6.6/10
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Zulu Dawn (1979)

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 »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Colonel Pulleine / Col. Pulleine
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Pte. Williams (as Dai Bradley)
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Ian Yule ...
Peter J. Elliott ...
Brian O'Shaughnessy ...
Maj. Smith R.A. (as Brian O'Shaunnessy)
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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

Taglines:

A rip-roaring blood and thunder epic See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amanecer Zulú  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby System Noise Reduction - High Fidelity)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster reputedly was "tone deaf" when it came to accents, but here he affects an Irish burr. Lancaster also was challenged by having to learn how to do things like riding a horse with only one arm. See more »

Goofs

Rifles are used for individual close up shots, but the firing line have the carbines. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: One hundred years ago the British Colony of Natal in Southern Africa was surrounded by a vast and independent Zulu Kingdom.

In 1879, a battle took place that was forever to alter the course of Colonial history: ISANDHLWANA See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
ZUUULUUUUUUUUUU

An impressive recreation of the events leading up to and of the battle of Isandlwana. The cast quality was first class, but the film jumped about from British to Zulu camps and back again to much, and some more footage of the Zulu rulers and their decisions would have been nice.

As it is the film gave a fairly balanced account of both sides. The actual battle scenes were very impressive but given the area at Isandlwana were not as tightly shot as in Zulu nor as good, and thus the same atmosphere just wasn't there, with scenes jumping around, and you could not relate to the individual characters as much as in Zulu, as they were on and off screen to quickly.

The Zulu charge though was frightening, and you felt for the soldiers who had to meet it. In short, not as good as the original, and with some mistakes in the British weapons and some equipment, but a very good introduction to Zulu if you were to see both movies back to back.






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