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The Four Feathers
The Four Feathers
Actors: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson, Mohamed Bouich, Campbell Brown
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
PG-13     2003     2hr 11min


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Movie Details

Actors: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson, Mohamed Bouich, Campbell Brown
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Creators: Allon Reich, Julie Goldstein, Laurie Borg, Marty Katz, A.E.W. Mason, Hossein Amini, Michael Schiffer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Military & War
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/18/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 11min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 5
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Collector's Edition
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Bob H. (karlovymost) from PENSACOLA, FL
Reviewed on 8/3/2011...
This version was a poor edition of the original. I was very disappointed.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
William E. from ATKINSON, IL
Reviewed on 7/13/2011...
I've watched Four Feathers several times since it came out. I agree with all the reviews that it is one great movie. I highly recommend it.

1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Loretta B. (bellorri)
Reviewed on 4/24/2010...
This movie was excellent! The classic British story of cowardice/bravery and what it takes to overcome one and embrace the other. Excellent acting and plenty of action. I think it was better than the original,which is rare.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Peter Q. (Petequig)
Reviewed on 11/20/2009...
Amazing story of redemption and courage. Never knew the significance of white feathers before....
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Appreciate this film for what it is supposed to be!
Don Graeter | Prospect, KY USA | 01/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am very surprised at the number of negative comments about this film. My wife and I both loved it. We found the action scenes and cinematography to both be exceptional. I agree with the criticism that the retreat of the British troops to "form a square" seemed a bit out of kilter in that they seemed almost hopelessly surrounded but somehow escaped. To us, however, this was a small blemish on very believeable action sequences and a very entertaining story. I have seen the 1939 version several times and enjoyed it, but this was much better to me. Those who seem to have a problem with this movie seem to have standards few historical action films would meet. Perhaps they just don't enjoy the genre. I happen to enjoy films such as the Daniel Day-Lewis version of The Last of the Mohicans, The Patriot, etc. If you enjoy those type films, you will almost certainly enjoy this one. If you don't, you won't. This film is not totally true to the book. So what? It's a darn good movie! Just relax, be transported back to the heyday of the British Empire and enjoy a good historical action film with a love story and beautiful action scenes and suspense."
Harry of the Sudan
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 10/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Shekhar Kapur's "Elizabeth" was a marvel: incisive, ultra-dramatic, personal, romantic, intimate yet realized on a grand, epic scale. So it was with a great amount of expectation that I approached Kapur's new film, "The Four Feathers."
"The Four Feathers tells the story of one Leftenant Harry Haversham who, upon learning that his regiment is going to fight a war in Sudan, resigns his commission. In 1880 England this is an extreme act of Cowardice and a white feather is the physical manifestation of this cowardice. He is sent four: three from his fellow soldiers and one from Ethne Eustace (Kate Hudson), his fiancé.
The very weak link in this film is Harry's reason for resigning: "I am scared," he says. But not too scared to take it upon himself to go to the Sudan and pose as a Muslim warrior to protect his friends; one in particular, his best friend Jack (Wes Bentley). Huh?
Kapur has directed this film with a firm grasp of all the physical elements: the physical production is flawless and the desert has not looked this beautiful since "Lawrence of Arabia."
The acting is first rate with Heath Ledger, Kate Hudson (a big departure from her role in "Almost Famous"), Wes Bentley and Djimon Hounsou all very effective.
The is a film told on a grand scale with sweeping panoramas, huge, bloody, violent battle scenes and thousands of extras milling about. What it lacks is a personal point of view that would elevate all the physical elements into something that would touch us emotionally: "Four Feather's" is like a big, beautifully wrapped gift with nothing inside. It's emotionally empty and tragically vacant."
A film
Rory B. | Carleton University | 12/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As a novel, the Four Feathers is an extremely introspective and psychological work, which obviously poses significant problems for whoever intends to adapt it. In reality there is very little action in the book, apart from a very quick knife fight, which again poses problems. I would hazard a guess that the Four Feathers' reputation as a "Victorian epic" is based more in the earlier renditions of the film, rather than in the novel. This new version departs from the novel in a number of ways, but I would argue that this is its' strength, rather than weakness. The filmmakers obviously saw potential in the setting and basic plot of the story, but decided to take it in their own direction. Some would call that blasphemy, but a film is not a book. Maybe the filmmakers looked at the Four Feathers, and didn't WANT to make a movie that was as close to the book as humanly possible. It's their prerogative- because they aren't rewriting the novel-they're making the movie.
Adapting a novel into a film is always tricky, especially when the novel was written a century ago. A lot can change in a hundred years. Still, enough can remain the same, that many fans of the original will nail you to the wall for every inaccuracy and alteration. In the case of "the Four Feathers" there are so many ways you can criticize the new film, that it's almost laughable. Read one or two of the negative reviews below, and you'll see complaints about plot holes, deflated characters, anti-imperialism, and failing to pay homage to the original 4 or 3 or 11 other versions that exist(I've lost count, because I obviously don't care). I'm not going to talk about what "the Four Feathers" isn't, but rather what it IS.
It is a film with breathtaking cinematography, which displays the haunting and forbidding landscape of the Sudan, from the rolling dunes of sand, to the blasted wastes. The film offers a look at a cross section of Imperialism, through the eyes of those affected- from the soldiers enforcing the rule to the people under it. I would disagree with those reviewers who see it as a dig against British tradition alone, but more against the traditions and beliefs that fuelled and supported Imperialism as a whole.
In closing, I'd just like to mention one of the many departures from the book that I felt strengthened the film, was the portrayal of Harry's reasons for refusing to fight. In the book, Harry has already done a tour of duty in India, and it is clear his reasons for refusing, is the thought of leaving Ethne. In the film, he makes some comment about "What does the Queen have to do with Africa" but in reality, that is a ploy, I feel. I think that Harry really is a coward, at least in the Victorian sense. He does not want to fight in war, because he is afraid. But when it comes down to protecting and proving himself to his friends, Harry is able to overcome his fears. Not bad. Not bad at all.