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Storm Over the Nile (1956, Ian Carmichael, Anthony Steel)

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Stirring adventure yarn Storm Over The Nile adapted from The Four Feathers , AEW Mason’s tale of honour, redemption and derring-do set during the British Army’s 1898 campaign in Sudan. Anthony Steel stars as a disgraced soldier who goes way beyond the call of duty to prove his courage.

The night before his regiment sets sail for Egypt to join Kitchener’s troops at Khartoum, officer Harry Faversham (Steel) resigns his commission in order to stay at home with fiancée Mary (Mary Ure). The action is taken as gross cowardice not only by Mary’s father, General Burroughs (James Robertson Justice), but also by Harry’s three army chums, John Durrance (Laurence Harvey), Tom Willoughby (Ian Carmichael) and Mary’s brother Peter (Ronald Lewis). They send him white feathers as tokens of their disgust.

When he receives a fourth feather from Mary, Harry is determined to redeem himself. He travels to Egypt alone, suffering terrible hardships as he goes native in order to infiltrate an enemy tribe led by Karaga Pasha (Christopher Lee), putting himself in a position to save Durrance, blinded by the sun and left for dead by his regiment, and Willoughby and Peter Burroughs when they’re captured by the Sudanese rebel force.

There have been six film adaptations of AEW Mason’s rip-roaring novel. This was the fifth. Strangely, it uses the same director and even some footage of the fourth (and definitive) version – Zoltan Korda’s The Four Feathers (1939) starring John Clements and Ralph Richardson. It may not have the intimate character study and questioning intelligence of its predecessor, but Storm over the Nile , which Korda co-directed with Terence Young, makes up for it by exploiting advances in Cinemascope technology to epic effect with expansive shots of the breathtaking Sudanese landscape, and magnificent action sequences, particularly the ferocious battle scenes.

production details
UK / Rank / 107 minutes / 1956

Directors: Terence Young, Zoltan Korda
Writers: RC Sheriff, Lajos Biro, Arthur Wimperis. (based on novel by AEW Mason),

cast
Ian Carmichael as Tom Willoughby
Anthony Steel as Harry Faversham
James Robertson Justice as General Burroughs
Laurence Harvey as John Durrance
Mary Ure as Mary Burroughs
Michael Hordern as General Faversham
Ferdy Mayne as Dr. Harraz
Christopher Lee as Karaga Pasha
Jack Lambert as Colonel
Raymond Francis as Colonel’s Aide
Geoffrey Keen as Dr. Sutton
John Wynn as Sergeant
Avis Scott as 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)
N. Al Basri as Dervish
M.H. Gadalla as Dervish
Michael Argy as Dervish
Edwin Cary as Dervish
Brian Cooper as British Soldier (uncredited)
Ronald Lewis as Peter Burroughs
Sam Kydd as Joe (uncredited)

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