Khartoum(Twilight Time Blu-ray)

Director - Basil Deardon, Eliot Elisofon

Cast - Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson

Country of Origin - U.K.

Discs - 1

Distributor - Twilight Time

Reviewer - Abraham Phillips

Date 05/19/14

Plot: In 1883, British Prime Minister Gladstone dispatches General Charles Gordon to Khartoum, Sudan, where thousands of civilians are threatened by a Muslim fanatic, the Mahdi, and his army of followers. Gordon gains the Mahdi's respect but can't prevent the Mahdi's men from laying siege to the city. Now, as history hangs in the balance, Gordon faces the fight of his life defending the ancient city of Khartoum.


Film (5/5)


Khartoum is an epic and entertaining historical drama.


It is superbly filmed with excellent color cinematography with epic historical set pieces, and amazing acting from the main cast.


What stands out as so magical about this movie is it touches on the story of the history of the subject so well.  The movie itself has historical value, yes there will always be things changed from history to fit a movie but this one does a wonderful job in capturing the factual elements of this part of history. What’s so shocking about this movie, is it details a part of history that most people don't even know about. Most people don't even know about the characters and the reality of this battle.


An English man Col. William Hicks is leading an army of 10,000 Egyptians against the Mahdi Muslim Army. They are destroyed. The British feel responsible and so they send in Charles Chinese Gordon to go and evacuate the European population from the area. Instead he takes it upon himself to defend the city, this leads to many great wonderful climactic battles throughout the war.


In real life Gordon was one hell of a fighter, one hell of a service man, one hell of a man period. He defeated large forces and armies. He was awarded the nickname Chinese Gordon because he always defeated  large forces with his men including the Taiping Rebellion. He was a Master at stopping rebellions, suppressing slave trade and mainly stopping massive groups of forces. It was like one man and his small crew against a bombardment of an army, yet he defeated them heroically.

     This Movie, this Blu-ray put out beautifully by Twilight Time showcases the amazing talent of this man in media form played by Charlton Heston who does a fantastic job as Gordon. Twilight Time brought out an awesome epic masterpiece form the past, to be re-discovered for this generation to enjoy with this one of a kind limited edition 3000 unit Blu-ray. This is a highly crafted film and Twilight Time does amazing Justice with this special edition. The isolated music track is beautiful and brilliant and  stunning for the ears.


Directed by a Cinema master Basil Dearden (1911–1971). He was an extraordinary director and directed one of my favorite films of all time. A film that I feel is a true cinematic masterpiece that should be remembered throughout cinema history and that is Victim (1961). The film dealt with a touchy subject for the time, homosexuality. For a director to create a film dealing with that subject, in that time period I cannot imagine the flack and overall fight that he had to go through with finishing the picture.


He was a phenomenal director that could capture the mystery, suspense and actors in the parts that needed to take place. He made you feel all the moments in his movies.


I have always felt that to truly understand a movie is to understand the director or the writer of the film. All directors and writers express themselves in a specific manner that carries through their films.


Khartoum stars many absolutely wonderful actors that graced cinema. Actors that are award worthy and worthy to be awarded the phrase masterpiece performers. This film has such brilliant actors as Charlton Heston, who needs no introduction to film buffs or film historians. He graced the screen in some of the greatest epics, some of the greatest dramas and some of the greatest pieces of cinema to ever come out.

Heston was brilliant and truly stunning in Khartoum. His acting gave the character of General Charles "Chinese" Gordon his own personal touch and used hiw own gifted approach to this character.


This also stars the icon and truly one of a kind Laurence Olivier. He was a true acting god and brilliant tour-de-force of cinema and graced it with all his acting glory and personal stamp of a one of a kind persona. He acted from the 1930's all the way up to the 1980's. He was what cinema and what performing arts was about. From the masterpiece 1939’s Wuthering Heights where he played Heathcliff to the masterpiece Rebecca where he played Maxim. I could go on and on with his movies from 1955's Richard 3rd to 1960's Spartacus. Every persona, and every performance he gave his all and created his craft and owned it. Its no different in this film Khartoum. He owns his part as The Mahdi.


This also stars a true personal favorite of mine the iconic legend of acting Ralph Richardson. You need look no further if you want to see one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. He is what acting was about. He gave everything, every ounce, every bit of his makeup, his soul, his heart, his mind to his performances. He was what an actor was about. He became acting in human embodiment.


From one of his first performances 1933's The Ghoul to one of his last in 84's Greystoke The Legend of Tarzan, he owned every piece of cinema he was in. I personally will always remember him in two of my childhood favorite films the very brilliant underrated fantasy film 81's Dragon Slayer as the character Ulrich and the masterpiece of fantasy 81's Time Bandits as the Supreme Being.

This is Filmed in that old school and amazing Cinerama that captures a breathtaking experience and stunning battles taking place in a desert which leaves you with a wide eyed view of true filmmaking wonder. These spectacular battles were memorable and staged in away you can't help be totally enthralled with them and there beauty and fierce action.

This is a wonderful Blu-ray capturing the wonderful movie that I highly recommend. If your a movie lover, seek out this Blu-ray that displays this historical movie in the wonderful special edition reality.


Audio/Video (5/5)


Masterly crafted for this Blu-ray, very crisp, stunning colors, amazing imagery redone for a modern generation. Beautiful sound, audio dialogue, music, created flawless.


Resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 2.75:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.75:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Music: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

English Subtitle Option


Extras (4/5)


You get an isolated music track, which is extraordinary in itself and is worthy to own just for it.


Music lovers will absolutely love these Twilight Time special edition Blu-ray's.


Audio Commentary with Film Historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman


Original Theatrical Trailer


Overall (5/5)


Brilliant masterpiece of a film created in a fantastic special edition with an isolated track of music. Stunningly visually beautiful. This is an amazingly done film, starring wonderful actors, directed wonderfully and crafted extraordinarily for its time. An epic viewpoint for its story in history. The cinematography is masterly beautiful creating a film to behold for all generations. Twilight Time’s Blu-ray gave this movie it's all for this generation.