MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,184 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 4,188 users  
Reviews: 59 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 Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 05 Dec 2010
 
a list of 36 titles
created 21 Jun 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
War
a list of 43 titles
created 28 Feb 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 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 6.9/10 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
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Paul Robeson, Leslie Banks, Nina Mae McKinney
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two Air Force friends have fun during their enlistment.

Director: Jack Webb
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jack Webb, Martha Hyer
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 a massacre in apartheid-era South Africa, one apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug.

Director: Jérôme Salle
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Tanya van Graan
Tanned Legs (1929)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Peggy and Bill are high society lovebirds, but their marriage plans are put on hold while Peggy spends most of her summer straightening out her wayward parents and her unlucky-in-love ... See full summary »

Director: Marshall Neilan
Stars: Arthur Lake, June Clyde, Dorothy Revier
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In Montreal, a police inspector slowly discovers a plot to kidnap a nuclear physicist, American mobsters, foreign spies, and a blonde seductress, are all involved.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, George Raft, Audrey Totter
Half Marriage (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young couple marries in secret. Judy's afraid her parents won't approve of Dick and she'll lose her generous allowance. Her parents bring her home from the city where she's been studying ... See full summary »

Director: William J. Cowen
Stars: Olive Borden, Morgan Farley, Ken Murray
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In New York City, a young model is swept off her feet by a debonair, handsome young man. Unfortunately for her, he didn't want to get married but had been stringing her along. When she ... See full summary »

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Conrad Nagel, H.B. Warner
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The crew of the Pioneer Zephyr diesel train has only a few hours to deliver an iron lung to an injured man at the Boulder Dam construction site.

Director: Thomas Atkins
Stars: Burlington Zephyr, Sally Blane, Charles Starrett
The Very Idea (1929)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A Eugenics expert convinces his sister and her husband, a barren couple, to adopt the offspring of his carefully selected "thoroughbreds": the family's chauffeur and maid who themselves are engaged.

Directors: Frank Craven, Richard Rosson
Stars: Frank Craven, Hugh Trevor, Sally Blane
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman who owns a boarding house winds up being the "mother hen" to the assorted mobsters and racketeers who live there. When her foster son decides to take the blame for a murder that was... See full summary »

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Billie Dove, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Helen Ware
Long Pants (1926)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Fred Guiol
Stars: Glenn Tryon, Vivien Oakland, Cissy Fitzgerald
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Colonel Pulleine / Col. Pulleine
...
...
...
...
...
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

Taglines:

The battle that shook the empire! 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

Closing credits epilogue: The Battle of Isandhlwana was recorded in history as the worst defeat ever inflicted on a modern army by native troops. In Parliament, upon the downfall of his government, British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, asked the question: "Who are these Zulus. who are these remarkable people who defeat our generals, convert our bishops and who on this day have put an end to a great dynasty?" See more »

Goofs

As Colonel Pulleine writes his last letter in his tent, he is holding the pen in his left hand. The shot switches to a view over his shoulder, and the pen is now in his right hand. Then as a Zulu bursts into the tent, Pulleine drops the pen from his left hand again to grab a revolver. 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 »

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

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) 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

 
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.


20 of 22 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

Create a character page for:
?