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FOUR FEATHERS, THE (TV)(director: Don Sharp; screenwriters: from the book “Sun Never Sets” by A.E.W. Mason/Gerald Di Pego; cinematographer: John Coquillon; editor: Eric Boyd-Perkins; music: Allyn Ferguson; cast: Beau Bridges (Harry Feversham), Robert Powell (Jack Durrance), Simon Ward (William Trench), Richard Johnson (Abou Fatma), Jane Seymour (Ethne Eustace), Harry Andrews (David Feversham); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Norman Rosemont; NBC television; 1977-USA/UK)
So-so TV adaptation of A.E.W. Mason’s 1902 novel the “Sun Never Sets.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Don Sharp directs this so-so TV adaptation of A.E.W. Mason’s 1902 novel the “Sun Never Sets.” It’s the sixth version of the Mason tale put to film that includes the 1921 silent and the 1939 version directed by Zoltan Korda, which is the superior one in the whole litter. Gerald Di Pego’s scripted film seems to be made for an American audience, as there was no other logical reason to remake such a successful classic film.

In this British Empire epic set in the 19th century, the death of British general “Chinese” Gordon at Khartoum encourages upper-crust gentleman officer Harry Favershem (Beau Bridges) to active duty in the Sudan. On the eve of the Sudan campaign Harry resigns his commission. Though not a coward, Favershem fears that he’ll turn yellow in the face of battle and let his comrades down. Three of his fellow officers are so appalled at his decision that they each send Harry a white feather, the symbol of cowardice. When a fourth feather is handed to Favershem by his fiancee Ethne Eustace (Jane Seymour), Harry vows to prove himself in battle and incognito as a mysterious adventurer embarks on a dangerous quest to save the lives of his former comrades immersed in battle. In the end he personally hands back the four feathers to his accusers. Plenty of wholesome action amid exotic desert locales, as the action is fast and furious.

This is an old-fashioned military movie about the ‘code of honor.’ Harry Andrews as Harry’s father gets to say “I doubt if a woman could understand.” That sums up this rousing adventure film’s ethos, which is fancifully put to screen in rich color.

REVIEWED ON 4/26/2004 GRADE: B –

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”