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Zulu (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 17 June 1964 (USA)
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.


Cy Endfield


John Prebble (original screenplay), Cy Endfield (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Baker ... Lt. John Chard R. E.
Jack Hawkins ... Otto Witt
Ulla Jacobsson ... Margareta Witt
James Booth James Booth ... Pvt. Henry Hook
Michael Caine ... Lt. Gonville Bromhead
Nigel Green ... Colour-Sergeant Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel Ivor Emmanuel ... Pvt. Owen
Paul Daneman Paul Daneman ... Sgt. Maxfield
Glynn Edwards ... Cpl. Allen
Neil McCarthy ... Pvt. Thomas
David Kernan ... Pvt. Hitch
Gary Bond ... Pvt. Cole
Peter Gill Peter Gill ... Pvt. 612 Williams
Tom Gerrard Tom Gerrard ... Lance / Corporal
Patrick Magee ... Surgeon Reynolds


Zululand, South Africa, 1879. The British are fighting the Zulus and one of their columns has just been wiped out at Isandlwana. The Zulus next fix their sights on the small British outpost at Rorke's Drift. At the outpost are one hundred fifty British troops under the command of Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard. In the next few days, these one hundred fifty troops will fight about four thousand Zulus in one of the most courageous battles in history. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The supreme spectacle that had to come thundering out of the most thrilling continent! See more »


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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English | Zulu

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zulu See more »


Box Office


$1,720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Diamond Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The world premiere took place in London on the 85th Anniversary of the battle it depicts. See more »


Camera shadow on helmet as Chard walks along bag wall. See more »


Pvt. Cole: Why is it us? Why us?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title has fire within its letters, and it flies directly at the screen. Additionally, the title itself doesn't appear on screen until after the opening credits have finished rolling. See more »


Stamp and Shake
Written by John Barry
Performed by The Routers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It depicts the electrifying battle of Roarke'Drift where little more than hundred soldiers made a valiant stand against thousands Zulu warriors.
17 September 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This spectacular deals with the heroic defense commanded by two Lieutenants (Stanley Baker,also producer and Michael Caine who assumes an upper crust) find that their 140 man contingent in Zululand has been isolated by the destruction of the main British Army column and that 4,000 Zulu warriors will descend on them in short time . Each has a diverse military background in tactics and they are immediately in conflict and bear a thin red line holding out against hordes of fuzzi-wuzzies. Straightforward recounting about epic events happened after the British defeat at the battle of Isandhlwana where a regiment was massacred by a force over thousands Zulus commanded by Cetschwayo at Natal by Zulu warriors . This historical epic is a spectacular retelling of the deeds leading a bloody battle where a brave regiment holds a huge army of Zulu warriors . In command of British force is John Chard of Engineers and Bromhead well played by Stanley Baker and Michael Caine respectively ; furthermore an excellent Nigel Green plays Sergeant Bourke as tough and war veteran . Extraordinary secondary cast formed by prestigious British actors, such as Jack Hawkins as a fanatic pastor , James Booth as rogue private , Patrick Magee as doctor , among others. The battle scenes are magnificent with deployment of the vast forces, and exciting combats when the regiment try to defend from attack by thousands of Zulu warriors. It was made during the 60s boom for epic adventures in exotic climes and resulted to be one of the best . Stunning cinematography with colorful landscapes and rousing score by the master John Barry. The picture is well directed by Cy Endfield who translates perfectly the outstanding battles. It's followed by a prequel about 'Dawn Zulu' by Douglas Hickock starred by all-star-cast as Burt Lancaster , Peter O'Toole, Simon Ward and John Mills.

Adding more details over the largely depicted on the movie, the incidents happened of the following manner : Zulu victory over British forces 22 Jan 1879 about 160 km, north of Durban.A column led by Lord Chelmsford seeking the Zulu army camped at Isandhlwara, road to Ulundi while patrols went out to scour the district. A report was received and Chelmsford moved out with half his strength, leaving the camp occupied by six companies of the 24th Regiment, two guns, some colonial volunteers and some native contingents: about 1800 troops in all. Late in the morning , an advance post warred of the approach of a Zulu army. Then a mounted patrol found thousands of Zulus concealed in a ravines as the patrol rode to warn the camp, the Zulus followed. The camp commander spread his troops around the perimeter of the camp, but the Zulus broke through, the native contingents fled but were chased and killed. The 21 officers and 534 soldiers of the 24Th Regiment were killed where they fought , there were no wounded , no prisoners and no missing. Only about 50 Europeans and 300 Africans escaped. The battle of Isandhalwana was recorded in history as the worst defeat ever inflicted on a modern army by native troops . The invasion of Zululand was temporarily halted until reinforcements were received from Britain. Despite the defeat, the Zulus were humiliated and crushed at Roark's Drift battle.. 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?

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