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Guns at Batasi (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  30 October 1964 (West Germany)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 829 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 8 critic

An anachronistic martinet RSM on a remote Colonial African army caught in a local coup d'etat must use his experience to defend those in his care.

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(screenplay), (novel), 3 more credits »
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Title: Guns at Batasi (1964)

Guns at Batasi (1964) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Regimental Sgt. Major Lauderdale
...
Colonel Deal
Flora Robson ...
Miss Barker-Wise
...
Private Wilkes
...
Karen Eriksson
Cecil Parker ...
Fletcher
Errol John ...
Lieut. Boniface
Graham Stark ...
Sgt. 'Dodger' Brown
...
Captain Abraham
...
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin
David Lodge ...
Sgt. 'Muscles' Dunn
Bernard Horsfall ...
Sgt. 'Schoolie' Prideaux
...
Sgt. 'Aussie' Drake
Horace James ...
Corporal Abou
Patrick Holt ...
Captain
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Storyline

Regimental Sergeant-Major Lauderdale is a spit-and-polish, by-the-book disciplinarian, who seems like a 19th Century anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British Commonwealth. He is ridiculed behind his back by his subordinate NCO's and must play host to a liberal female MP making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protege of the MP's, initiates a coup d'etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful RSM uses all his military training to arm his men despite being under house arrest and rescue the wounded commandant from a certain firing squad. When Lt. Boniface, the leader of the mutiny surrounds the sergeants mess with two Bofors guns, it looks like Lauderdale will have to surrender unless he again disobeys orders and takes the initiative. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The battle lines have just been redrawn. (dvd) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1964 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Les canons de Batasi  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mia Farrow replaced Britt Ekland at the last minute. See more »

Goofs

The personal weapon used by the British is the Sterling sub machine gun which replaced the Sten in the British Army in 1953. This weapon is held with the left hand on the barrel and never the magazine or housing. Holding the magazine is a throwback to its predecessor, the Sten. The experienced senior members of the Mess are holding it incorrectly whilst the most inexperienced among them (Private Wilkes) holds it correctly and naturally. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: [singing as he drives a truck] She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes. She'll be comin'
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Can't you sing in tune?
Sgt. Dodger Brown: round the mountain when she comes!
[pause as truck bumps over rough road]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Hey, Ben, you know I was just thinkin'. Back home they wouldn't let me drive a scooter without taking a test.
[chuckles]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Marvelous, isn't it?
[thud as truck jolts]
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Marvelous
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Postgraduate Course in Sexual Love (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent military suspense drama
10 November 2008 | by (Boston, MA, USA) – See all my reviews

I'd never even heard of Guns at Batasi before but I was amazed to find that it's a superlative film. I was expecting standard British stiff-upper-lip fare that the British did so well in the 1950s and '60s, but what I wasn't expecting is that a film I'd never even heard of rivals and even exceeds top-notch British dramas like Sidney Lumet's 'The Hill'.

The film stands squarely on Richard Attenborough's pitch-perfect performance as a Regimental Sergeant Major - the performance of a lifetime, especially when you consider that Attenborough is the complete opposite of the character he plays in this film - in reality he's soft-spoken and unassuming, yet the character he's playing is not at all those things. To say that this role was a stretch somehow doesn't do the performance justice - Attenborough literally becomes the RSM, and every moment he's on screen is incredible. Some reviewers assume that his performance is over-the-top, but I can assure everyone that British NCOs do act like this - or at least they did in the 1960s

  • I had the honour of knowing one of them.




Not that Attenborough is doing it all alone - the other performances are perfect too, as is the direction. The fact that the film was made in a studio in England makes you realise what a great job a truly great crew can do for a film - there's no way you'd think this movie wasn't made in Africa.

Altogether a fantastic movie - probably the best new film (new to me anyway) I've seen in the last two years. This blows everything else out of the water.

Oh, and for those worried that it's a war film - definitely not. It's a drama set in a military barracks, but psychological drama is what we have here, and unlike a lot of those kinds of films this one has a heart and a sense of humour. Don't miss this one!


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not as serious as I expected balib
Memorable quotes Guns at Batasi fsmith@bigpond.net.au
The saluting scene fsmith@bigpond.net.au
RSM Lauderdale quote tom_vanwelde
DVD Coming 05/23/2006 egads
Love Scene nrobertb
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