THEY SAY THE NILE STILL RUNS RED FROM THE BATTLE OF KHARTOUM!
In 1883, after the rise of a fanatical Muslim leader (Laurence Olivier) in Sudan, the British send a military hero (Charlton Heston) to bring order. This movie has ”epic” written all over it, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) in particular, as we follow another independent-minded, stubborn British war hero in the desert. Heston and Olivier are good as two historical figures, even though watching the latter in brownface is weird. The threat posed by Ahmad looks even scarier now after the rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS… but the script focuses too much on military tactics and too little on the men planning them. Still, elaborately staged.
1966-Britain. 134 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Basil Dearden. Cinematography: Edward Scaife. Cast: Charlton Heston (Charles Gordon), Laurence Olivier (Muhammad Ahmad), Richard Johnson (John Stewart), Ralph Richardson, Alexander Knox, Johnny Sekka… Michael Hordern.
Trivia: Burt Lancaster was allegedly considered for the part of Gordon. The last film to be shot in Ultra Panavision 70 until The Hateful Eight 49 years later.