MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,601 this week

Zulu (1964)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  17 June 1964 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 26,330 users  
Reviews: 229 user | 43 critic

Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 05 Jul 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 17 Feb 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 26 Aug 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Zulu" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Zulu (1964)

Zulu (1964) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Zulu.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Zulu Dawn (1979)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dramatization of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the British Army met its match against the Zulu nation.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott
Zulu (2013)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Policemen Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen investigate the brutal murder of a young white woman, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug and somehow connected to the disappearance of black street children.

Director: Jérôme Salle
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Tanya van Graan
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two British soldiers in India decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan--a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle vs. the Nazi Germany Air Force for control of British air space to prevent a Nazi invasion of Britain.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Get Carter (1971)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman
Alfie (1966)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A historical telling of the failed attempt to capture several bridges on a road to Germany in World War II, in a campaign called Operation Market-Garden.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and 3 more credits »
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lieutenant John Chard R. E.
...
...
James Booth ...
...
...
Colour - Sergeant Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel ...
Paul Daneman ...
Glynn Edwards ...
Neil McCarthy ...
David Kernan ...
Gary Bond ...
Peter Gill ...
Tom Gerrard ...
Patrick Magee ...
Edit

Storyline

Two Lieutenants, Chard of Engineers and Bromhead find that their 140 man contingent in Natal has been isolated by the destruction of the main British Army column and that 4,000 Zulu warriors will descend on them in hours. Each has a different military background in tactics and they are immediatly in conflict on how to prepare for the attack. Nearly a third of the men are in the infirmary, as the welsh company tries to somehow survive with no help in sight. Based on a true story.

Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The epic story of courage, honour and pride. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zoulou  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As none of the Zulus had ever seen a movie, it was difficult for them to understand what they were doing playing to a camera. Stanley Baker sent to Johannesburg for silent movies and ran films of Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, and Buster Keaton, which the Zulus loved. See more »

Goofs

The NCO badges of rank are on the left arms, these should be on the right arms. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant John Chard: Well, you've fought your first action.
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Does everyone feel like this afterwards?
Lieutenant John Chard: How do you feel?
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Sick.
Lieutenant John Chard: Well, you have to feel alive to feel sick.
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: You asked me, I told you.
[pause]
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: There's something else. I feel ashamed. Was that how it was for you? The first time?
Lieutenant John Chard: The first time? You think I could stand this butcher's yard more than once?
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: I didn't know.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title has fire within its letters, and it flies directly at the screen. Additionally, the title itself doesn't appear on screen until after the opening credits have finished rolling. See more »

Connections

Featured in Notre musique (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
(uncredited)
Performed by Army Soldiers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cymru Am Byth in South Africa
30 December 2004 | by (Gidea Park, England) – See all my reviews

If you watch only the first two minutes of 'Zulu', it will be worth your while. The superbly dramatic theme music, followed immediately by Richard Burton's striking Welsh narration, are utterly entrancing. The rest of the film is not bad, either!

In January 1879, during the Boer War, at Isandhlwana in South Africa, over one thousand British troops are annihilated by King Cetshwayo's Zulu army. Standing between the four thousand Zulus and victory is the mission station at Rorke's Drift and about one hundred and forty British soldiers, some of whom are wounded. Commanding the military operation is the young Lieutenant John Chard (Stanley Baker, also co-producer of the film) with Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine, in his first major film role). Against the unimaginable odds, the British troops - the B Company of the 24th Regiment of Foot, South Wales Borderers - manage, with exceptional courage and stoicism, to hold off the Zulu attacks until morning. The valour of the men defending Rourke's Drift resulted in the awarding of eleven Victoria Crosses. The roll of honour is recited by Richard Burton at the film's end.

Baker and Caine are very convincing in the two lead roles as Chard and Bromhead, the rival lieutenants from different social classes who come to respect and even like each other. Their first meeting emphasises the psychological as well as the physical distance between them. Chard, the Engineer Officer, in his shirt-sleeves, is up to his waist in water; Bromhead, the upper-class blue-blood, in his helmet and fine cloak, is on horseback, having just returned from hunting. However, as the battle progresses, this rivalry is forgotten as their prime concern is the job in hand. Their exchange when Chard is injured and Bromhead goes to his aid is telling. By the end of the film, as they stand together in the burnt-out ruins of the hospital, they are equals.

The incredibly virile Stanley Baker (one wants to say, "Fwhoar!" every time he appears on screen) co-produced the film because, like most Welshmen, he was extremely patriotic and wanted to publicise the bravery of the Welsh soldiers at Rorke's Drift. Michael Caine auditioned originally for the part of Hook but was offered instead the part of Bromhead as his looks were considered more suited to those of an upper-class officer than a Cockney private.

Good support is given by the other actors in the supporting roles. James Booth as Private Henry Hook is probably the most memorable character, portrayed (historically inaccurately) as the company ne'er-do-well, yet who wakes up to his duty at the moment of crisis and fights almost to the death. Jack Hawkins and Ulla Jacobssen are effective as the well-meaning but naive father-and-daughter missionaries, the Witts. The outstanding bravery and selflessness of the other (mainly) Welsh soldiers is brought out by all the actors in the subordinate roles.

What I think is very admirable about 'Zulu' is its lack of jingoism. Far from it crowing about British supremacy over the natives, it portrays the bravery of the Zulus as equal to or even greater than that of the British. At the end of the battle, there is no great rejoicing; it was just a job which had to be done because they were there. In the ruins of the hospital, when Chard asks Bromhead how he feels, Bromhead replies, "Sick." Their dialogue continues:

Bromhead: There's something else. I feel ashamed. Was that how it was for you? The first time?

Chard: First time? Do you think I could stand this butcher's yard more than once?

Bromhead: I didn't know.

Chard: I told you. I came up here to build a bridge.

No more needs to be said.

Although the character names and events are factual, the film does sometimes sacrifice historical accuracy for dramatic effect. How much real rivalry there was between Chard and Bromhead is unclear - although it is true that Bromhead ceded command to Chard. Private Hook was not the thief and ne'er-do-well as played by James Booth. Colour Sergeant Bourne was a short man and quite unlike Nigel Green in appearance. Most of the Victoria Cross winners were English, not Welsh. And the film itself was shot not at Rorke's Drift but at a location some miles away.

Interestingly, neither Chard nor Bromhead lived to a great age. Both died in their forties, Chard of mouth cancer in 1897 and Bromhead of fever on active service a few years before. Neither ever married. Nevertheless, their names are immortalised in 'Zulu' - as are the deeds of the tremendously brave men, Welsh, English and Zulu, at Rorke's Drift on 22nd/23rd January 1879.


77 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
100 yards? lmh-10
Cast a Remake tazikhay
dont ever make a remake of this! findthatpanda
Best line in the movie IRONRANGER116
Any good books on the Anglo-Zulu war? vassilizaitzev
Irony: Zulu and Black Hawk Down thepixinator
Discuss Zulu (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?