4.0 8
Director: Cy Raker Endfield

Cast: Cy Raker Endfield, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson


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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 hisSee more details below


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 1,344 Victoria Crosses awarded since 1856 were bestowed upon the survivors of Rorke's Drift. Zulu was followed in 1979 by a "prequel," Zulu Dawn.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Stiff-upper-lip bravery in a fight against overwhelming odds is celebrated in director Cy Endfield's widescreen extravaganza Zulu, based on the real-life story of a small group of British soldiers in 1879 who defended a mission station in Natal, Africa against an attack by 4000 Zulu warriors. There are some nice performances here, including Michael Caine in his breakthrough role as a smug, aristocratic British officer, and Stanley Baker as a gutsy British engineer who takes command of the small outpost. The Zulu tribe, however, is represented only by a vast number of warriors, never introduced individually. This portrayal of the Zulus as a faceless enemy has lead to criticism of the movie as a romanticized depiction of British imperialism, and it's a valid point, as the film steadfastly ignores any political issues involving the history of the British presence in Africa. But despite the film's Anglocentricity, it splendidly captures the spectacle of the Zulu army -- the magnificence of their dress, battlefield rituals, and chants. Moreover, the choral grandeur of the native African music that is sung during an extended opening scene of a Zulu wedding simply overwhelms the typically Western musical score that follows. By the time the surrounded soldiers start singing "Men of Harlech" in response to the chanting of the Zulu warriors, Zulu takes on layers of irony that may indeed have been unintended, but are powerful and thought provoking nonetheless.
All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Americans remember the Alamo, and the British remember Rorke's Drift, a South African outpost where 120 Welsh soldiers fought a pitched battle against 4,000 Zulu warriors in 1879. This 1964 film re-creates the battle -- and the events leading up to it -- in spectacular style. At the beginning of the film, suspense builds when a pacifist minister warns the British that Zulus are on the march. Unless the soldiers abandon their garrison, they will all die, the minister says. Alarmed but unwilling to forsake their duty, the soldiers dig in. Director Cy Raker Endfield then invokes an audio effect to herald the coming of the Zulus: with their spears and shields, they pound out an unnerving cadence like that of a chugging locomotive. Then the Zulus attack. Along with the combat scenes, the acting and script are superb. Stanley Baker and Michael Caine portray feuding lieutenants who rally their meager forces to withstand one assault after the next, and Nigel Green plays a stiff-lipped sergeant who heartens the soldiers with his iron resolve and cool composure. But the battle is the real star. The Zulu extras enlisted by co-producer Baker creep and slink through grass, or run headlong at the British, in tactical maneuvers that eventually result in hand-to-hand combat. When Zulus breach the garrison chanting war cries, sick and injured soldiers shoot and stab their way to safety. Gripping from start to finish, Zulu has earned status among some critics as one of the finest war films ever made.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stanley Baker Lt. John Chard
Jack Hawkins Rev. Otto Witt
Ulla Jacobsson Margareta Witt
James Booth Pvt. Henry Hook
Michael Caine Lt. Gonville Bromhead
Nigel Green Color Sgt. Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel Pvt. Owen
Paul Daneman Sgt. Maxfield
Glynn Edwards Cpl. Allen
Neil McCarthy Pvt. Thomas
Gary Bond Pvt. Cole
Tom Gerrard Lance Corporal
Patrick Magee Surgeon Reynolds
Richard Davies Pvt. 593 Jones
Dafydd Havard Gunner Howarth
Denys Graham Pvt. 716 Jones
Dickie Owen Cpl. Schless
Larry Taylor Hughes
Joe Powell Sgt. Windridge
John Sullivan Stephenson
Harvey Hall Sick Man
Gert Van Den Bergh Adendorf
Dennis Folbigge Commissary Dalton
Kerry Jordan Company Cook
Ronald Hill Bugler
Simon Sabela Dance Leader
David Kerman Pvt. Hitch
Richard Burton Narrator

Technical Credits
Cy Raker Endfield Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ernest Archer Art Director
Stanley Baker Producer
John Barry Score Composer
Bert Batt Asst. Director
Stephen Dade Cinematographer
John Jympson Editor
Basil Keys Associate Producer
Dudley Lovell Camera Operator
John D. Merriman Production Manager
Arthur Newman Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Parker Makeup
John Prebble Original Story,Screenwriter
John Sullivan Stunts

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Death at Isandhlwana/Title [3:20]
2. Zulu Wedding [7:06]
3. "A War Has Started" [2:35]
4. Bromhead's Flaming Dinner [11:25]
5. Collaborative Command [6:02]
6. Not Much of an Army [4:58]
7. A Jolly Deadly Strategy [2:48]
8. As Good a Church as Any [3:14]
9. Too Sick to Fight [7:30]
10. "We Need You!" [7:39]
11. Like a Train in the Distance [5:39]
12. First Line of Attack [10:08]
13. Getting Rid of Witt [4:45]
14. Defending the North Wall [7:43]
15. Close Combat [4:07]
16. Your Butchered, Your Poor [6:34]
17. Defense in Two Lines [3:29]
18. The Calm Between Storms [3:53]
19. Hospital Under Fire [8:56]
20. Late Night and Early Morning [5:44]
21. Men of Harlech Fighting Back [7:47]
22. The First-Timer's Shame [4:23]
23. Honor Thy Fellow Brave [4:25]
24. Victoria Crosses/Credits [3:56]

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