Khartoum – Aufstand am Nil (1966)

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Khartoum – Aufstand am Nil: Directed by Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon. With Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson, Ralph Richardson. In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles “Chinese” Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

“Considering recent events in Afghanistan (the Taliban) as well as in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), the events in the Sudan in the 1880s are resonate remarkably today. Once again the world finds itself confronted with Muslim fanaticism, and once again, seemingly, the world replies with little more than u0026quot;gesturesu0026quot;.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis movie has been appreciated rather less than it deserves, probably due to the presence of Charlton Heston in the lead role. His English accent does leave something to be desired, especially when surrounded by such notable British actors as Richard Johnson, Nigel Green and the great Ralph Richardson. I wonu0026#39;t even mention Sir Laurance Olivier in that regard since, in his remarkable performance as The Mahdi, he rendered himself almost unrecognizable.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe one indispensable aspect Charlton Heston does bring to this film is his remarkable ability to stand out in an epic scene as few other actors can. When one produces an epic motion picture, the sort filmed on a grand scale with a cast of thousands, it is imperative that the central character should be the sort who can stand out among the multitudes. Few actors have been able to do that the way Charton Heston could. It was no accident that he was repeatedly cast as characters such as Moses, Ben Hur, El Cid, Chinese Gordon, etc.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHowever, in spite of the epic scale and the cast of thousands, u0026quot;Khartoumu0026quot; is a battle of wills between three powerful individuals. The first is The Mahdi, a militant Muslim religious fanatic. The second was William Gladstone, the British Prime Minster who tried vainly to keep steer his country away from what he perceived as a disastrous foreign military entanglement in Africa. The third was General Charles u0026quot;Chineseu0026quot; Gordon, the unconventional soldier sent, as a gesture, by Gladstone to try to save the situation in the Sudan. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s a compelling story, and one that still resonates today more than ever. After seeing Khartoum, one can only hope that history doesnu0026#39;t repeat itself.”

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