Storm Over the Nile
|Storm Over the Nile
Original cinema poster
|R. C. Sherriff
|novel by A. E. W. Mason
James Robertson Justice
British Lion Films
Independent Film Distributors
20th Century Fox (UK)
Columbia Pictures (UK)
26 December 1955 (UK)
22 June 1956 (USA)
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. 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.
Ann Miller was reportedly offered a role.
The film used locally posted British soldiers for some of the battle scenes.
- Anthony Steel as Harry Faversham
- Laurence Harvey as John Durrance
- James Robertson Justice as General Burroughs
- Mary Ure as Mary Burroughs
- Ronald Lewis as Peter Burroughs
- Ian Carmichael as Willoughby
- Jack Lambert as the Colonel
- Raymond Francis as the Colonel's aide
- Geoffrey Keen as Dr. Sutton
- Michael Hordern as General Faversham
- Ferdy Mayne as Dr. Harraz
- Christopher Lee as Karaga Pasha
- John Wynn as the Sergeant
- Avis Scott as the Sergeant's wife
- Roger Delgado as Native spy
- Frank Singuineau as Native servant
- Ben Williams as Faversham's butler
- Vincent Holman as Burroughs' butler
- Paul Streather as Harry Faversham as a boy
Other notable cast
- John Laurie as the Khalifa (in a sequence taken from Korda's 1939 version, The Four Feathers, along with some of the battle scenes.)
- Sam Kydd as Joe (uncredited)
- Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p506
- IMDb: Cast list for Storm Over the Nile Retrieved 2012-04-15
- More or Less, Kenneth More, Hodder and Stoughton, 1978, ISBN 0-340-22603-X p. 163
- 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.
- Storm Over the Nile at the Internet Movie Database
- Storm Over the Nile at the TCM Movie Database
- Storm Over the Nile at AllMovie