Customer Reviews


39 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest adventure/romance epics ever made
I'll say it again: This is one of the greatest adventure/romance epics ever made -- and I don't use those terms lightly. Harry Faversham (John Clements), whose family wore its military tradition as its badge of honor, resigns his commission when his regiment is sent to Egypt to help win back the Sudan under Kitchener. His three best friends, who were fellow officers, and...
Published on 24 July 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Four feathers review
Colour good but picture kept freezing.
Published 17 days ago by v tolchard


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest adventure/romance epics ever made, 24 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I'll say it again: This is one of the greatest adventure/romance epics ever made -- and I don't use those terms lightly. Harry Faversham (John Clements), whose family wore its military tradition as its badge of honor, resigns his commission when his regiment is sent to Egypt to help win back the Sudan under Kitchener. His three best friends, who were fellow officers, and his fiance, Ethne Burroughs (June Duprez), give him white feathers as a mark of cowardice. He is determined to prove them wrong, goes to the Sudan on his own, and redeems himself in rousing adventures.

Particularly good is Ralph Richardson as Captain John Durrance, one of the three friends, who had silently been in love with Ethne Burroughs. Blinded by sunstroke and left for dead after an attack on his detachment by part of the Mahdi's Army, Durrance is rescued by a native peasant whom he cannot see and who will not speak. The peasant, of course, is Harry Faversham. Later in England, he faces a terrible dilemma with only one honorable choice. Richardson brings so much skill to the part of Durrance, whether the brisk and optimistic epitome of an upper-class officer or as a man in love doing the right thing, that he almost steals the movie.

The sweeping photography of the Nile and Egypt is first-rate, and the battle scenes are big and wide. The romance is understated and noble. And there is some sly, good-natured humor aimed by the Kordas at British traditions. The movie is more than 65 years old and is as fresh and exciting as it was when it first came out. It was filmed in Technicolor; the colors are rich and vibrant. It features a great score by Miklos Rozsa.

This is one of those excellent movies that make you wonder why anyone would attempt a remake.

Incidentally, June Duprez starred the next year in another great adventure, The Thief of Bagdad. It's as worth purchasing as Four Feathers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage British cinema, 18 July 2008
By 
Mr. P. D. Flight "Phil" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It is remarkable to think that this classic British adaption of A.E.W Masons' much-filmed 1902 novel dates back nearly seventy years at the time of writing. During the 1930s' British cinema was noted for its' so-called 'quota quickies'- run of the mill movies which are now largely forgotten. Of course there were some high quality pictures released here during that decade- notably for example Alfred Hitchcocks' remarkable run of features (albeit brilliant films that now look dated) and the hilarious exploits of Will Hay, but with the former about to depart for Hollywood it was left to the Hungarian-born Korda brothers to usher in the remarkable decade of British film making that was to follow. They had already made an impression in the world of film as early as 1933 with 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', cited by many as the first British feature to make an impact in America, but 'The Four Feathers' is filmmaking on a different level.

One of the most striking elements of this 1939 movie is its' feature-length, Academy Award-nominated Technicolor. Back then even American cinema was only just beginning to realise the possibilities of this new but expensive process; four years after the first full-length, three-strip technicolor film (Becky Sharp), black-and-white movies were still dominant. The cinematographer of The Four Feathers, Frenchman Georges Perinal, makes the most of the opportunity presented here; the colours used in the scenes set in England perfectly evoke the era of Britain in which it is set (the late 19th century) and the Egyptian scenes, including the shots of the River Nile and the desert, are simply stunning and even now they make spectacular viewing. The bright red uniforms worn by the soldiers also come through well. The location provides a great, expansive setting for some remarkably staged battle sequences featuring countless extras and plenty of guns.

The plot which I'm not going to give much of away concerns Harry Faversham (John Clements) who is accused of cowardice when he betrays his family tradition and refuses to participate in the war against Sudanese rebels, much to the disappointment of his beautiful fiancée (June Duprez), who alongside three of his friends including John Durrance (Ralph Richardson in a major role), presents him with a white feather to signify her feelings- hence the title of the story. Faversham swiftly changes his mind however and sets out to engage himself in an act of phenomenal heroism in an attempt to redeem himself. This involves disguising himself as a dumb member of the opposition army, a dangerous mission if ever there was one.

The performances in this movie are first rate, especially John Clements in the main role alongside Ralph Richardson as John Durrance. Richardsons' charisma really shows up on the screen. The ageing C.Aubrey Smith is the pick of the bunch however in my view as Harry Favershams' crusty father-in-law, he has an air of traditional British humour about him in his recollections of the way things were in his day. Duprez makes a glamourous Ethne Burroughs and she would become hot property the following year as the princess in the Thief of Baghdad, a fantasy movie I wholeheartedly recommend. Unfortunately her movie career went off the rails soon after that.

I would however point to a few elements of the film that I feel uncomfortable with; first of all the scene where Harry Faversham gets himself branded to aid his disguise (ouch, that makes me cringe!) and secondly the moment in which John Durrance gets blinded by the sun in an open area of desert. Most viewers nowadays will complain that the film contains racist references (the term 'fuzzy wuzzies' was even used as a promotional tagline!). Of course this sort of thing has rightly been eradicated from cinema today but back then views were different so I urge people to put this film into its' historical context. These are only minor criticisms.

The DVD transfer is very good on the whole. The print does look a bit dated at times compared to say the much-restored 'Wizard of Oz' (also 1939) but it is better than one would expect. As for the DVD extras we get an image gallery, the trailer and a 1973 Russell Harty interview with Richardson which is okay but I would have preferred it if Richardson had talked more about his career and spent less time telling jokes! This is overall however an excellent release of a motion picture which I'm sure will continue to dazzle movie watchers for years to come.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Four Feathers and One Classic Movie, 17 July 2007
By 
T. Jarvis - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This film has been made and remade 7 times this is the fourth remake and by far the best.
The 3 previous 2 had been silent movies thats didnt do very well and in 1929 another version was made but the 1939 version is the fim that stands out not only in 30's cinema but in cinema today.
starring John Clements, Ralph Richardson and June Duprez. Set in the 1880s during the reign of Queen Victoria, it tells the story of a man accused of cowardice.
It would be best to watch 1966 film called Khartoum starring Charlton Heston as Genral Gordan as the four feathers comes straight after the events in Khartoum.
This is an example of how great technicolor can be when it first came out still realy good colour to this day.
The Picture quality of the film i would give it 4 out 5 probably the best print out there.
Some great battle scenes towards the end a strong story.
A must for any cinema lover or fan of brittish cinema at its best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Four Feathers" on BLU RAY - Finally Available To UK and EUROPEAN Fans In May 2014, 26 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
At present (February 2014) this 1939 classic has only been available on BLU RAY in the States on the REGION-A LOCKED Criterion release - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

But at last – and to the rescue – comes Network in May 2014 with a REGION B and C release of it sporting the licensed restored print.

So when buying check you buy the right version…
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Four Feathers DVD, 14 Feb 2009
By 
Ann Winfield (Llanrhystud, Ceredigion) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the 1939 early film version of A.E.W.Mason's classic book, directed by Alexander Korda. I cannot praise this version highly enough. It is a "Boy's Own" adventure, with a romance thrown in for good measure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly subversive fun, 23 April 2003
By 
Michael Bo (Frederiksberg Denmark) - See all my reviews
The Korda 'Feathers' is a marvellous treat, in almost all categories superior to the recent remake which looks embarassingly bland in comparison.
Korda's film has edge, political rather than social, in its satire, and it raises the imperialist issue and questions patriotic flagwaving to an extent that makes it highly relevant today. Its jokes are consistently subversive, even more so today in the wake of the Iraqi war.
The film has an abounding authenticity when dealing with Egyptians and locations, and although the first battle seems rather lowbudget compared to the grandeur of the recent remake, overall this 1939 spectacularly Technicoloured film has all the production values one could wish for. This edition has been lovingly produced and is a joy to watch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have been a coward - and I wasn't happy., 7 May 2014
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The best cinematic treatment of A.E.W. Mason's novel is here, a rousing and moving tale of a military man who is branded as a coward by those closest to him. Receiving four feathers as a sign of cowardice, Howard Faversham is inspired to go redeem himself in the eyes of his peers during the Mahdist War 1895.

Zoltan Korda throws everything but the "Kitchener" sink at the production.

1939 was a stellar year for cinema, arguably the greatest ever. Action/Adventure film fans were treated royally this year, with the likes of Beau Geste, Gunga Din and The Four Feathers to whet the appetites. The latter is a top line production, a Technicolor spectacle of derring-do and manly codes such as bravery and honour. Some these days may balk at the imperialist fervour that hums along the way, and some characterisations are very much of the time, but with such film making expertise on show, from direction, acting, costuming, photography and musical score, this is classical cinema in its purist form. 9/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping, authentic historic drama, 27 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loved the historic scenes---the English countryside/manor/and London---
but most of all the authentic native action. The battle scenes filmed in
Africa, are colorful and seem as genuine as can be imagined. The cast
does a fine job, costuming is great. I think learning of the that era, via
this film, can be thought of as an educational experience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 29 Jun 2012
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Camborne, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As I get older I find that I have trouble hearing what the actors say in so many modern films and whilst this irritation only spoils a good film to a small degree, often I feel frustrated by my inability to understand all that is said. These old films, where the speech is clear and not over dubbed with loud music, are a delight, not just because I can hear all that is said, but because films like this were made purely to entertain.

The Four Feathers is about as British as you can get. Yes the acting is somewhat wooden, but it was then. The story of Harry Faversham going off to Egypt in order to return three of the four feathers is timeless. Alexander Korda's production is huge as most of his films were. Thousands of extras and shot in colour adds to the impact of the whole story/film.

This is certainly one film in my collection that will be watched again and again.

The quality of the DVD is amazingly good, especially when you consider the film was made in 1939. Don't go for the remake, get this one, it is far superior.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great DVD, 11 Jan 2011
By 
Julian Hughes (Hove) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The film is as good as every other reviewer claims. I'll just mention that the DVD is nicely done. There's no impediment to your enjoyment; the highly saturated and vivid Technicolor hues look fantastic, and probably exactly as they did when this film was first projected in 1939. I have the Network release. It's well presented with attractive images and has some useful info noting the cast and crew and chapter titles. Even the special features are good. You get the theatrical trailer, an image gallery of the stars and scenes from the film, and a very entertaining interview where Russell Harty often fails to get a word in while Ralph Richardson enjoys himself talking to Harty's studio audience. 5 stars!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Criterion Collection: Four Feathers [Blu-ray] [1939] [US Import]
Used & New from: 18.00
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews