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