7.1/10
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29 user 9 critic

Guns at Batasi (1964)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Karen Eriksson
...
Errol John ...
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...
...
David Lodge ...
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Sgt. 'Schoolie' Prideaux
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Sgt. 'Aussie' Drake
Horace James ...
...
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 NCOs 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, 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:

These were the last of the great adventurers - suddenly besieged in a jungle powderkeg half way between heaven and hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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 more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All people, events and places depicted in this film are entirely imaginary and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or to any real events or places, is entirely coincidental. 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

Featured in Film Review: Richard Attenborough (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant
13 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a brilliant representation of a classic Regimental Sergeant Major, and shows the classic values that should continue to thrive (and sadly don't) in our military of today.

Over the top? Yes... a little...but show me a TRUE RSM who isn't. Such men really existed... and they were a source of inspiration, guidance and customs and traditions for many.

Well done by Sir Richard.

From what I've heard, he spent a year preparing for this role by understudying real RSMs at the RSM-prep school in Sandhurst.

I've used this film as a training aid when teaching leadership to young soldiers - and I continue to enjoy it today.


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