πŸŽ₯ Zulu – 1964

The Story …

In January 1879, in the aftermath of the crushing defeat of a 1,300-man British column by the Zulu armies at Isandlwana, Zulu tribesmen scavenge the battlefield and collect rifles and ammunition from the dead soldiers.

At a mass Zulu marriage ceremony witnessed by missionary Otto Witt and his daughter Margareta, Zulu King Cetshwayo is informed of the great victory; Witt and Margareta flee when they realise that the Zulus are going to attack Witt’s missionary station at Rorke’s Drift in Natal, which a company of the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot are using as a supply depot and hospital for British forces in Zululand …

Receiving news of Isandlwana from Natal Native Contingent Commander Adendorff and warnings that 4,000 Zulu warriors are advancing on their position, Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers assumes command of a force consisting of less than 200 men as he is slightly senior to their nominal commander, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead.

With not enough time to order a full evacuation, Chard decides to stay and fight. He has wagons, sacks of mealie (maize), and crates of hardtack stacked to form a defensive perimeter, gun holes knocked in the hospital walls, and a medical ward set up in Witt’s chapel.

A contingent of South African cavalrymen who had fought at Isandlwana arrive, refuse Chard’s pleas to help reinforce the station on the grounds that it is hopeless, and swiftly depart on their horses. Witt, enraged by Chard arming the hospital’s patients and ordering them to fight instead of allowing them to be evacuated, persuades the Zulus serving in the Natal Native Contingent to desert.

Chard angrily destroys the wagons to transport the sick and injured in retaliation and orders Witt to be locked up in the chapel’s supply room.

The Zulu impis approach and then charge before quickly retreating under British fire; Adendorff explains that they are trying to find weak points in the station’s defences.

Witt starts drinking heavily and proclaims that none of the soldiers will survive the coming battle. Chard permits Margareta to take her father away; the Zulus, recognising the Witts, allow them to pass unharmed. Chard is concerned that the northern perimeter wall is under-defended and realises that the Zulus, aware of this, are preparing to attack the station from all sides.

Zulu warriors armed with British rifles also start taking potshots at the soldiers. Throughout the day and night, wave after wave of Zulu attackers are repelled, but the defenders are slowly killed off one-by-one, one being the company cook, killed by a Zulu spear while carrying ammunition.

The Zulus succeed in setting fire to the hospital, and Private Henry Hook rallies the patients to fight them and escape. Sergeant Robert Maxfield, Private Hook’s bedridden and mentally broken commanding officer, is killed along with an Zulu warrior as the hospital burns down.

The next morning, the Zulus approach to within several hundred yards and sing a lament before launching again into their war chant; the British respond by singing the Welsh song “Men of Harlech”.

In the final assault, just as it seems the Zulus will finally overwhelm the tired defenders, the British soldiers fall back to a small redoubt in front of the chapel.

With a reserve of men hidden within the redoubt, they form into three ranks and fire volley after volley, inflicting heavy casualties; the Zulus retreat. After a pause of three hours, the Zulus re-form on the Oscarberg.

Resigned to another assault, the British are astonished when the Zulus instead sing a song to honour the bravery of the defenders before departing …

Credits :

  • Directed by Cy Endfield
  • Screenplay by John Prebble and Cy Endfield
  • Story by John Prebble
  • Produced by Stanley Baker and Cy Endfield
  • Cinematography : Stephen Dade
  • Edited by John Jympson
  • Music by John Barry
  • Production Company : Diamond Films
  • Distributed by Paramount Pictures
  • Release Date : 22 January 1964

Cast :

  • Stanley Baker as Lieutenant John Chard
  • Michael Caine as Lieutenant Gonville
  • Jack Hawkins as Reverend Otto Witt
  • Ulla Jacobsson as Margareta Witt
  • Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi as King Cetshwayo
  • James Booth as Private Henry Hook
  • Nigel Green as Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne
  • Paul Daneman as Sergeant Robert Maxfield
  • Joe Powell as Sergeant Joseph Windridge
  • Ivor Emmanuel as Private Owen
  • Glynn Edwards as Corporal William Allen
  • Neil McCarthy as Private Jones
  • David Kernan as Private Frederick Hitch
  • Gary Bond as Private Cole
  • Peter Gill as Private 612Β John Williams
  • Richard Davies as Private 593 William Jones
  • Denys Graham as Private 716 Robert Jones
  • Patrick Magee as Surgeon-Major James Henry Reynolds
  • Dickie Owen as Corporal Frederick Schiess
  • Gert van den Bergh as Lieutenant Gert Adendorff
  • Dennis Folbigge as Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton
  • Larry Taylor as Hughes
  • Kerry Jordan as Louis Byrne
  • Harvey Hall as Sick Man

Film Information Source :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_(1964_film)

Copyright Protected :

ALL RIGHTS TO THIS MOVIE REMAIN WITH THE OWNERS

GENRE : #DRAMA-MOVIES

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