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 »
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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:
...
Regimental Sgt. Major Lauderdale
...
Colonel Deal
...
Miss Barker-Wise
...
Private Wilkes
...
Karen Eriksson
...
Fletcher
Errol John ...
Lieut. Boniface
...
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:

The battle lines have just been redrawn. (dvd) 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Lauderdale, the main character played by Richard Attenborough demands that a royal portrait of the Queen of England was hung behind the bar of the mess, it remains unseen all through the movie. Probably because of the ending scene when Lauderdale angrily throws a glass of whiskey on it and breaks.it .Showing the portrait of Elisabeth II would have been outrageous and liable of censorship. 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

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

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User Reviews

 
One of my all-time favorite movies.

Perhaps it is because I am a sucker for British military movies.

Or maybe it's because the first time I saw it I did not expect much from it, but Guns at Batasi lept to the top of my all-time favorites list the first time I saw it.

It stays there no matter how many times I see it.

It's hokey, it's overdone and it's certainly low-budget. But it does have a sterling cast of British character actors, and it has several powerful scenes and Attenborough is magnificent as the sergeant-major. A great character study.

Here's a man, who has dedicated his entire adult life to a code, a way of life. It's all he knows, it's all he wants and in this one incident everything he has ever stood for or worked for it tested and threatened.

The sergeant major, despite what you might think of the military is a man of honor and courage. He's the kind of guy you would want on your side no matter what.

If you have not seen this movie. Find it, see it. Give it a chance. I think you will like. A definite thumbs up.


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