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Zulu (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  17 June 1964 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 27,116 users  
Reviews: 229 user | 45 critic

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

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Zulu (1964)

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

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

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zulu  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Caine originally auditioned for the part of Private Henry Hook, but was beaten to it by James Booth. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Bromhead (Michael Caine) is seen returning from his hunt, the bearers are carrying a dead cheetah and a springbok. The springbok is an antelope that inhabits arid areas in the northwest of South Africa, and was never present in Natal. See more »

Quotes

[points towards the fleeing cavalry]
Reverend Otto Witt: The way of the Lord has been shown to us!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening credits 'and Introducing Michael Caine' is shown, this would suggest that this was his first film. In fact MC had previously had five credited film roles, numerous TV appearances and several uncredited film roles before appearing in Zulu. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan: Tsuioku Hen (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

You can't do better than ZULU
2 December 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A stirring, inspiring film about ordinary British soldiers, caught off-guard and forced to fight for their lives.

During the Victorian period, discipline within the British Army was at its very peak, and the Officers were well versed in standard military manoeuvres. However, Lord Chelmsford, leading the colony out of ISLANDWANA, effectively sealed the fate of the 1000 or so Soldiers encamped on the slopes of the mountain at Islandwana, and in turn forced the Mission station at Rourkes Drift into a seemingly impossible situation; Beat off the attack.

Luckily, Lt John Chard of the Royal Engineers had been assigned to Rourkes Drift to "Build a Bridge", thus saving him from massacre and lending his wisdom and sharp military mind to the ragged bunch of soldiers at the station.

Lt Gonville Bromhead, superbly played by Michael Caine, epitomised the "Military Families" that had been commanding regiments for Decades during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

The film speaks for itself, culminating in the final, mesmerising, breath-taking, desperate battle to hold fast against a disciplined attack from the ZULU impi.

Strangely, the film makes no mention of Cetsewayo's order that no force should attack any entrenched British position. The Rourkes Drift attack was spearheaded by one of his headstrong sons, eager to prove his courage and leadership skills to his respected warrior father.

With narration from none other than Richard Burton, stirring music, the pre-battle singing at dawn, and the three level firing lines on a "mealy-bag" redoubt, you can't do better than "ZULU".


65 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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