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The Four Feathers 2002 PG-13 CC

(253) IMDb 6.5/10
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A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.

Wes Bentley, Mohamed Bouich
2 hours, 11 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Romance, Adventure
Director Shekhar Kapur
Starring Wes Bentley, Mohamed Bouich
Supporting actors Campbell Brown, Daniel Caltagirone, James Cosmo, Andy Coumbe, Angela Douglas, Karim Doukkali, Lucy Gordon, Megan Hall, James Hillier, Nick Holder, Djimon Hounsou, Kate Hudson, Alex Jennings, Alexandra Kabi, Heath Ledger, Julio Lewis, Craig McDonald, Lionel Mahop
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Don Graeter on January 13, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rory B. on December 4, 2005
Format: DVD
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.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on April 7, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
When I was at my early teens, every Wednesday's afternoon, I and my school mates had an unavoidable rendezvous: going to the Theater to see "Action Matinee Show".
During those unforgettable sessions I enjoyed "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" (1935), "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936), "Gunga Din" (1939) and "The Four Feathers" (1939) amongst other action classics.
The story that impresses me more was that of the "coward" Harry Feversham, possibly because at that age kids are unsure of themselves and are afraid to be afraid.
I've never seen the original version again. So when this remake was announced I was eager to see it.

Notwithstanding all the negative reviews, I really enjoy this movie.
Why? Well here are my points:
First there stands the story. Young Harry entering the military under family tradition pressure. He enjoys comradeship but he is not willing to go to war and shed blood (his or others).
When his regiment goes to war he resigned his commission. He is stigmatized by his friends and fiancée as coward and four white feathers sent to him.
His engagement is broken, his father despises him. In other words his world explodes. When he most needed a kind word or a loving caress he founds rejection.
It comes to my mind the scene from "Band of Brothers" when a private is suffering form hysterical blindness and a well meaning word from his Lieutenant works the miracle: he regain sight and courage.
Harry overcomes his fears and rushes to Sudan to help his friends. From this point onwards, adventures flow unceasingly.
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Format: DVD
The Four Feathers is a period piece on English honor during their imperial conquests of the late 1800s. The story line itself is simple. Heath Ledger plays Harry, a soldier who resigns his commission to avoid going to war. Wes Bentley is Jack, his loyal best friend, secretly in love with his fiance', Ethne, played by Kate Hudson. When his friends and fiance' question his courage, he travels alone to the battlefield to regain his honor and save his friends.

But while the story is simple, the execution is monumental. Wes Bentley captures the angst and inner turmoil of doing everything right and still having his friend have the one thing he wants: Ethne's love. Djimon Hounsou also shines as the Sudanese nomad who finds Harry in the desert and befriends him. Kate Hudson and Heath Ledger's acting is good but their full ranges are not utilized here.

This is a really good film that is a visual jewel. This film has been judged harshly by many, and unjustly compared to the 1939 version, in my opinion.

Of the 1939 version of this film, Richard T. Jameson has said "A.E.W. Mason's novel of stiff-upper-lip honor and valor had already been filmed three times (and at least that many remakes have followed, superfluously). This is the only version that matters." Mr. Jameson, I beg to differ.

The Shekhar Kapur version of this movie matters for several reasons. Robert Richardson's cinematography is indeed masterful, with all the hughs and highlights of the desert shining. He has elicited comparisons to Lawrence of Arabia for obvious reasons. But don't forget Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Sheltering Sky.
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