Zulu

  • 1964
  • 2 HR 15 MIN
  • NR
  • Historical, War

Set in 1879 in Natal, this magnificently staged, brilliantly acted film tells the story of the heroic defense by overwhelmingly outnumbered British troops of the tiny outpost Rorke's Drift. Having been warned by a pacifist missionary (Jack Hawkins) that a British army contingent has been massacred by Zulu warriors, Lt. John Chard (Stanley Baker, the film's...read more

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Set in 1879 in Natal, this magnificently staged, brilliantly acted film tells the story of the heroic defense by overwhelmingly outnumbered British troops of the tiny outpost Rorke's Drift. Having been warned by a pacifist missionary (Jack Hawkins) that a British army contingent has been

massacred by Zulu warriors, Lt. John Chard (Stanley Baker, the film's producer) orders his troops to dig in, despite the pleas of Lt. Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine), the blueblood second-in-command who wants to abandon the post and who feels that he, rather than Chard (an engineer), should be

in charge. Rather than fleeing, however, the courageous Brits withstand attack after attack, night and day, from 4,000 Zulus, and eventually triumph through a combination of ingenuity, determination, and luck. This amazing film is devastatingly accurate in its depiction of the Rorke's Drift

action, and is superbly directed by Cy Endfield, whose battle scenes are some of the most terrifying ever committed to film. Producer Baker, however, had a difficult time getting his Zulu extras to cooperate on the location shoot in Natal. None had ever seen a motion picture, and he couldn't make

the chiefs understand what he wanted to do. Finally, Baker had an old western starring Gene Autry flown in and showed it to the Zulus, who, grasping the fictional game at hand, later cooperated and lent the battle scenes tremendous power. ZULU is dramatically narrated by Richard Burton, who points

out that of the 1,344 Victoria Crosses awarded since 1856, 11 were given to the defenders at Rorke's Drift, an all-time record for one engagement.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set in 1879 in Natal, this magnificently staged, brilliantly acted film tells the story of the heroic defense by overwhelmingly outnumbered British troops of the tiny outpost Rorke's Drift. Having been warned by a pacifist missionary (Jack Hawkins) that a… (more)

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