A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems impenetrable...
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 »
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 »
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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