7.8/10
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Zulu (1964)

Unrated | | Drama, History, War | 17 June 1964 (USA)
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ivor Emmanuel ...
Paul Daneman ...
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David Kernan ...
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Peter Gill ...
Tom Gerrard ...
Lance / Corporal
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Storyline

Zululand, South Africa, 1879. The British are fighting the Zulus and one of their columns has just been wiped out at Isandlwana. The Zulus next fix their sights on the small British outpost at Rorke's Drift. At the outpost are 150 British troops under the command of Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard. In the next few days these 150 troops will fight about 4,000 Zulus in one of the most courageous battles in history. Written by grantss

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:

$1,720,000 (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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Epilogue, narrated by Richard Burton, states that 11 soldiers from the battle were awarded the Victoria Cross, which is correct. However, 12 soldiers were actually nominated for the award, the 12th being being Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne (played by Nigel Green). On being informed of his nomination, Bourne requested that he be given a commission instead, which the army agreed to do, awarding him the Distinguished Service Medal instead of the V.C. Bourne was the youngest colour sergeant in the British Army at the time, and went on to have a distinguished career, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. When he died in 1945 he was the last surviving British soldier from the battle. See more »

Goofs

Most (approximately two-thirds) of the Zulus killed in the battle were not shot but bayoneted in the head. Most of the rounds fired by the British at the Zulus either missed them or only wounded them. See more »

Quotes

Commissary Dalton: Careful! Pop that chap somebody! Good fellow, good fellow!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: JANUARY 23rd 1879 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rovers: The Tankard (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by soldiers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Undisputed Classic
23 August 2001 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

It`s shameful no-one makes films like ZULU anymore. In these PC dominated times there are those who may view this film as being racist dealing with a heroic battle between white foreign troops against native black Africans during Victorian times. Nothing could be further from the truth. The zulus are rightly presented as being fearless and disciplined warriors ready to willingly die than show cowardice.

The only other criticism a modern day audience can level at the film is the fact that the battle scenes are slightly ungory compared to the likes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and PLATOON. But so what ? How many other films compete with the excitement and tension of scenes like the soldiers fighting off the hordes of zulus in the hospital building ? Would graphic disembowelment and decapitation improve these scenes ? of course not.

I could go on all day as to what`s brilliant about ZULU , but I wont. But I will say that for me the greatest aspect of the film is John Barry`s score. The fact that he never won an oscar for it just goes to show there`s no justice in the world.

Without doubt the greatest British film of the 1960`s , probably the greatest British picture ever , and possibly the greatest film ever. Let`s hope Hollywood never decides to remake it


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