Dirs. Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon. 1966, 128 mins. 70mm. With Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson, Ralph Richardson. After an Egyptian army, commanded by British officers, is destroyed in a battle in the Sudan in the 1880s, the British government is in a quandary. General Charles “Chinese” Gordon helms the effort to evacuate soldiers, and in the process, defends the city of Khartoum against the Mahdi, a rebel Arab leading (played by Laurence Olivier) and his army of zealots. Boasting fine performances, the film remains a compelling story of colonial politics, military standoffs, and a battle of wits and wiles between two fierce leaders. Khartoum was one of just ten movies filmed in the rare Ultra Panavision 70 format, and the last until The Hateful Eight 49 years later.
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