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Khartoum


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Product details

  • Actors: Charlton Heaton
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HGGUQBO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,236 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 4 Jun. 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Though the historical events in this film took place in 1884-85, there are aspects of it that remind one of today's headlines; this is a sadly underrated film, with a fantastic cast, massive battle scenes, and a beautifully written script about an extraordinary man.
There are scenes that take "artistic license", but the film is quite accurate in its facts on General Gordon; a military genius who hated war, a deeply religious man who worked to end slavery, and who fell in love with the desolate scorching sands and the people of the Sudan.
The pairing of Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier is fabulous, and their scenes together are riveting. Heston is gaunt in this film, to closer portray the slightly built Gordon, and speaks with a subtle but excellent English accent; Olivier is the fanatic who calls himself The Mahdi ("The Expected One"), waging a holy war with his followers to destroy anyone who opposes his beliefs, with the aim of conquering the world for his fundamentalist faith.
Other wonderful performances come from Richard Johnson as Col. Stewart, Ralph Richardson as Prime Minister Gladstone, Nigel Green as Gen Wolseley, and Johnny Sekka is a delight as Gordon's servant Khaleel.
After British-led Egyptian forces are massacred by The Mahdi's insurgents, the British government asks Egypt to give up the Sudan, and General Gordon is called to evacuate the European and Egyptian civilians from the Sudan; he stays to ward off the terrorists and the siege of Khartoum takes place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 30 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
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Considering recent events in Afghanistan (the Taliban) as well as in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), the events in the Sudan in the 1880s are resonate remarkably today. Once again the world finds itself confronted with Muslim fanaticism, and once again, seemingly, the world replies with little more than "gestures".

This movie has been appreciated rather less than it deserves, probably due to the presence of Charlton Heston in the lead role. His English accent does leave something to be desired, especially when surrounded by such notable British actors as Richard Johnson, Nigel Green and the great Ralph Richardson. I won't even mention Sir Laurence Olivier in that regard since, in his remarkable performance as The Mahdi, he rendered himself almost unrecognizable.

The one indispensable aspect Charlton Heston does bring to this film is his remarkable ability to stand out in an epic scene as few other actors can. When one produces an epic motion picture, the sort filmed on a grand scale with a cast of thousands, it is imperative that the central character should be the sort who can stand out among the multitudes. Few actors have been able to do that the way Charton Heston could. It was no accident that he was repeatedly cast as characters such as Moses, Ben Hur, El Cid, Chinese Gordon, etc.

However, in spite of the epic scale and the cast of thousands, "Khartoum" is a battle of wills between three powerful individuals. The first is The Mahdi, a militant Muslim religious fanatic.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By websurfer on 22 May 2004
Format: DVD
On this 1966 epic film Charlton Heston plays the British general Charles Gordon, who died figthing the upraise of the Mahaidi muslim fanatics in Khartoum.
Heston gives a very convincing portrayal of the Brithish hero and Laurence Olivier plays an impressive Mahaidi. Also with Ralph Richardson and Nigel Green, this Basil Dearden film is a very nice epic story filled with strong and interesting carachters, action sequences and beautifull sceneary.
The DVD presents a 2.35 widescreen format print with very nice colors and stereo sound.At this price it's a must!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
Khartoum brilliantly portrays General Gordons struggle as he attempts to defend the ancient city of Khartoum. It also shows the British government's struggle in convincing Gordon to leave. The Mahdi (played by Laurence OLivier) is shown as an extreme, unstoppable nutter.
Khartoum has everything a good colonial film should contain. Set in an exotic location, has charm, desparation and never forgetting the action!!!
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By Frank TALKER on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
The age-old story of the clash of Christian fanatics with Muslim ones, with all the contemporary resonances you would expect. Featuring the original anti-infidel Muslim fanatic, played by Laurence OLIVIER, this is an impressive – if under-length – spectacular.

The Mahdi (a Sudanese) claims his Holy War against Egypt is divinely ordained - as Christians claim maintaining the British Empire is a matter of British honor. So the Egyptians invade Sudan with inept British assistance and suffer a devastating military defeat.

However, the over-extended British Empire cannot afford to send an army themselves to defeat the Mahdi – nor do they wish to police the world if this involves too much effort. Instead, they desperately seek to deny any and all responsibility for the catastrophe. Thus, mutually jihadist, period geopolitics is quite well sketched with intelligence and political subtlety, as: ‘Greedy businessmen, scheming generals and conniving politicians’.

The films failing is its fear of boring the audience with too much exposition that would fill out the characters more and deepen its political insight. This is exacerbated by flat, perfunctory direction and overly-emphatic music not quite in sympathy with the sophistication of the script nor of the excellence of the performances.

The casting, in general, is superb: Charlton HESTON makes a surprisingly-convincing Englishman; OLIVIER, an effective Arab. They both capture the often-conflicted nature of the great movers & shakers of history and the all-consuming vanity of men who see themselves at the center of, and in terms of, an inflated historical perspective. Both men here might be called pragmatic mystics; the paradox of such a description underlying the readily-apparent dramatic tensions.
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