Anthony Steel is the soldier who resigns just as he and the men are about to go to war in the Sudan, thus earning him the dreaded four feathers indicative of cowardice. His best girl (Mary Ure) and her blustery General father (James Robertson Justice) are among those who turn their backs on him, whilst family friend Geoffrey Keen sympathises with the young man. He spends the rest of the film going the long way about redeeming himself, whilst snooty comrade Laurence Harvey (Steel’s chief accuser), who shares a fondness for Ure, goes blind during the war thanks to overexposure from the sun. Ferdy Mayne is excellent as a doctor, and Christopher Lee plays an imprisoned native.
1955 B-movie version of “The Four Feathers” (though unofficial) by director Zoltan Korda, who had previously filmed the same story (as “The Four Feathers”) back in 1939. Battle footage from that film is inserted here, but it’s not the cheap money-grab it sounds like. In fact, for a B-movie, it’s really quite good. This despite the awfully lacklustre lead performance by Steel and a wan Ure. Laurence Harvey (looking and acting a bit like Christopher Plummer) is much better, and there are superb performances by James Robertson Justice, a young-ish Christopher Lee, and especially Keen and the scene-stealing Mayne.
Worth a look, especially if you like this sort of thing. The screenplay is by R.C. Sherriff, Lajos Biro, and Arthur Wimperis (apparently taken verbatim from their “Four Feathers” script), from the A. E. W. Mason novel The Four Feathers.