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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 »
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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 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:

These were the last of the great adventurers - suddenly besieged in a jungle powderkeg half way between heaven and hell! 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

Based on the 1962 novel "The Siege of Battersea" by Robert Holles. See more »

Goofs

At regimental dinners in the Sgts Mess, the Loyal Toast is always proposed by Mr Vice, the junior member of the mess, and not by the RSM. 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

Featured in Film Review: Richard Attenborough (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Chance Discovery
23 June 2001 | by MikeZ-2See all my reviews

I discovered this film, quite by chance, whilst looking through the early evening schedules for BBC1. Billed in the newspaper as a "Second World War drama" it is anything but, actually being set in early '60s East Africa just after countries like Kenya achieved independence from Britain. Richard Attenborough is splendid as the RSM who worships "spit and polish" as much as he does HM The Queen. (Odd to think she's still on the throne and "reigning" over the same but very much changed realm.) Attenborough's characterisation of the type of man who ran the British Army is spot on. Are such men still with us? Flora Robson also gives a entirely believable performance as the naive and opinionated Labour MP. We know such women are still amongst us. The supporting cast of actors portraying the sergeants and reluctant conscript give this film great credibility. Mia Farrow is an unexpected guest and we can only envy Wilkie for getting his wicked way. Jack Hawkins, as ever, gives a stock performance as the officer who remains stiff upper-lipped in the face of adversity. Altogether an unexpected treat.


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