This afternoon I watched the 1939 British film "The Four Feathers."
... a 1939 adventure film directed by Zoltan Korda, starring John Clements, Ralph Richardson, June Duprez, C. Aubrey Smith. Set in the 1890s during the reign of Queen Victoria, it tells the story of a man accused of cowardice. It is one of a number of adaptations of the 1902 novel of the same name by A.E.W. Mason. The movie was mostly filmed in the Sudan in Technicolor.
It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
The color is Technicolor of the supersaturated kind. I thought for a moment i was seeing a travelogue
but then, I doubt that most readers of this post would know what a travelogue was. Hence, the link.
In some ways this film is unique for the period in that much of it was shot on location in the Sudan.
(The Brits always called it "The Sudan." You know where that is of course.)
Sudan (pronounced /suˈdæn/ soo-DAN; officially the Republic of the Sudan) (Arabic: السودان As Sūdān) is a country in northeastern Africa. It is the largest country in Africa, and the Arab World, and tenth largest in the world by area. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, Kenya and Uganda to the southeast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. The world's longest river, the Nile, divides the country between east and west sides.
If words don't do it, how about a map?
"I see," said the Blind Man. (Oops! That's part of our story.)
Mucking around in that part of the world seems to have been a British tradition. Mention of Khartoum (The capital city of Sudan which I know you already knew.) always conjured up thoughts of exotic locales in my mind. Veiled women, camels, spies lurking in every door, etc. That isn't far off actually. This is the fourth filming of the original novel of the same name mentioned above. Three more films with the same title have been made since 1939 making seven in all, but some think this is the one that got it right. One would hope so.
Lots of British military on parade, stiff upper lips, explosions, fights with Dervishes
and other local tribes. Considering that there was no such thing as CGI in 1939, the scenes of huge numbers of tribal warriors on the move is most impressive. (Thoughts of the 1962 film "Lawrence of Arabia"
came to mind.)
See what I mean? The Brits loved to play in the sand in this part of the world. And of course fought the Germans there in WW II. Rommel vs. Montgomery, et al.
This film was directed by Zoltan Korda and produced by his brother Alexander Korda. (Vincent Korda, a third brother, was also a noted film producer/director e.g., "The Longest Day" 1962) It is a well-made movie, especially so for its time.
It's on a Netflix rental SD DVD © 2005. Technicolor. OAR 4x3. Mono sound. Playback was problem-free.