7.2/10
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28 user 8 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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Outnumbered A Hundred to One - Yet Fighting Like a Thousand Heroes in a Hell Spot Called Batasi! 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 detailed 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

At regimental dinners in the Sgts Mess, the Loyal Toast is always proposed by Mr Vice, the junior member of the mess, and not by the RSM. 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

Probably Dickie's best
17 March 2005 | by (London) – See all my reviews

It's the early 60's, Africa is being decolonised and a supposedly peaceful transition from colony to independent nation goes awry. All that stands between order and "enemies of the new state" being butchered is Dickie Attenborough's RSM and his Sergeant's mess. He has to defend his barracks, put up with a naive left wing politician, a young girl who's taken a fancy to a conscript private who wants his last day in the army to go without a hitch, a wounded African officer who is greatly respected by the RSM, but is an enemy of the new army he's supposed to be in charge of and a largely absent British officer corps. But this won't get Dickie down; the worse things get, the more determined and resolved he gets. Some of his dialogue is fantastic and his calm (and not so calm) put downs of those who threaten him or complain to him are brilliant. Like Anthony Hopkins in "Remains of the Day", his is a lifetime of service and duty; but one that kicks serious ass.

It's one of Attenborough's finest performances: Certainly up there with Brighton Rock.


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