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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.

Director:

Cy Endfield

Writers:

John Prebble (original screenplay), Cy Endfield (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Zulu

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zulu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Diamond Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During shooting, Paramount Pictures executives sent a telegram to the producers in South Africa to immediately fire Sir Michael Caine, because they had seen the rushes and decided that he was giving a terrible performance. Caine read that telegram before the producers did, because their secretary gave it to him first. Afterwards, he was very nervous waiting to be fired, but couldn't mention this to the producers because he would get that secretary into trouble. After a few days, he mentioned it to one of the producers, making up a story of how he read the telegram. The producer told him he wasn't fired, but warned Caine to keep away from his mail. See more »

Goofs

When Chard fights the two Zulus who break through the line, a soldier near him is shot and slumps over the sandbag wall. In the next shot Chard picks up the soldier's rifle, which has a bayonet attached to it, and uses it to fight the Zulus. However, when the stricken soldier fell, his rifle didn't have a bayonet on it and was slung over the soldier's right shoulder, not propped against the wall where Chard could conveniently pick it up. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant John Chard: You didn't say a thing to help, Bromhead.
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Well, when you take command, old boy, you're on your own. One of the first things that the general - my grandfather - ever taught me.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Anti-Zulu Activists Failed Censorship Attempt (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by soldiers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
With Alamo Like Odds
16 April 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Zulu is the filmed account of the Battle of Rorke's Drift during the war against the Zulu nation in the part of South Africa known as Natal. It's not an explanation of policy as to why the British were in Africa, just an account of 139 brave soldiers successfully holding off 4000 to 5000 Zulu warriors, the fiercest fighters in that part of Africa.

To put in American terms for the rest of us Yanks, the British army was facing the same kind of odds the Texans did at the Alamo. They also were not certain any kind of relief was coming because the day before, on January 21, 1879 the army had sustained a cataclysmic defeat against those same Zulus at Isandlwana. Out of 850 soldiers about 50 of them survived, in no shape to give aid to anybody. It was the British equivalent of The Little Big Horn which had taken place on the American frontier three years earlier.

But on January 22,23 of 1879 the best of that generation in the United Kingdom performed to the max for Queen and country. Stanley Baker and Michael Caine play the two lieutenants, the engineer and the shave-tail from Sandhurst who commanded the troops at Rorke's Drift.

Just a brief bit of research on the internet indicated to me that I saw a fairly accurate account of just what went on for those two days. Zulu combines what is sometimes impossible, good history with good entertainment.

If it's broadcast it's not to be missed.


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