Zulu

 
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Product Description

A towering cinematic achievement. An astonishing true story. And "a battle film in the grand tradition of Four Feathers and Gunga Din" (Time)! Filmed against the exotic locales of Africa and starring Stanley Baker (The Guns of Navarone) Jack Hawkins (Lawrence of Arabia) and Michael Caine (in his first major motion picture role) Zulu is a thrilling account of one of history's fiercest battles!As a terrifying war chant echoes across the majestic African plains 4000 Zulu tribesmen rise up from the tall grass that hides them. Furiously beating their swords against their shields the warriors descend upon a small garrison of English soldiers. "Usuto! Usuto! (Kill! Kill!)" they cry as they launch into a battle with the vastly outnumbered English militia... who must manifest incredible skill and incomparable bravery just to survive.System Requirements:Starring: Stanley Baker Michael Caine Jack Hawkins James Booth Ulla Jacobsson Directed By: Cy Endfield Running Time: 138 Min. Color Copyright 2003 MGM Studios.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE Rating: NR UPC: 027616885807 Manufacturer No: 1004529

"Sentries have come in from the hill, sir.... They report Zulus to the southeast. Thousands of them." One of the best pure action movies ever made, this rousing adventure recounts the true story of a small 18th-century regiment of British troops (including a very blue-blooded turn by a young Michael Caine) endlessly besieged by an seemingly unceasing number of fierce attackers. Although the basic premise has since been executed with more technical skill and panache (most notably by Aliens and Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans), it's unlikely that anything will ever top the utter spectacle and, above all, sheer unbelievable size of the combat scenes that almost wholly comprise the last half of this film. A gloriously exhilarating essential for anyone looking to get lost in the heat of cinematic battle, topped off with a healthy dose of gallows humor. Not to be missed. Richard Burton voiced the stirring narration. Zulu was followed by a slightly dry but still recommended prequel, Zulu Dawn. --Andrew Wright

Customer Reviews:

  • Singing Foes!
    "Zulu" (1964) is a very good war movie that grows up to an epic chronicle.
    The story is based on real facts occurred in South Africa in January 1879 and follows them with some alterations (as usual).

    After a few introductory scenes, the film goes directly into an action packed narration.
    The situation is as follows at Rorke's Drift stands a Christian mission. There are two small British detachments in place, totalizing around a hundred men, one for garrisoning the mission and the other one for building a bridge across the river.
    Suddenly they receive notice that the main British force in the territory has been massacred early that day. Moreover Zulu's army four thousands warriors strong are marching against them.
    Two very different young Lieutenants and their experienced Sergeants start urgent preparations to resist. A collection of picturesque Welsh soldiers are the backbone of the stronghold defenders.
    The Pastor of the Mission incites troops to flee. He is successful with the auxiliary forces. A cavalry platoon passes by and refuse to reinforce them.
    So the detachment is alone, isolated and without hope of reinforcement.
    Zulu army starts attacking and reveal themselves as an organized, disciplined and courageous force.
    The battle rages with increasing sanguinary violence and a prodigy of braveness is displayed by both parts.

    There are some anecdotic but relevant facts around the movie to be noted.
    It was filmed relatively near where the original battle take place, the South African scenery is beautifully photographed.
    Some of the first scenes show a Zulu's mass marriage ceremony, comprehending dancing and singing by hundreds of members of that ethnic group. The ancestral choreography is just a joy to see!
    The opposing choirs deliver one of the finest pre-battle scenes I ever watched!
    The epoch reconstruction, military and diction are very accurate.

    Finally play acting is great. Stanley Baker as Engineer Lt. Chard gives deepness to his character and is able to show the internal conflicts that traverse Chard's soul.
    Michael Caine in his first important role makes a perfect composition of the spoiled and aristocratic of military ascent Lt. Bromhead. It is said he took his pains to perfect his accent in a military garrison.
    Jack Hawkins IMHO is not at his best in this film. Nigel Green as veteran Colour Sgt. Bourne is impeccable.

    This is one of the best war movies depicting colonial wars I ever seen. I strongly recommend it.
    Reviewed by Max Yofre.
    ...more info
  • May 2003 MGM release: Excellent anamorphic transfer to DVD
    I almost did not purchase a DVD of "Zulu" based on the mostly negative comments (by other Amazon reviewers) regarding the quality of the video and sound transfer to DVD. Well, I took a chance--and wow! The transfer to DVD is excellent! The format is anamorphic widescreen, enhanced for 16 x 9 large-screen, high-definition TVs. My comments are based on the Region 1, May 2003 DVD release by MGM. The DVD cover artwork is a painting (not a photo) that shows a likeness of Michael Caine in his British uniform. There are apparently older versions or knock-offs that might be the source of those other negative comments regarding the picture quality.

    I have a high-defintion TV and I am very particular about the quality of the transfer of old films (like this, filmed in 1964) to DVD. I watched "Zulu" on a 46-inch Samsung high-def, LCD TV, played via a Toshiba 1080p HD DVD player. The picture is crystal clear (I did not notice any grain or dirt), the colors perfect (good flesh tones--and the British red coats are their true bright red, not washed-out orange as another reviewer commented), and the sound is also good. If you have a high-defintion TV with surround sound, you will not be disappointed. This DVD edition of this 1964 classic is highly recommended!...more info
  • Zulu
    Endfield's breathless depiction of a rag-tag English force battling an implacable enemy remains one of our very best war films. Baker (who co-produced) was never better, and got his mystified Zulu extras to cooperate only after showing them an old Gene Autry Western, which helped them understand the nature of acting. In one of his final appearances, Jack Hawkins registers as a fanatical priest, and you can almost see the word "star" emblazoned on Caine's forehead. Like the heroes it portrays, the stellar "Zulu" richly earns a chestful of medals....more info
  • A small pocket of History
    One of the great action/adventure films of all time, Zulu has the advantage of being inspired by an actual incident in British Colonial history. Credit Stanley Baker and an exceptionally fine cast for bringing this almost unbelievable,even if true, story to vibrant life. ...more info
  • Home Entertainment = cheap DVDs???
    Two star rating is only for the Home Entertainment release.
    Otherwise this is a fantastic 4 or 5 star film. See the other
    reviews. I am warning about the Home Entertainment release. Audio
    is AM radio quality while the orchestral score absolutely requires
    multichannel high fidelity. Or better. Video quality is soft; it
    looks ok through an RF adapter on a 19" TV, but I think anyone
    with high quality equipment will probably be very disappointed.
    I got it for a dollar less than five bucks and now have to buy the
    studio release; don't know if I would even give it away. Probably
    should be destroyed....more info
  • A historical gem
    This film is the absolute classic war movie. It has been the inspiration for many other movies, including the attack on Helm's Deep in Peter Jackson's "The Two Towers." As a historical incident it is fascinating. The battle of Rorke's Drift shows just how one-sided the encounter could be between industrial warfare and the courage and skill of African warriors. Africa contained no more warlike tribe than the Zulus. If you think this has nothing to do with today's Africa, you're wrong. ...more info
  • Fantastic Film
    I've watched this film so many times, and the fact that it is based on a true story makes it more than inspiring. Whatever ones personal opinion regarding war and conflict, 140 men stood against 4000, and like it or not that took guts. Raw courage.

    There are a few things about the real event that aren't portrayed in the film correctly. For instance, it was not a Welsh Regiment at that time, but an English one as the 24th Regiment of Foot in 1879 was the 2nd Warwickshires, not becoming the South Wales Borderers until nearly two years after the Anglo-Zulu war ended. Only approximately 11% of the men at Rorkes Drift were Welsh. The cavalry didn't abandon the men at Rorkes Drift, but had initially fanned out to intercept any Zulu's but then were sent back when it was realised they were hopelessly outnumbered and their presence gave no tactical advantage.
    There was no 'Men of Harlech', there was no warrior salute but that was added in to the film at the request of the Zulu chief whilst the film was in progress.
    Last, but by no means least, the character of Hook in real life was not the ne'er do well portrayed in the film but was actually quite a decent character, as was the Church minister Otto Witt who had initially stayed to assist the men and kept watch for the Zulus from a nearby hill, but then had to leave, as he was concerned for his wifes safety and went to be at her side, taking a wounded officer with him as well. Reading the mens personal accounts of the battle is quite revealing, and those accounts are freely available on the Internet now.

    Even so, it is still a superb film....more info
  • ZULU... One of the top 10 best action/war movies of all time!
    I have seen this great film many times, either on TV or on video... I just recently purchased my copy on DVD from Diamond Entertainment and the quality is actually pretty good. Somewhat similar to the video version I have also. And, I bought it at the Goodwill for only $4.00. regardless, this is an awesome film, and a truly must see. Stanely Baker and Michael Caine are a good team and work well together is this film. Can't say much more than what other reviewers have already said...

    Perhaps, one day someone will release a digital remastered copy of this great, iconic film on DVD......more info
  • Classic
    I dont know how many times i've seen this movie,but im sure its into the 100's.Its the type of movie you can watch it and then go back to particular scenes and watch them over and over.
    The strategy's they used to fight off the Zulu's were brilliant.First time i saw this movie i was glued to the TV, i was about 12 in the late 70's.I thought no doubt they would all be slaughtered at the end,but they somehow seemed to just hang in there.But i wont give away the end of the movie for all the young people who may not have seen it.
    Its quite a long movie, and takes a while to get started,but when it does you are glued to it.
    The scenes are brilliant.You cant help but feel how you would react in such a situation.
    The acting in this movie is simply brilliant and totaly convincing.Michael Caine made his debut here,and Stanley Baker was brilliant as a British Army engineer officer.
    Definitly one of,if not my favorite movie of all time....more info
  • Zulu Review
    Great movie if you are a history buff and are interested in stories of the British Empire...more info
  • Excellent Print/Transfer in Widescreen
    Over time, there have been a number of cheap knockoff DVD versions of this classic film. I can only think that some of the reviews read on this page refer to those knockoffs, most of which are pretty poor. However, the official MGM DVD release sold here is a superb transfer. The original print is in great shape with no scratches that I could see. The colors on the transfer are bright and true to life, the red tunics particularly well rendered with no bleeding. It is crystal clear and wide, wide screen best viewed on a wide-screen monitor. As for the film, it was certainly one of my favorites as a youngster when it first came out, and I still need to see it at least once a year, but it does have the pace of an older film with a bit too many histrionics to stand up well today(as if the sergeant and his men would have the time to stand around spouting verses with the Zulu hordes just over the horizon). But that said, visually it's a sumptuous film. If you've never seen it, it is well worth a visit. If you've seen it before, it's a great transfer and you can always fast-forward through the over-dramatic bits ("The Lord sayeth you shalt not kill...!). I think my favorite line is by the above-mentioned sergeant while reading off the company roster: "Say 'Sir'... officer on parade.)...more info
  • A neglected and many times forgotten gem movie!
    Michael Caine became a true star with this tragic incident in which the Zulu warriors committed a massacre in 1879 on a British mission, The battle sequence is breathtaking and the cast was simply formidable. Based on a real life fact.
    ...more info
  • A must see for military history buffs
    This is a classic military defense that succeeded. If one watches both this film and "The Alamo," the contrast is obvious. At Rorkes Drift, the defense was by disciplined British infantry, and the defensive position was laid out by a military engineer who knew what he was doing in fortifying the site. Discipline and good planning ensured success.

    There are a number of films about historic, last stand, defenses including "Khartoum" and "The Alamo," where defenses failed and the defenders were massacred; and "55 Days at Peking" and "Zulu," where the defenses were successful. Perhaps there is a message in this, i.e., succeed or die. If failure is equated with death, there is a high incentive to do your utmost. These were "take no prisoners" type situations. There were no non-combatants.

    I remember someone asking once about the significance of officers commissioning dates. In this case it made a great deal of difference and resulted in the engineer officer having overall command. He obviously had better training in designing and building defensive works, even ones that used walls, fences, wagons, and sandbags (or grain bags). The final redoubt was a do-or-die last line of defense.

    Overall, the film is very good, and seems to stick to the historic situation. It would be interesting to know what finally happened to Chard, Bromfield, and the others....more info
  • THE MOTHER OF ALL SIEGE FILMS IS STEEPED IN GRITTY ON-LOCATION REALISM
    IN A NUTSHELL: THE BEST SIEGE FILM I HAVE EVER SEEN!

    Its 1879, and British army is having a very rough time in Africa. Without excessive pretentiousness, this epic siege film brings the action to the viewer in a very visceral and memorable manner. I have probably enjoyed seeing Zulu at least thirty times since seeing it in the theatre in 1964.

    WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: AGAINST ALL ODDS!

    In much the same fashion as at the Alamo, about a hundred British soldiers dug-in at Rorke's Drift in Natal, Africa to stand up against a superb Zulu force of about 4,000 warriors. The Zulu's had already destroyed a British force of over a 1,000 soldiers to the last man, and the much smaller Rorke's Drift outpost was next. Lt. John Chard, [Stanley Baker] a Royal Engineers officer who had been assigned to construct a bridge, assumes command of the Rorke's Drift outpost, and is determined to hold the British position there.

    Lt. Gonville Bromhead, [Michael Caine] is at odds with Chard's command decisions at first, believing that a retreat from their fixed, exposed position, followed by a series of mountain pass ambushes is the way to defeat the Zulu's. There is tension, and anxiety between the two officers, and indeed anxiety is the mood everywhere among the outnumbered British defenders. Everything we see and hear shouts: LOST CAUSE! Nevertheless, the British are staying and fighting.

    Reverend Otto Witt [Jack Hawkins] with his daughter Margareta Witt [Ulla Jacobsson] are first seen witnessing a Zulu mass marriage ceremony where they find out about the defeat of the large British column. They rush to Rorke's Drift to evacuate the sick and wounded, but manage only to make a drunken spectacle instead, which only increases the growing tension around the outpost. After the missionaries are physical expelled from Rorke's Drift by Chard, empty-handed, the siege and battle begins in earnest. The rest, is history: extraordinary, dramatized, and exceptionally well-played.

    Richard Burton does an excellent job narrating, and his Welch accent and origin appropriately matches the soldiers. At the end, Burton states that 11 of the 1344 Victoria Crosses awarded since its inception over 100 years earlier, were earned at Rorke's Drift.

    -----*- THE CAST --

    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
    Paul Daneman - Sgt. Maxfield
    Patrick Magee - Surgeon Reynolds

    -----*- THE CREW - -

    Cy Raker Endfield - Director / Producer / Screenwriter
    Stanley Baker - Producer
    John Prebble - Screenwriter
    Stephen Dade - Cinematographer
    John Barry - Composer (Music Score)



    ABOUT THE DVD: FRONT ROW ENTERTAINMENT - WIDESCREEN EDITION

    An outdoor epic like Zulu benefits from being Widescreen, which this DVD is. The transfer of sound and video are quite good, and an obvious improvement over the VHS. If you have a choice, be sure to select the Widescreen edition, as it highlights the huge outdoor, on-location scenery that in FULL-SCREEN seems reduced into the background, and with it some of the scale, and grandeur of the settings.

    BOTTOM LINE: TRUE CLASSIC - HISTORIC WAR EPIC

    This is a wonderfully paced historic account. Tension, anxiety and the unknown abounds throughout the film. Who, if anyone will survive?


    IF YOU ENJOYED "ZULU" ALSO CONSIDER VIEWING:

    The Charge of the Light Brigade, (1936, Michael Curtiz)
    The Charge of the Light Brigade, (1968, Tony Richardson)
    Khartoum, (1966, Basil Dearden)
    Gallipoli, (1981, Peter Weir)
    Amistad, (1997, Steven Spielberg)
    The Alamo, (1960, John Wayne)

    ...more info
  • zulu
    zulu sorry would not play in my area I tried two but neither worked sorry...more info
  • Zulu
    Everyone should have this movie in your collection! I'm not a big Michael Caine fan, but he was decent in this. Highly recommend!...more info
  • OUTSTANDING WAR EPIC
    1964 saw the release of maybe perhaps one of the best war movies ever made.superb performances by michael caine,stanley baker,jack hawkins,james booth,ula jacobson and narration by richard burton and directed by cy enfeild,the historic 4,000 zulus attack 140 british soldiers in 1879,spectacular battle scenes and oustanding performances makes this a great movie.the anamorphic widescreen of this presentation is outstanding.this is truly a masterpiece of work and a great addition to any collection but beware this is a nerve shattering experience that takes you in the middle of the battle unlike other war movies you may have seen...more info
  • Great movie- crappy DVD
    Zulu is arguably one of the greatest war movies ever made. Even people who don't like war movies will enjoy this movie.

    Unfortunately, this version of it on DVD will not play on most computer DVD players. So if you watch movies on your computer, then you are probably out of luck.

    MGM should be ashamed of themselves for using overly restrictive copy protection....more info
  • epic adventure story ,and fine looking film
    stanley baker and michael caine star in this true story of the battle of rorke's drift,a battle that took place after the massacre of the british troops at isandhlwana in natel. the zulu's mass for the attack at the drift as officers baker and caine fight about how to get ready for the attack.the drama is a little cliche at times but with over half the film being the attack it does not drag the movie down. the battle it's self is one of the best action scenes ever put on film. not to be missed...more info
  • Zulu
    This is one of the best movies of the Zulu wars that I have seen
    in a long time. It was very well made Though some things were wrong. Like the throwing of the spears. The Zulu spear was a short stabing spear used in close combat. It was not for throwing. But alround it is a great moving worth owning.
    And the did have Martin Henery rifles at the battle. They got them from the men they killed at Isandhwana.

    ...more info
  • One of the greatest adventure films of all time...
    ...but not one of the greatest DVDs of all time, which is the only reason this is rated four stars instead of five. MGM/UA's transfer is a definite improvement over the atrocious Diamond public domain release, but compared to Paramount's Region 2 PAL disc, which includes new documentaries and original trailers, it's a poor show.

    Zulu is one of those films that left an indelible impression of the unique power cinema can have on those of us who saw it on the big screen as children. Intellectually and emotionally other films may have the advantage over it, but as a purely cinematic experience Zulu is unbeatable.

    Siege epics were curiously popular in the Sixties - 55 Days at Peking, El Cid, Khartoum, The War Lord, The Alamo among them - but perhaps none have quite such a hold on the public's affections as Zulu, particularly in the UK. It's a celebration of national courage (but not nationalism) with its eyes wide open. The besieged men aren't there to build empires but because it's their job - "Because we're 'ere. There's no-one else," as Nigel Green's memorable Colour-Sergeant puts it to a young soldier.

    It's a film with dignity on both sides of the conflict but no self-importance, it manages to extol heroism without glorifying war. It's also one of the few films to show the sheer physical arduousness of prolonged battle - it ends not with triumph and jubilation but with sheer exhaustion.

    The narrative construction is deliberate and belongs to the days when films built up to a climax instead of throwing them in every ten minutes to keep the audience awake. John Prebble and Cy Endfield's script is strong, its subtle clash of egos between Stanley Baker and Michael Caine never over-emphasised and surrounded by memorable vignettes among the rank-and-file that gives the film a depth beyond the superbly handled battle scenes - Nigel Green struggling to maintain his composure as he takes the final depleted roll call, drunken missionary Jack Hawkins' truly irritating Bible-bashing unnerving a young private, Neil McCarthy's concern for a sick calf taking precedence over the ongoing battle.

    Co-producer Baker was never to get (or give himself) so good an opportunity in a mainstream movie again, and nor were Endfield and Prebble (the three had previously collaborated on the terrific 1957 thriller Hell Drivers). Mention in despatches to Green and Gert Van Den Bergh as a Boer fighting alongside the Welsh too among a splendid cast from the days when you could still fill a regiment with memorable British character actors.

    John Barry's epic score perfectly sums up the heroism and bloody turmoil without lapsing into jingoistic cliches, while Stephen Dade's superlative photography benefits from a good widescreen transfer (that said, the first appearance of the Zulus loses some of its impact even on a large widescreen TV). Definitely one to add to your collection, but you might want to go for the Paramount PAL DVD if you have a multi-region player instead. If you are stuck with Region 1, go for the MGM/UA disc....more info
  • Amazing!
    I've seen this movie countless times, I'm even old enough to remember seeing it in the theater when it was first released. It is a magnificent piece of cinema and, in my humble opinion, the greatest movie ever made. The acting, the driving music, the suspense, the action, this movie has it all and if you watch this on a big screen television you will have the feeling of being in the mix of the defenders. Regardless of the quality of the DVD, the movie is well worth watching. And as soon as a high-quality DVD comes out, I'm buying that one as well....more info
  • THE BEST WAR MOVIE EVER!
    A true story, Zulu is one of tha all time greatest movies ever! Acting is superb as is the realism and the struggle of the British soldiers to survive in a fight to the death against thousands of fearsome Zulu warriers. The courage of the British soldiers would impress anyone.

    I think this is far better than any of the recent war films in that it deals realisticly with how the people reacted when faced with overwhelming odds. It doesn't use computer special effects or try to give some politicaly correct message its just a great movie.

    ...more info
  • Anglo-Saxon
    I'm always a little wary of one-sided movies, although it's impossible to cover every angle of an historical event in two or three hours. But as marvelous as much of "Zulu" is in its acting and production values, we never learn exactly what's bothering the tribesmen, and why they're willing to run up and get shot at point-blank range to try to drive the British out of South Africa. A couple of scenes from the natives point of view would have made this a more palatable film, and given audiences some understanding of what was happening in 19th century Africa....more info
  • Classic movie
    Zulu is arguably one of the best movies ever made. Stanley Baker and Michael Caine are the main stars in this true story. The main reason why I liked the film is because of the battle scenes. Furthermore, the character development was excellent and the acting by Caine, Baker as well as the extras playing as Zulu warriors were superb. In short, if you like war movies, this is a MUST buy but if you prefer romantic ones, stay clear of this.

    This DVD version is in widescreen format....more info
  • "A fine war film..."
    Bursting with action, "Zulu" can easily be considered a fine war film. Personally, I feel it is one of the best of its kind.
    Set against beautiful Africa vistas, "Zulu" guides the audience through a small British garrison that's in the process of being beseiged by thousands of bloodthirsty Zulu warriors. However, the Brits don't budge an inch, for they are well-disciplined. The Zulus respond with constant attacks(in the form of wonderfully-filmed action sequences), hoping to break the spirit of their enemy. What follows is an exciting look into events with historical significance.
    This was, I believe, Michael Caine's first film, and he does well as Lieutenant Bromhead. Stanley Baker, who produced and acted, is equally good as his superior officer.
    The DVD version of this film does not represent "Zulu" with any bonus features, save the theatrical trailer. On the other hand, the picture is good and the sound is fine. Certainly better than the VHS version. ...more info
  • pure history, pure action, and pure great
    this tale of the english vs. zulu warriors at rorke's drift after the zulu's defeat of the english army some days before. the battles are beyond belief and the cast is the best. check this one out ...more info
  • Brilliant
    As I mentioned in the review for Zulu Dawn, my opinion is a little skewed by nostalgia. I love this film. The battle at Roarke's Drift is well deserving of its own movie and Zulu does it great justice. ...more info
  • Zulu
    This is perhaps the one of the best war films ever made. Despite what people may say it was based upon real events and reflected them reasonably accurately.

    Chard and Bromhead were both interesting Characters. In reality both were relatively old for their respective ranks and it could be considered that they had both been overlooked and left behind at Rourke's Drift by the Main Briish force as it was considered an unimportant position. However both were professionally trained and this together with the profesionalism of the other soldiers is what allowed them to succesfully defeat 4000 zulus.

    The film does not glorify War, but does aknowledge the courage, attention to duty and camaraderie of the people taking part. A small point but to other reviewers - the soldiers taking part were predominantly Welsh, and not English - There is an important difference

    ...more info
  • 3.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    Zulu is not perfect--the first half drags a little and the Reverend's character is inconsistent--but it's my favorite movie: a stirring action film that develops characters we care about and then pits them against an honorable enemy in an amazing sequence of battle scenes set against the best score John Barry ever wrote....more info
  • A great classic film
    Zulu is a great old action movie. It's great for a lot of reasons, but it's definitely a 40 year old movie. It was made in a simpler time for Hollywood, back when a movie could be made to provide viewers with a good time without any real political agenda. This is the kind of film you can sit back and enjoy while still appreciating the work that went into this film.

    Michael Caine does a nice job in this film, and I think it was his first major film. However, he doesn't play a John Wayne type of role, he's just a guy who does his part and gets the job done. The other actors basically do the same thing; all do it very well.

    There is no love story at all and the friendships are never really developed. The commander of the British forces isn't very likeable, and Michael Caine's charisma is held in check for the most part. Still, you get lots of action in an unusual setting. For example, we've all seen 100 films of each of the following scenarios: WWII, knights & castles, submarines, cowboys and indians, etc.; but how many movies have we seen with this setting? To top it off, this is based on a true event. And from a book I read on this battle, the film is reasonably accurate.

    Don't expect modern special affects. You will see guys shot at close range and fall dead without 1 drop of blood anywhere. Still, the action is very good. This is definitely a "guy's film". ...more info
  • A Must See & Discuss film for all Mud Soldiers
    When I was in the Army, I was told to see this tape asap. It was good advice in that it tells one how to hold a piece of ground under very difficult terms. Its the closest one can get to understand how men can be made to fight and fight well under some really great leadership. The Widows Army was very lucky to have such men. It is a testimony to their training and leadership that such green troops performed so well. The Zulus are also shown in this movie as very worthy foes as they should be. (Cold Steel against Rifles!! That takes balls made of brass.)
    A timeless story that is well worth the time and money. As a sidebar this should be complimented with the Book "The Defense of Duffer's Drift" if you can find it. ...more info
  • never mind the tinman hand-to-hand once those Zulus do get there
    Michael Caine in his first big job. a big 'war epic', in the trailer they even said 'DWARFING THE MIGHTIEST!' it's about these 100something moody, sweaty British soldiers who fought off 4,000 Zulu warriors. the first eternity/hour+ of the movie is just spent moping around the fort, waiting for something to happen while the Englishmen in red felt stack up sacks of corn around the perimeter, and a lot of "dammit" and "good old boy" going on. anyway pretty ridiculous.
    actually, the Zulus do take on a 3rd dimension for the wedding/dance scene at the beginning, but spare yourself the remaining 2 hours....more info
  • I love this movie!
    First, let me stress this: Buy the MGM release! All others are pan and scan public domain and do not do justice to this magnificent movie.

    Over 200 people have already had their say, and I have nothing very different. This is a fun, exciting, and deeply moving movie experience. An interesting sidelight is that it's one of Jack Hawkins last roles with someone else doing his voice--due to cancer. And it's the first major role for Michael Caine who does an incredible job of leaving all traces of his Cockney origins behind. If you already have an inferior pan and scan DVD, replace it. You'll be glad when you get that flat widescreen!...more info
  • One of the Best War Movies Ever
    "Can a small British force withstand the onslaught of thousands of fearless, battle-hardened Zulu warriors?" That's the question that this classic war film will answer.

    Here's the situation that the Brits face at the outpost known as Rorke's Drift in South Africa. A force of about 90 British soldiers and combat engineers are ordered to defend a small missionary outpost in the heart of Zulu country during the Zulu War of 1879. The British forces at this remote outpost have received word that 1,500 members of a crack British regiment have been masscred by an indomitable force of Zulu warriors.

    Besides the 90 or so able-bodied Brits at Rorke's Drift, there are about 35 sick and wounded soldiers who are being cared for by the missionaries there. When the Zulu warriors arrive, the British are stunned to discover that they are outnumbered about 40 to 1.

    This film is arguably one of the best battle movies made. It features a star-studded cast headed by Stanley Baker and Michael Caine and includes such distinguished British actors such as Jack Hawkins, Patrick Magee, and Nigel Green. John Barry's stirring soundtrack is superb, and the cinematography of the Natal countryside near where the actual battle took place is glorious. This was one of Caine's earliest starring roles and garnered him the attention of the British film industry for his later roles in The Ipcress File and then Alfie.

    For a film that was released 45 yrs ago, it's still a good "watch" today, despite rudimentary special effects....more info
  • Don't be fooled by the all the hype
    I can understand why this historic event involving less than 100 British soldiers holding off over 4,000 Zulu warriors is beloved by some. Who doesn't like routing for the underdog and coming out on top? However, this film does less for this `epic episode' in its two hours than the shining reviews found on this website. The opening scene is by far the most interesting as the Zulus prepare for a mass wedding. Dancing and singing cuts back and forth to a British father/daughter duo who are in South Africa to preach the word. They figure out that a Zulu army is headed for a British military post and they run off to warn them. From there the story unwinds painfully slow as the Red Coats demonstrate their pomp and lack of sincerity. The stilted dialogue and lousy fight scenes (when the Zulu's finally arrive) do prove entertaining, but not how they were intended to, I'm sure. I can appreciate what movies in the 1960s were trying to do with such moments in history but this film was a big disappointment....more info
  • Blu-Ray Looks Great
    Besides the fact that this movie production is one of my all time favorites, this Blu-Ray release makes it even better. Very crisp images and excellent sound track. If you really enjoyed the movie, you are really going to enjoy this Blu-Ray release. It also has 'Making of' specials that are not found on previous releases. It plays on my Regional 1, Panasonic BD10A, Blue-Ray with no problems at all. Enjoy. :-)...more info
  • Totally Pleased With This War Epic
    I thought that I had seen this film in theaters as a kid,but after buying it and viewing it the other night,I'm not so sure,or my memory fails me,because I did not remember this film at all! Be that as it may,I loved it! When Lt.Chard orders the pitiful remainder of troops to form 2 lines for the next attack of the Zulus,I was "blown away" how they orchestrated firing,then kneeling to reload,while the line behind advanced and fired,and they kept repeating this manuever.It was AWESOME to watch. I have been enjoying purchasing and watching the older war films,as it is such a joy to watch such well-made films,with fabulous actors and without the filthy language of the war films since the Vietnam era. Even my late husband (a Vietnam Vet,BTW) could not stand the movies about and since that war for the language/gore Hollywood wallows in.

    I have one thing against the desription on the DVD case where it says "As a terrifying war chant echoes across the majestic African plains,4,000 Zulu tribesmen rise up from the tall grass that hides them." This never happens! They are never hidden in tall grass,and in fact there is no tall grass around! When I read that,I thought it surely was the film I remembered from my childhood,because I seem to remember such a scene,but it is not in this movie! So unless this movie is dratistically different on DVD than the one I recall,I am thinking of a different movie,but that does not explain a description for a scene that is not included?

    However,this is a great movie and very "edge-of-your-seat" tension. Great character developement as well....more info
  • Already a classic by now...Rorke's Drift 1/1 wargame!... and a true epic!
    Probably wargame is a bad description... this is an epic classic film to be treated with due respect... NO REMAKE UP TO NOW means IT WAS RIGHT ON THE SPOT!,
    but been a wargamer myself and having painted a lot of Zulus and 24th south wales borderers figures in 25mm... it rapidly comes to mind!
    Once digested I AM INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR MILITARY ACTION!

    1) You can analyze the movie (after all that is why you are reading this?) and it starts a bit slow... builds tension... and the second part of the film IS GREAT ACTING!... as epics go it is one of my favorites and the cast and direction are superb... (the fillings on the teeth of Michael Caine are a bit ludicrous when shouting FIRE! in a close up first plan...) but well...
    As a film really deserves the five stars. And I will stand my ground on it.

    2) As a military action there ARE some mistakes in the uniforms used (which look better then the more recent red tunics on ZULU DAWN)... I seriously doubt about white helmets not been stained and badges removed... same as per the green facings of the 24th (too dark in the movie)... The full dress tunic of lieutenant Chard (Stanley Baker) was not probably used on active service... and so on...
    But the military tactics and proportions of compound are beautifully done... plus the fact of being shooted in Natal...
    So, all considered still a solid five stars.

    Resuming if you love epics or military action based films THIS IS A CLASSIC TO HAVE... once seen you'll probably skip the first part in subsequent viewing and go straight for the battle second part of the film!

    ADB ...more info
  • why don't you just go ahead and watch this movie, ol boy
    Michael caine was acting in 1964? New to me. I was just hoping to pop this lil diddy in and get something close to equal to lawrence of arabia, what I got was a movie that put it's foot on the back of lawrence's head on smashed it into the ground.

    Don't expect to see fight scenes on par with gladiator, but you will see people fighting for their life, and you will cheer for them. The main characters are all good, but it's the 10-20 side actors that sold this as a movie for me. They strategically figure out how to hold off the Zulu's and for how long that they can do it.

    THE SCORE OF THIS FILM WAS THE BEST PART THOUGH, GREAT MUSIC AND APPLIED PERFECTLY TO THOSE DRAMATIZED WAR SCENES. I WISH THAT I COULD GET THE SOUNDTRACK TO THIS, IT MIGHT BE ONLY A COUPL SONGS, BUT THEY COULD RELEASE IT AS JUST A SINGLE. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE WELSCHMEN SONG.

    BRILLIANTLY DONE MOVIE...more info
  • A Great Movie
    One of my favourite movies of all time.
    A must for any collection.
    It's basically a true story about 100 fit and 40 sick Welsh soldiers being attacked by 4000 of the world's bravest soldiers, the Zulu, and how they fought them to a standstill using single shot Martini-Henry rifles and 24" pig-sticker bayonets.
    Two scenes always stick in my mind. One is where the Welsh out sing the Zulu with "Men of Harlech" and the other where after the battle, the Colour-Sergeant tells Lt. Chard that it was won with "a rifle and bayonet with a lot of guts behind it!"
    Forty odd years on, it has not aged at all.
    One word to describe it?
    Fantastic.
    Buy and enjoy....more info
  • Great old war film
    It's a great movie, Michael Caine's first actually, based on a real british battle, it's a movie everyone should watch....more info

 

 
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