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Narrated by Richard Burton and starring an outstanding Michael Caine in his first starring role, Zulu is a tense and dramatic war film about the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879--which was part of the Anglo-Zulu War in South Africa--where approximately 150 British soldiers held off 4,000 Zulu warriors. Zulu is an exceptionally well-made and beautifully shot film from 1964 that demonstrates the bravery of the British troops and also acknowledges the Zulu's bravery. The emotional score of the film was conducted by John Barry. Eleven Victoria Crosses were won in the action, the most in a single battle. Most of the characters in the movie were based on real participants of the battle.
Top Customer Reviews
Zulu is the greatest achievement of the career of British actor Stanley Baker, who co-produced with US-born, formerly blacklisted director Cy Endfield. Nothing else in the genre really measures up, including Endfield's so-called "prequel", Zulu Dawn, or other epics based on British colonial wars, such as Khartoum. It was filmed on location in the grandeur of Natal, South Africa, with descendants of the Zulu warriors who took part in the original action portraying their forebears. The prominent Zulu politician and traditional chief, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, plays the Zulu leader, his distant relative Cetewayo.Read more ›
This neglected classic was filmed at a time when it was still just possible to associate the word "glory" with military victory-- without a sneer. The makers of the film avoid preaching and just let the battle tell the tale of the men of both sides. The British soldiers are not the "good guys" nor are the Zulus "bad guys," and the lone derogatory comment about the fighting ability of the Zulus is instantly rebuffed by a tough Boer cavalryman who says, "And just who do you think is coming to wipe out your little garrison, the Grenadier Guards?" This is a soldier's story about a soldier's fight.
Did the Welsh really sing "Men of Harlach" as they manned their mealie-bag barricades?
Did the Zulus really render a warrior's salute as they broke off the action on the second day of the battle?
It doesn't matter. The film is accurate in the historical basics that really count.
Beautifully filmed on location, with an outstanding, stirring score by John Barry, this film features solid but appropriately understated performances by Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, and Jack Hawkins.Read more ›
The battle at Rorke's Drift, or as the Zulus called it "Jim's Place" is magnificently portrayed in this 1964 epic filmed on location in Natal.
Michael Caine perfectly plays the part of Lieutenent Gonville Bromhead, a gentleman and professional soldier who along with Lieutenent John Chard of the Royal Engineers (played by Stanley Baker) masterminded the defence of the small missionary station at Rorke's Drift.
80 men of the South Wales Borderers 24th Regiment Of Foot defended the missionary station and it's 36 wounded men in the hospital against 4,000 zulu warriors.
The Natal scenery and costumes of both the British soldiers and Zulu warriors are a highlight.
The battle scenes were graphically ahead of it's time and the narration by Richard Burton (himself a welshman)certainly adds to the drama that would unfold.
One criticism is levelled at the characterization of Private Alfred Henry Hook, who in the movie is portrayed as a drunken malingerer. He was in fact a gentleman and small landowner who was a well regarded soldier. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in evacuating the sick and wounded from the burning hospital.
Overall, as an avid historian on the Zulu War of 1879, I found this a compelling movie classic which has been watched over and over again by me and my 3 brothers( Tom, Chris and Sam)
James Hulston from Sydney, Australia
Most Recent Customer Reviews
They don’t make ‘em like this anymore! Though more than fifty years old this film still offers an incredible viewing experience. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by John E. Larsen
I like this movie. I have been looking for it for awhile. I have Zulu dawn and needed this one to complete. Thank youPublished 2 days ago by Edward E.
Great movie! Shipping took quite a while but it was expected since it shipped from the UK to the USPublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing transfer, have bought this in VHS and DVD--THIS is the one I waited forPublished 6 days ago by Michael Moore
The movie could only be played in Europe so it did me no good. I have seen the movie which I would give 5 stars to at any time.Published 6 days ago by Dave