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 ...
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. Hal Erickson, Rovi
GENRE: Historical Re-enactment
CAST: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Michael Caine, James Booth, Nigel Green, Ulla Jacobsson and a narration by Richard Burton
STORY: The british Empire had expanded from India into South Africa in Natal. An Anglo-Zulu War broke out when the Boers expanded into Zululand Territory believing the British would quell any Zulu reaction. They were wrong and in January 1879, The Zulu killed over a thousand british soldiers on the Zulu border. Further into Natal was a missionary outpost called Rourke's Drift with a contingent of slightly over 100 british Foot soldiers. A Zulu general outstepped his authority from the Zulu King and set his forces against those dozen dozen riflemen and engineers. During the day and then through the night, over four thousand Zulus attacked without success. By morning and another failed assault, the king got word to his general that he did not want his troops to have entered Natal and so they withdrew.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9 of 10; The landscape of the region is shown as the film exteriors were shot in South Africa, at Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-Natal, and the national parks of KwaZulu-Natal. Breathtaking vistas in every clip. You can really see how frightened a person would be because there wouldn't be a battlefield but a three dimensional volume in which the conflict would be pitched. The weaponry, the military uniforms and the zulu dressing are authentic. The dialogue is full of the sorts of commanding exchanges between a leader and his troops.
DVD BONUS: None
ADDED BONUS: This has the phrase in the opening credits "And Introducing..." for Michael Caine.This was his first starring role in the industry he has loved and who have loved him in return for the past fifty years.