Four Feathers [2002]

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith, June Duprez, Allan Jeayes
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 129 minutes

What it lacks in grandeur, this 1978 TV version of The Four Feathers makes up for in fidelity to A.E.W. Mason's classic novel. By cannibalizing the superior 1939 production for epic shots and sequences, this modest adaptation draws attention to its meager production values, relying heavily on casting and chemistry to compensate. That it succeeds, more or less, in capturing the essence of Mason's grand adventure is largely due to the appeal of Beau Bridges and Jane Seymour in the prime of their early careers. (Bridges's film career was gaining momentum; Seymour would rise from here to the similarly romantic Somewhere in Time.) Bridges is the shamed soldier Harry Faversham, transcending cowardice by rescuing his closest friends during Britain's bloody campaign in 1870s Sudan; Seymour is his beloved back home, torn between Harry and the seemingly braver Jack (Robert Powell). TV veteran Don Sharp provides tepid direction, while screenwriter Gerald DiPego would continue his prolific career for decades to come. --Jeff Shannon

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