MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,379 this week

Zulu Dawn (1979)

 -  Adventure | Drama | History  -  15 May 1979 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,097 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 23 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 22 Aug 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 02 Aug 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Zulu Dawn" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Zulu Dawn (1979)

Zulu Dawn (1979) on IMDb 6.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Zulu Dawn.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After an Egyptian army, commanded by British officers, is destroyed in a battle in the Sudan in the 1880's, the British government is in a quandary. It does not want to commit a British ... See full summary »

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
Zulu (2013)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The policemen, Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen, investigate a massacre during apartheid in South Africa, which apparently took place because a new illegal substance became available.

Director: Jérôme Salle
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Tanya van Graan
Shaka Zulu (TV Mini-Series 1986)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A historical account on the life of the Zulu king Shaka.

Stars: Edward Fox, Robert Powell, Trevor Howard
Zulu (1964)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson
Tenement (1985)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A drug selling and violent street-gang terrorize the renters of a big trashy apartment-house.

Director: Roberta Findlay
Stars: Joe Lynn, Mina Bern, Walter Bryant
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German POW camp housed in a Medieval castle.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards
Waterloo I (1970)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A hunch horse-player's marriage is threatened by his betting ways; in desperation, his wife becomes his bookie.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Dean Martin, Lana Turner, Eddie Albert
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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"Kilroy Was Here" was a popular expression during World War II, but it's not much fun to John J. Kilroy, who has to try to live with all the jokes and wisecracks regarding his name.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Jackie Cooper, Jackie Coogan, Wanda McKay
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Pte. Williams (as Dai Bradley)
...
Donald Pickering ...
Nicholas Clay ...
...
Ian Yule ...
Peter J. Elliott ...
Brian O'Shaughnessy ...
Maj. Smith R.A. (as Brian O'Shaunnessy)
Edit

Storyline

In 1879 South Africa, the administrators of the British Cape Colony have designs to eliminate the Zulus as a hindrance to their colonial economy. To that end, the British present King Cetshwayo with an impossible ultimatum to provoke a war they are sure they can win easily with their rifles and artillery against native spears. However, that war proves more difficult than the arrogant British commander, Lord Chelmsford, expects as his overburdened army fruitlessly searches for the elusive enemy. However, in the shadow of a hill called Isandlwana, the overconfident British army learns to its sorrow just how badly they have underestimated the tactical skill and might of the Zulu nation. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

zulu | british army | rifle | battle | africa | See more »

Taglines:

The sun dawned bloodied...two great armies met face to face...and the earth trembled to the sound of the Zulu death chant! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amanecer Zulú  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby System Noise Reduction-High Fidelity)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There was some opposition to the casting of Burt Lancaster as Colonel Durnford, since at 64 he was much older than the character. See more »

Goofs

In several shots (most notable when the Zulus first come into view of the camp) it's obvious that many of the Zulu warriors are carrying fake shields: Instead of cowhide, the shields are obviously just painted on some sort of a plate, probably plywood. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sir Henry Bartle Frere: [proofreading aloud the ultimatum he has just drafted] Cetshwayo's Zulu army to disband and the warriors permitted to return to their homes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Zulu Wars 1879 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
Traditional
Heard when the troops depart for Zululand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
one of the last great epic war films - also the only good "Prequel" in history
27 August 2005 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Not perfect, but awesome in its spectacle and casting, ZULU DAWN makes a fine companion piece to it's earlier sequel, ZULU.

DAWN starts fairly slowly with lots of lengthy contrasting scenes in Zululand and Natal, showing a big rift between the comfortable life of the British Colonials in Natal vs. the primitive barbarism of the Zulus. It's only inevitable that conflict later comes in one way or another and boy does it ever! The final battle scene consumes roughly the last 30 minutes of the movie and it's very exciting to see roughly 1200 British soldiers swiftly get overrun by a 30,000 strong army of Zulu warriors armed with spears. The red coats mow down wave after wave of Zulus but they just keep coming. The best scenes show the Zulu wave murdering wounded soldiers lying in their beds and then even running through the poor mess cooks! Then comes one of the best shots in any epic film (reminding me of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and BATTLE OF NERETVA) with one excellent long shot where the entire background shows the Zulus swarming through the British tents while in the foreground a Zulu stabs and British soldier to death.

The main disappointment here is that Peter O'Toole is a bit underused and really doesn't have the larger than life impact that one would usually expect from him. The rest of the cast comes off great though, especially Denholm Elliot, Peter Vaughan, Bob Hoskins, and especially Simon Ward. The musical score is very good as well, though at times possibly a little distracting and oppressive.

Hats off to the cinematographer and location managers for this one - I believe ZULU DAWN was shot at the actual location of the real battle, so the authenticity of the whole thing shall probably always go unequaled. I heartily recommend this film to any fan of large-scale war and action films - just hang in for the climax as it's one of the finest in all filmdom.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Romans vs. Zulus andypaul_gill
'Final Solution' shimshamtothemax
why didn't pulleine shoot? billingscaleb
Isandlwana vs Kambula internetnicknamehere-178-30027
which of the main characters in the movie did exist and which did not? manuel-nunez
New R2 UK release on dvd plasmapulse
Discuss Zulu Dawn (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page