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Four Feathers [DVD] [2003]

4.0 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Heath Ledger|Kate Hudson|Wes Bentley
  • Directors: Shekhar Kapur
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Disney
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Mar. 2004
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LA7J
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,686 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Exciting young stars Heath Ledger (A Knight’s Tale, The Patriot, 10 Things I Hate About You), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, About Adam) and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) shine in this thrilling, epic saga of heroism, loyalty and romantic rivalry. When a British officer (Ledger) resigns his commission on the eve of a battle against Sudanese rebels, he is presumed a coward and given four symbolic white feathers by his friends and fiancée (Hudson). As an act of redemption, he exposes himself to extreme hardship and incredible odds while disguised as a Sudanese in a bold attempt to aid his besieged comrades. Based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason, this stirring adventure will sweep you from within the grand walls of the English aristocracy to the austere beauty of the Moroccan desert as it vividly illustrates man’s indomitable spirit.

From Amazon.co.uk

The seventh filming of AEW Mason's classic 1902 novel, this near-epic production of The Four Feathers looks great, sounds great and feels rather average. It would be difficult to diminish the rousing adventure of Mason's novel and director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) certainly gets more bang for his buck, with massive battle scenes and rugged, sun-baked harshness enhanced by Robert Richardson's masterful cinematography. Kapur preserves the universal appeal of the story, set in the 1880s, in which a promising soldier (Heath Ledger) resigns on the eve of battle in Britain's Sudanese campaign, is labelled coward by his fiancée (Kate Hudson), and redeems himself by posing as a Muslim warrior to rescue his best friend Jack (Wes Bentley) from certain death in the desert. For all its heroics, however, the film seems oddly passionless; Djimon Hounsou is excellent as Ledger's desert guardian, but these young Hollywood stars lack the authenticity of Zoltan Korda's 1939 film, which remains the definitive version. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I found this effort sadly disappointing.I thought it a pity that they decided to mess around with the dating and set the story apparently in the 1880s rather than the 1898 Omdurman Campaign in which Mason placed his novel. It wasn't clear to me whether the British unit involved was meant to be infantry or cavalry - one moment they are on foot with bayonets fixed, the next careering around on horseback brandishing full-length Martini-Henry rifles - not the most effective weapon in a cavalry charge! All in all it was too politically correct and redolent of early 21st Century attitudes for my taste.
I fear it must be added to the tally of "Four Feathers" re-makes which have failed to match the standard achieved by Korda's 1939 version.
At least the 1950s attempt "Storm on the Nile" had the good sense to use some of the 1939 film's combat footage!
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Format: DVD
I approached this adaptation with high hopes and found that there are equal measures of enjoyment and disappointment. The opening scenes of rugby were an inspiration. To many in the world Englishmen are seen as stiff, over-mannered and effete. However "muscular Christianity" and the rigid codes of honour, discipline and competitiveness instilled by the public schools created an officer-class fit to rule. After all, the Four Feathers is all about honour and tradition as well as love as the motivation for characters.
SPOILER ALERT. I'm not particularly obsessive about detail but I found the battle-scene where camel riders approach the British unarmed to be killed puzzling. Later, the charge of Soudanese disguised as British was outrageous and I hope this is the result of studio interference as other reviewers have guessed. This kind of subterfuge would never be considered by a noble enemy who relished hand-to-hand combat and honour as much as the British.
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Format: DVD
Not very good. I thought it very slow throughout and the script was really bad in parts. The male leads, Heath Ledger and Wes Bentley, were good but had no chemistry with Kate Hudson. They had better chemistry with each other! I have liked Kate Hudson in other movies but thought she was truly dreadful in this one, although probably not her fault but the directors. All the men could only say how beautiful she was (with a poodle perm!!??) and not one thing about why else they loved her. She came across as so boring she was practically comatose. Djimon Hounsou was the best thing in this movie though he couldn't save the whole production. Very disappointed as I have seen far better movies of the book and think a good opportunity to bring the novel to a new generation was lost.
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By A Customer on 29 July 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very disappointed with this re-make.
The book and original film were boys own, stirring adventures. This was an angst-ridden politically correct movie, too slow and too concerned with exploring motivation. An adventure movie should be just that, lots of action, adrenalin, rousing and not slow and tedious. That being said the acting and production was first class.
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Format: DVD
First off I'll affirm the definitive version is Korda's 1939 (early colour) interpretation: That had exquisite acting and fine judgement in pitching the tone for gentle mockery of Imperialism, and by no means stingy on its production budget.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Four-Feathers-DVD-John-Clements/dp/B00008AWV3/ref=pd_sim_d_h__1

But this version isn't bad, and does get big Hollywood treatment.

However there are lots of annoying irrealisms (Prime example: All the officers jumping onto horses and charging off in the middle of a battle, in a small group as if a decisive charge!). The acting can't quite carry through on some of the complex motivations, reactions and intentions either, and often fails to convince.

Just OK in my book, no regrets for the time spent on it, but there's alot better than this.
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Format: DVD
I came at this film with no prior knowledge that i was indeed a novel, nor that there have been several filmings of said novel before this one. So this review i hereby give is based on this film and this film alone, without comparison to other 'versions' of the story.

The whole idea of cowardice in the time period depicted was very hoo-haa. One just didn't show if they were a coward, it was their duty and their responsibility to fight for ones country no matter how they felt. So when poor Heath Ledger opts to leave the army it is no surprise that his friends and his fiancee all turn their backs on him...although it becomes clear that even they were acting with the prejudice and not what they actually thought...

The acting is all round quite superb, especially Wes Bentley. The surprising supporting roles for Michael Sheen (so recently brilliant in The Queen) and Kris Marshall (usually a comedian) were excellent, Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson a joy to watch and the film stealing Djimon Hounsou absolutely top notch.

As a period piece it feels just right. The costumes are all glorius. The arid desert heat is portrayed so magnificently by some excellent cinematography. I commend the crew whole heartedly.

A gripping film from start to finish with some fine acting and a good sense of morality; where as i can't vouch for the accuracy, i tend to look the other way for most historical innaccuricies anyway if the film itself is so engrossing. History books are where the accuracy is, films are where the romantic escapism is found.
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