‘Lawrence of Arabia’ meets ‘Profiles in Courage’

Released in 1939, The Four Feathers was the romantic template for Lawrence of Arabia, Zulu, and other imperial epics—up to (and including) the Star Wars movies.

Set in North Africa, and directed by Zoltán Korda, this early adaptation of A. E. W. Mason’s classic adventure novel is one of the first (and best) Technicolor extravaganzas: a film about Victorian-era courage, cowardice, endurance, and the limits of nationalism. Thanks to the Criterion Collection’s reissue (just out, on DVD and Blu-ray), we can see it, again, in all of its no-longer-faded glory.

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‘Lawrence of Arabia’ meets ‘Profiles in Courage’