New Release: The Four Feathers Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date: Oct. 11, 2011
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

The Four Feathers movie sceneThe spectacular 1939 Technicolor epic The Four Feathers, directed by Zoltán Korda (Jungle Book), is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s classic 1902 adventure novel about the British Empire’s exploits in Africa.

Set at the end of the 19th century, the adventure film follows the travails of a young officer (John Clements, Rembrandt) accused of cowardice after he resigns his post on the eve of a major deployment to Khartoum. Ultimately, he must fight to redeem himself in the eyes of his fellow officers and fiancée (June Duprez, The Thief of Bagdad).

Featuring music by Miklós Rózsa (The Killers) and Oscar-nominated cinematography by Georges Périnal (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp), The Four Feathers remains a timeless, thunderous movie epic.

The film was remade by Shekhar Kapur in 2002. Not nearly as invigorating as the Korda version, the remake stars Heath Leger (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and Kate Hudson (Nine).

The Four Feathers’ Blu-ray and DVD is presented with a new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.

Here’s a list of the bonus features on both versions, which are surprisingly limited for a Criterion debut:

  • audio commentary by film historian Charles Drazin
  • new video interview with David Korda, son of director Zoltán Korda
  • A Day at Denham, a short film from 1939 featuring footage of director Zoltán Korda on the set of The Four Feathers
  • trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.