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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:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lt. John Chard R. E.
... Otto Witt
... Margareta Witt
... Pvt. Henry Hook
... Lt. Gonville Bromhead
... Colour-Sergeant Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel ... Pvt. Owen
Paul Daneman ... Sgt. Maxfield
... Cpl. Allen
... Pvt. Thomas
David Kernan ... Pvt. Hitch
... Pvt. Cole
Peter Gill ... Pvt. 612 Williams
Tom Gerrard ... Lance / Corporal
... Surgeon Reynolds
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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 150 British troops under the command of Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard. In the next few days these 150 troops will fight about 4,000 Zulus in one of the most courageous battles in history. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These are the days and nights of fury and honor and courage and cowardice that an entire century of empire-making and film-making can never surpass! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zulu  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,720,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,000,000, 31 December 1964
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life, Chard and Bromhead were regarded as less than remarkable officers by their superiors, and were in fact considered to be too old (Chard was 32 and Bromhead 33) for their rather junior ranks of Lieutenant. The defense of Rorke's Drift galvanized their careers--Chard was a colonel at the time of his death (of cancer at 49) and Bromhead reached the rank of major before succumbing to typhoid at 46. 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

Pte. Henry Hook: Rourke's Drift... It'd take an Irishman to give his name to a rotten stinking middle o' nowhere hole like this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening credits 'and Introducing Michael Caine' is shown, this would suggest that this was his first film. In fact MC had previously had five credited film roles, numerous TV appearances and several uncredited film roles before appearing in Zulu. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lovejoy: The Peking Gun (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Stamp and Shake
Written by John Barry
Performed by The Routers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

You can't do better than ZULU
2 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

A stirring, inspiring film about ordinary British soldiers, caught off-guard and forced to fight for their lives.

During the Victorian period, discipline within the British Army was at its very peak, and the Officers were well versed in standard military manoeuvres. However, Lord Chelmsford, leading the colony out of ISLANDWANA, effectively sealed the fate of the 1000 or so Soldiers encamped on the slopes of the mountain at Islandwana, and in turn forced the Mission station at Rourkes Drift into a seemingly impossible situation; Beat off the attack.

Luckily, Lt John Chard of the Royal Engineers had been assigned to Rourkes Drift to "Build a Bridge", thus saving him from massacre and lending his wisdom and sharp military mind to the ragged bunch of soldiers at the station.

Lt Gonville Bromhead, superbly played by Michael Caine, epitomised the "Military Families" that had been commanding regiments for Decades during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

The film speaks for itself, culminating in the final, mesmerising, breath-taking, desperate battle to hold fast against a disciplined attack from the ZULU impi.

Strangely, the film makes no mention of Cetsewayo's order that no force should attack any entrenched British position. The Rourkes Drift attack was spearheaded by one of his headstrong sons, eager to prove his courage and leadership skills to his respected warrior father.

With narration from none other than Richard Burton, stirring music, the pre-battle singing at dawn, and the three level firing lines on a "mealy-bag" redoubt, you can't do better than "ZULU".


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