movie film review | chris tookey

Four Feathers

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  Four Feathers Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.67 /10
John Clements , Ralph Richardson , C. Aubrey Smith
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Directed by: Zoltan Korda
Written by: R.C. Sherriff, Lajos Biro, Arthur Wimperis

Released: 1939
Origin: GB
Length: 130

A young officer accused of cowardice (John Clements, pictured) wins back his self-respect through a series of improbable heroics during Kitchener's Egyptian campaign: it's a Boy's Own cartoon about a Boy's Own Khartoum.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The scenes in England are painfully stagebound, and the performances range from the delightfully theatrical (Ralph Richardson) to the desperately wooden (June Duprez). The film is jingoistic and dated in its casual dismissal of Africans as "fuzzy-wuzzies", while the leading characters' preoccupation with gentlemanly behaviour is sometimes unintentionally comic. But it's a marvellous piece of storytelling, not without irony about militaristic values, and a stirring example of the action-adventure genre before it sacrificed humanity in pursuit of special effects. The battle sequences, among the first of their kind in colour, remain thrilling, and it's by far the best of the four versions of A.E.W. Mason's story.

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