Storm Over the Nile

Storm Over the Nile

Original cinema poster
Directed by Zoltan Korda
Terence Young
Produced by Zoltan Korda
Written by R. C. Sherriff
Based on novel by A. E. W. Mason
Starring Anthony Steel
Laurence Harvey
James Robertson Justice
Mary Ure
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Cinematography Osmond Borradaile
Edward Scaife
Edited by Raymond Poulton
Distributed by British Lion Films
Independent Film Distributors
20th Century Fox (UK)
Columbia Pictures (UK)
Release dates
26 December 1955 (UK)
22 June 1956 (USA)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £197,803 (UK)[1]

Storm Over the Nile is a 1955 film adaptation of the novel The Four Feathers, directed by Terence Young and Zoltan Korda. The film not only extensively used footage of the action scenes from the 1939 film version stretched into CinemaScope, but is a shot-for-shot, almost line-for-line remake of the earlier film, which was also directed by Korda. Several pieces of music by the original composer Miklos Rozsa were also utilised. It featured Anthony Steel, Laurence Harvey, James Robertson Justice, Mary Ure, Ian Carmichael, Michael Hordern and Christopher Lee.[2] The film was shot on location in the Sudan.


The film depicts Harry Faversham, a sensitive child who is terrified by his father and his Crimean War friends relating tales of cowardice that often ended in suicide. Young Harry follows his father's wishes of being commissioned in the Royal North Surrey Regiment. He also becomes engaged to marry the daughter of his father's friend General Burroughs.

A year after his father's death, the North Surreys are given orders to deploy to the Sudan Campaign to join General Kitchener's forces to avenge General Gordon's death at Khartoum. Disgracefully, Harry resigns his commission on the eve of his regiment's departure, whereupon, as symbols of cowardice, he receives a white feather from each of three fellow officers and from his fiancé as well, comprising the famous four feathers.

Unable to live as a coward, Harry contacts a sympathetic friend of his father's, Dr. Sutton, to obtain his help and contacts to join the campaign in the Sudan. Meeting Dr. Sutton's friend Dr Harraz in Egypt, Harry is disguised as a member of a tribe that had their tongues cut out for their treachery by the supporters of the Mahdi. The tribe is identified with a brand that Harry undergoes as well as dyeing his skin colour. The extreme disguise is done to disguise the fact that he cannot speak Arabic or any other native language.

Following as a native worker, Harry follows his old company who have been sent independently from the main force as a distraction to the enemy. His former comrade and romantic rival Captain Durrance loses his helmet on a reconnaissance patrol. He is unable to retrieve it or move from a position facing the sun as a result of Sudanese searching for him. The hours forced to look at the hot sun destroy the nerves of his eyes, making him blind.

Harry warns the company of the enemy's night assault but he is knocked unconscious. His company is wiped out with Harry's former friends, the subalterns Burroughs and Willoughby captured by the enemy and imprisoned in Omdurman. Harry plays mute with the blind Durrance to take him to British lines, then enters Omdurman to find his old friends.

Subsequent plot pertains to the outcome of the specific four feathers & the heroic parties involved.


Kenneth More says Alex Korda offered him a lead role in the film but he turned it down to appear in The Deep Blue Sea (1955) instead.[3]

Ann Miller was reportedly offered a role.[4]

The film used locally posted British soldiers for some of the battle scenes.


Main cast (in credits order)[2]

Other notable cast


  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p506
  2. 1 2 IMDb: Cast list for Storm Over the Nile Retrieved 2012-04-15
  3. More or Less, Kenneth More, Hodder and Stoughton, 1978, ISBN 0-340-22603-X p. 163
  4. Looking at Hollywood: Ann Miller Is Offered Starring Role in Movie, 'Storm Over the Nile' Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 19 Feb 1953: b4.
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