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Guns at Batasi (1964)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 25 September 1964 (UK)
An anachronistic strict Regimental Sergeant Major, on a remote colonial African army caught in a local coup d'etat, must use his experience to defend those in his care.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Robert Holles (screenplay), Robert Holles (novel) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Attenborough ... Regimental Sgt. Major Lauderdale
Jack Hawkins ... Colonel Deal
Flora Robson ... Miss Barker-Wise
John Leyton ... Private Wilkes
Mia Farrow ... Karen Eriksson
Cecil Parker ... Fletcher
Errol John ... Lieut. Boniface
Graham Stark ... Sgt. 'Dodger' Brown
Earl Cameron ... Captain Abraham
Percy Herbert ... Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin
David Lodge ... Sgt. 'Muscles' Dunn
Bernard Horsfall ... Sgt. 'Schoolie' Prideaux
John Meillon ... Sgt. 'Aussie' Drake
Horace James Horace James ... Corporal Abou
Patrick Holt ... Captain
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Storyline

Regimental Sergeant Major Lauderdale is a by-the-book, strict disciplinarian, who seems like an anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British commonwealth. Rdiculed behind his back by his subordinate N.C.O.s, he must play host to a liberal women M.P. making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protegè of the M.P., initiates a coup d'etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful sergeant major uses all his military training to save his men from a certain firing squad. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brothers of Vengeance... See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Les canons de Batasi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All people, events and places depicted in this film are entirely imaginary and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or to any real events or places, is entirely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

The personal weapon used by the British is the Sterling sub machine gun which replaced the Sten in the British Army in 1953. This weapon is held with the left hand on the barrel and never the magazine or housing. Holding the magazine is a throwback to its predecessor, the Sten. The experienced senior members of the Mess are holding it incorrectly whilst the most inexperienced among them (Private Wilkes) holds it correctly and naturally. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: [singing as he drives a truck] She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes. She'll be comin'
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Can't you sing in tune?
Sgt. Dodger Brown: round the mountain when she comes!
[pause as truck bumps over rough road]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Hey, Ben, you know I was just thinkin'. Back home they wouldn't let me drive a scooter without taking a test.
[chuckles]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Marvelous, isn't it?
[thud as truck jolts]
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Marvelous
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Postgraduate Course in Sexual Love (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Probably Dickie's best
17 March 2005 | by ubercommandoSee all my reviews

It's the early 60's, Africa is being decolonised and a supposedly peaceful transition from colony to independent nation goes awry. All that stands between order and "enemies of the new state" being butchered is Dickie Attenborough's RSM and his Sergeant's mess. He has to defend his barracks, put up with a naive left wing politician, a young girl who's taken a fancy to a conscript private who wants his last day in the army to go without a hitch, a wounded African officer who is greatly respected by the RSM, but is an enemy of the new army he's supposed to be in charge of and a largely absent British officer corps. But this won't get Dickie down; the worse things get, the more determined and resolved he gets. Some of his dialogue is fantastic and his calm (and not so calm) put downs of those who threaten him or complain to him are brilliant. Like Anthony Hopkins in "Remains of the Day", his is a lifetime of service and duty; but one that kicks serious ass.

It's one of Attenborough's finest performances: Certainly up there with Brighton Rock.


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