Zululand, South Africa, 1879. The British are fighting the Zulus and one of their columns has just been wiped out at Isandlwana. The Zulus next fix their sights on the small British outpost at Rorke's Drift. At the outpost are one hundred fifty British troops under the command of Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard. In the next few days, these one hundred fifty troops will fight about four thousand Zulus in one of the most courageous battles in history.Written by
The scene in which the soldiers, in order to match the Zulu's chanting and show that they are just as brave, sing "Men of Harlech" was anticipated 13 years before by the western Apache Drums in which townspeople surrounded by Apache Indians match their chanting by singing "Men of Harlech," only the town, which has a number of Welsh miners, sing it in Welsh. Apache Drums was produced by Val Lewton. See more »
The NCO badges of rank are on the soldiers' left arms. They should be on their right arms. See more »
Men of Harlech
Performed by soldiers See more »
In January 1879, about 100 British soldiers are forced to hold the small outpost of Rorke's Drift in South Africa's Natal province against about four thousand attacking Zulu warriors.
Based on a true story, this is one of the greatest war movies ever made. The film quickly sketches the personalities of the main characters, and when the action starts it quickly moves into high gear. It successfully mixes tension and action in a way that few war movies have yet matched.
The performances are great, particularly co-producer Stanley Baker as the hard-as-nails Lieutenant Chard who assumes command on the strength of his seniority, and Michael Caine, in his first major starring role, as the aristocratic Lieutenant Bromhead, who comes into conflict with Chard.
Refreshingly, the film is respectful in it's portrayal of the Zulus as honourable and dignified warriors.
The script features plenty of memorable dialogue and a decent amount of humour. It also features some stirring music from John Barry.
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