6.6/10
5,237
64 user 25 critic

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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Col. Pulleine
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Pte. Williams (as Dai Bradley)
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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:

Like nothing before, God help us if ever again! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

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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

Peter O'Toole was cast as Lord Chelmsford in this picture because of his Lawrence of Arabia (1962) screen persona. 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.
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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

Follows Zulu (1964) 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 amazing film!
29 October 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This film must be the most under-rated film of its time. It is a very accurate depiction of the battle of Isandhlwana and the massacre of the British Soldiers. The casting was brilliant, Burt Lancaster and Simon Ward were outstanding in the lead roles. The film following the lives of very different people through a very short timespan was very well done baring in mind the amount of people the film focused on, from a native south african messenger, to an arrogant British General. The film was fair to both armies that fought on that day and deserves to be recognised as a movie epic.


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