Written by Gerald Di Pego, based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason
Directed by Don Sharp
Starring Beau Bridges, Jane Seymour, Robert Powell, Simon Ward, Harry Andrews
- DVD-ROM: The complete text of the novel by A.E.W. Mason
Released by: BFS Entertainment.
Rating: NR (suitable for most audiences)
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
Harry Faversham (Bridges) has been raised in a military household under a very domineering and heavy-handed father. After his mother passes away, there is no one to shield him from his father’s outrages at his perceived inadequacies. As he is becoming a man, he is engaged to be married to the lovely Miss Ethne Eustace (Seymour) who is equally in love with him. He is not willing to let anything stand in their way of being married; not even his commitment to his father’s beloved British Army. On the night of their engagement party, he receives telegrams for all of the officers present that they are to report for duty. They are going to be shipped out to Egypt. Rather than be separated from his fiancÃ©e, he burns the telegrams. However, when his friends discover what he has done, they send him white feathers to inform him they know of his cowardice. Both his father and his fiancÃ©e disown him. After they are shipped to Egypt, he follows along himself in the hopes that he will be able to prove his worth to his former friends and regain his dignity.
[ad#longpost]What a wonderful story. I wish I could say that this telling of the story is worthy. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Bridges is just out of his depth with the first part of the story. He is surrounded by a British cast that acts circles around him during the opening scenes of the movie. However, once they are on the Egyptian front, he is a little more on his feet, but just not able to recover the lost ground from the beginning of the film. Seymour is everything she is supposed to be: a beautiful and delicate creature. The rest of the cast, especially the three friends who send him his feathers, are very strong. However, at the end of the movie, all you are left with is a very weak, melodramatic telling of a very powerful story.
The DVD would be considered weak as well if it were not for one very important feature. When you place the disc in the DVD-ROM drive of your computer, you are presented with the entire text of Mason’s novel. This is great because it offers viewers the easy access to the source material and allows them to make up their own minds about the quality of the movie. After that, all you are left with are filmographies and biographies of the cast and crew, which is nothing really to write home about.
If you have never seen the movie, or are not familiar with the story, I would suggest reading the novel before putting yourself through this. Or, you might want to catch the recent incarnation of the story featuring Kate Hudson and Heath Ledger.