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Zulu (1964)

Cast: John Sullivan, John Sullivan, Stanley Baker, more...
Director: Cy Raker Endfield, Cy Raker Endfield
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Foreign, UK
Running Time: 138 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Filmed on a grand scale, Zulu is a rousing recreation of the January 22, 1879 siege of Rorke's Drift in Natal, Africa. An army of 4,000 Zulu warriors have already decimated a huge British garrison; now they are on their way to the much smaller Rorke's Drift. A Royal Engineers officer (Stanley Baker) is determined to stand his ground, despite having only a skeleton garrison at his command. His steamroller tactics are constantly at odds with those of a by-the-book lieutenant (Michael Caine), who feels that a retreat is called for, but it becomes clear that if the garrison is to survive, they'd better pay heed. Jack Hawkins and Ulla Jacobsson are also on hand as an idealistic missionary and his somewhat more pragmatic daughter. Richard Burton provides the narration for Zulu, closing the film with the observation that 11 of the 1344 Victoria Crosses awarded since 1856 were bestowed upon the survivors of Rorke's Drift. Zulu was followed in 1979 by a "prequel," Zulu Dawn. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

The definitive treatment of morale by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 4:41 PM PDT
A tiny British outpost suddenly finds itself surrounded by unimaginable numbers of determined Zulu warriors. Two officers of nearly equal seniority are available to lead: one primarily is an engineering foreman, the other a privileged prig of no particular ability. In fine performances by Stanley Baker and Michael Caine, the engineer rises to the occasion, while even the prig grows up. The Zulus, though remaining an essentially mysterious collective, are accorded a distant respect. They vastly outnumber the British but suffer an equal disadvantage in weaponry. Yet they keep charging and charging the guns in waves. No matter how this battle turns out, we know it is the beginning of the end for them. Michael Caine is riveting as he begins to show a fully human being behind the one-dimensional caricature of a silver-spoon twit. The color sergeant is legendary in his role as the guardian of morale: "Steady, boys." I've rarely watched a scene more moving than the one in which the warriors' pre-charge chanting and stomping makes a counterpoint with the Welsh choir singing "Men of Harlech," as both sides screw up their courage to face death in battle. This movie holds up brilliantly under repeated viewings and is one of my favorites.

One of my all time favorites by AZumaya March 2, 2005 - 7:38 AM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Really one of the best action and historical films ever done, seldom known in the US. What is outstanding is that the film is remarkably historically accurate, keep that in mind when you see it, it's hard to believe 300 soldiers vs 3,000. Great perfomances, great favorite is Color Sergeant Bourne......damn he is so cool!

Simply Incredible Film by JMVerville October 20, 2004 - 7:22 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
When one sees this film you know great pains were taken in the making of this masterpiece -- of all of the films that I have seen I found this one to be one of the classics that sets a standard for film. Great effort was put into the historical tale-telling. From political and social commentary to great action sequences Zulu is one of the more complete films that you will ever see, having something for everyone.

I enjoyed the human aspect of different men, coming together under duress to fight bravely in the face of overwhelming odds; it shows normal men coming together and accomplishing something great in the face of opposition and all the human story that goes along with it. A must-see for anyone who enjoys action & war films.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.16)
50 Votes
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BFI's Top 100 British Films of the 20th Century
In 1999 the BFI surveyed 1000 people from the world of UK film and television to produce this list. A few of the selected films were wholly or partly produced by non-UK companies, but but were perceived by voters as having significant British involvement
A List of Good Movies

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