7.8/10
30,703
239 user 48 critic

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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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
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, Noël Coward, Benny Hill
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine
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, Conrad Kemp
Waterloo I (1970)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

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 to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
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
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
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 7.5/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ivor Emmanuel ...
Paul Daneman ...
...
...
David Kernan ...
...
Peter Gill ...
Tom Gerrard ...
...
Edit

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:

Dwarfing The Mightiest! Towering Over The Greatest! 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:

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Michael Caine's character of Lt. Bromhead was a soldier who had never been in battle, Caine himself was actually a veteran of the British army, who had seen combat in the Korean War. See more »

Goofs

The Commissary Doctor lifts the lid on a pot of boiling soup. It should be too hot to handle. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant John Chard: The army doesn't like more than one disaster in a day.
Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.
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

Referenced in Gladiator (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superlative acting, cinematography & direction: what impact!

I cannot find words to fully express how perfectly formed this film is, though I will- of course- make a good stab at it!

I've seen Zulu so many times since it was first released that I have lost count. In the days when you could sit in the cinema and watch a film come round for a second (or even a third) time, I always did this with Zulu. I bought the soundtrack when it came out (on vinyl, of course).

From Stanley Baker & Michael Caine on through the cast list the acting is, quite simply, superb. This is an ensemble piece, and the ensemble gives its all! Photographically, it is beautifully conceived and executed. There is a tendency in 'war' movies to find a couple of favourite types of shot, and then endlessly repeat them, rather like a budgerigar that has learnt how to make his bell ring: no danger of that here; a whole lexicon of camera movements & angles is deployed with consummate skill so that you cannot watch this film without being fully engaged with it.

But, to cut to the chase, what is so striking is that here is a movie that could so easily have been yet another 'duffing up the natives' actioner, and instead becomes a vehicle for all sorts of interesting questions. Questions such as 'what is it to be a man?', and 'what is courage?' are posed and turned into interesting questions with complex and surprising answers.

The way that Zulu culture/social psychology is compared with that of the British soldiers is also deft and insightful. The cry of the drunken pastor- "you're all going to die"- echoes through the rest of the film, as we see how the protagonists face death.

Any review of this would be incomplete without mention of the music, which is so well-suited to the action. It forms a restless, swirling, and sometimes majestic backdrop to what is happening on-screen.

The voice-overs which 'bookend' the film also underline that which is, in any case, clear from the narrative: this film is no apologia for imperialism. Neither does it represent battle as other than bloody and painful murder. What is, perhaps, the most remarkable feature of the film is the way in which it damns war while neither grossing out nor alienating its audience. It is, on the contrary, an enthralling and passionate entertainment.

One memorable visual moment occurs toward the end, when the Zulus appear simultaneously on the skyline all round Rorke's Drift. Compare this with the appearance of the tanks on the skyline in 'The Battle of the Bulge'...

P.S., beware (as you always should) TV showings or videos that are 'scanned' rather than in the original letterbox format: cinematography this good does not deserve to be butchered!


99 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page