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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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James Booth ...
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Colour - Sergeant Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel ...
Paul Daneman ...
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Neil McCarthy ...
David Kernan ...
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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

Plot Keywords:

british | zulu | warrior | battle | army | See All (180) »

Taglines:

These are the days and nights of fury and honor and courage and cowardice that an entire century of empire-making and film-making can never surpass! 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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

Joe Powell's role was much bigger but he became ill during the period when his scenes were to be shot. See more »

Goofs

In the film it is said that the Zulus brought rifles captured at Isandlwana. While the Zulu force at Rorke's Drift did have a small number of old muskets, no captured British weapons from Isandlwana were used, as this force did not fight at Isandlwana, rather, was the reserve or "loins" force. No Zulus having fought at Isandlwana could have travelled as far as Rorke's Drift in time for the second battle. The muskets used at Rorke's Drift had no effect on the battle. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Sixty! We dropped at least 60, wouldn't you say?
Adendorff: That leaves only 3,940.
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 Have I Got News for You: Episode #39.3 (2010) 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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