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Encyclopedia > Zulu Dawn
Zulu Dawn

Movie poster.
Directed by Douglas Hickox
Produced by Nate Kohn
James Faulkner
Written by Cy Endfield
Anthony Story
Starring Burt Lancaster
Peter O'Toole
Simon Ward
Bob Hoskins
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Ousama Rawi
Editing by Malcolm Cooke
Distributed by American Cinema Releasing
Release date(s) May 15, 1979 (U.S.)
Running time 115 min.
Country USA
South Africa
Netherlands
Language English
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Zulu Dawn is a 1979 book and war film about the Battle of Isandlwana between British and Zulu military units in 1879 in South Africa. The film is available on tape or DVD, and frequently appears on television. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Douglas Hickox (January 10, 1929 – July 25, 1988) was an English film director. ... James Faulkner (born 18 July 1948 in London, England) is an actor. ... Cyril Raker Endfield (November 10, 1914 – April 16, 1995) was an American screenwriter, film director, theatre director and sometime inventor, based in Britain from 1953. ... Burt Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an Oscar-winning American film actor, noted for his athletic physique (a rare thing for leading men of that time), distinct smile (which he called The Grin) and, later, his willingness to play roles that went against his initial tough guy... Peter Seamus OToole (born August 2, 1932, uncertain but presumed correct date[1]) is an eight-time Academy Award-nominated Irish actor. ... Simon Ward (born London, October 19, 1941) is an English actor. ... Robert William Bob Hoskins Jr. ... Elmer Bernstein (pronounced Bern-steen[1]) (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an Academy and two-time Golden Globe award winning American film score composer. ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... See also: 1978 in literature, other events of 1979, 1980 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The war film is a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. ... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pulleine† Anthony Durnford† Ntshingwayo Khoza Strength 1,400 men 22,000 men Casualties 52 officers killed 1,277 other ranks killed 3,000 killed 3,000 wounded The Battle of Isandlwana was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War in which... Languages Zulu Religions Christian, African Traditional Religion Related ethnic groups Bantu Nguni Basotho Xhosa Swazi Matabele Khoisan The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are a South African ethnic group of an estimated 17-22 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


The book was written by Cy Endfield who co-wrote the screenplay with Anthony Story. The film was directed by Douglas Hickox, with music scored by Elmer Bernstein. Cyril Raker Endfield (November 10, 1914 – April 16, 1995) was an American screenwriter, film director, theatre director and sometime inventor, based in Britain from 1953. ... Sample from a screenplay, showing dialogue and action descriptions. ... Douglas Hickox (January 10, 1929 – July 25, 1988) was an English film director. ... Elmer Bernstein (pronounced Bern-steen[1]) (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an Academy and two-time Golden Globe award winning American film score composer. ...

Contents

Plot

The film is set in British South Africa, in the province of Natal, in January 1879. The first half of the film revolves around the administrators and officials of Cape Colony, notably the supremely arrogant Lord Chelmsford and the scheming Sir Henry Bartle Frere, who both wish to crush the neighbouring Zulu Empire, perceived as a threat to Cape Colony's emerging industrial economy. Eager to crush the Zulus, Bartle Frere issues an impossible ultimatum to the Zulu King, Cetshwayo, demanding that he dissolves the Zulu Empire. Cetshwayo refuses, providing Cape Colony with a pretext to invade Zululand. Despite objections from leading members of Cape Colony's high society and from Great Britain itself, Bartle Frere authorises Lord Chelmsford to lead a British invasion force into Zululand. The Colony of Natal was a British colony in south-eastern Africa. ... 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... Viscount Chelmsford is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet (March 29, 1815 - May 29, 1884) was a British administrator. ... Zululand was the Zulu-dominated area of what is now northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... The Mineral Revolution is a term used by historians to refer to the rapid industrialisation and economic changes which occurred in South Africa from the 1870s onwards. ... An ultimatum (Latin: ) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. ... Cetshwayo kaMpande (circa 1826 - February 8, 1884) was the king of the Zulu nation from 1872 to 1879 and their leader during the Zulu War. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Zululand was the Zulu-dominated area of what is now northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ...

Anna Calder-Marshall is playing Fanny Colenso, the daughter of Anglican bishop of Natal, John William Colenso.
Anna Calder-Marshall is playing Fanny Colenso, the daughter of Anglican bishop of Natal, John William Colenso.

The second half of the film focuses on the British invasion of Zululand and the lead-up to the Battle of Isandhlwana. The invading British army, laden down with an immense network of supply wagons, invades Zululand and marches in the direction of Ulundi, the Zulu capital. British forces, eager to fight a large battle in which they can unleash their cutting-edge military technology against the vast Zulu army, become increasingly frustrated as the main Zulu army refuses to attack the British, and fighting is restricted to a few small skirmishes between British and Zulu scouts. Concerned that their supply lines are becoming overstretched and that the main Zulu army is still at large, British troops begin torturing captive Zulu warriors in an effort to learn the location and tactics of the Zulu field army. Halfway to Ulundi, Chelmsford halts his army at the base of Mount Isandhlwana, ignoring the advice of Boer attendants to entrench the camp and laager his supply wagons, leaving the camp dangerously exposed. In the night Colonel Durnford and an escort of fifty mounted Basutos approach the camp. Lord Chelmsford then orders Durnford, to return to his unit, bringing them to the camp immediately to reinforce Colonel Pulleine. Lt. Vereker should join Durnford as aide-de-camp. Reacting to false intelligence, Chelmsford leads half of the British army, including the best infantry, cavalry, and artillery units, on a wild goose chase far from the camp, in pursuit of a phantom Zulu army. On the day of battle, Durnford and his troops are arriving at 11:00 AM at the camp at Isandlwana. Meanwhile the Zulu captives escape their torturers and regroup with the Zulu army, informing them of the British army's direction and strength. After having lunch with Colonel Pulleine and Lt. Vereker, Durnford quickly decides, to send out Vereker to scout the hills. Durnford then decides to take his own command out from the camp too, and scout the iNyoni heights. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... John William Colenso (1814-1883), British bishop of Natal, was born at St Austell, Cornwall, on January 24 1814. ... The Battle of Isandlwana was a battle in the Zulu War in which a Zulu army wiped out a British force on January 22, 1879. ... Ulundi was at one time the capital of Zululand in South Africa, and later the capital of the Bantustan of KwaZulu. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... Ulundi was at one time the capital of Zululand in South Africa, and later the capital of the Bantustan of KwaZulu. ... Isandlwana (also sometimes seen as Isandlwhana) is an isolated hill in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. ... This article is about the Boer people (Boerevolk). ... A laager is a defensive formation of vehicles. ... An aide-de-camp (French: camp assistant) is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ...

Colonel Durnford regroups the last remaining soldiers into a circle and fights to the death with a revolver, as thousands of Zulu warriors charge.
Colonel Durnford regroups the last remaining soldiers into a circle and fights to the death with a revolver, as thousands of Zulu warriors charge.
A Zulu warrior is wielding the captured Queen’s Colour.
A Zulu warrior is wielding the captured Queen’s Colour.

The entire Zulu army is later discovered by men of Lt. Vereker’s troop of scouts, who chase a number of Zulu herdsmen, trying to hurry away their cattle, only then seeing the main Zulu enemy force of thousands of Zulus, looking up at them in surprise, sitting in the bottom of a valley. Lt. Vereker then sends Lt. Raw to warn the camp that it was about to be attacked. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


As Zulu impis descend upon the camp, Durnford's cavalry retreat to a donga in an effort to hold back the Zulu advance. Forced back, the British take heavy casualties, including the battery of Congreve rockets, which is overrun by the Zulus. Initially, the British infantry succeed in defending the camp, and Zulu forces retreat under a hail of rifle and artillery fire. However, British units defending the camp are dangerously spread-out, and do not notice Zulu forces moving round the sides of the mountain in an encircling move. As British infantrymen begin to run out of ammunition and the British cavalry are driven back towards the camp, Zulu warriors charge the British troops en masse, sustaining horrific casualties, but succeed in breaking the British lines. As British troops break and flee towards the camp, the battle breaks down into hand-to-hand fighting between British and Zulu soldiers, amongst the débris of tents, wagons, and supply dumps. Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Zulu warriors, British soldiers and their African allies are slaughtered in the camp, or cut down as they attempt to flee back towards Cape Colony. During the last minutes of the battle, the camp's commander, Colonel Pulleine, entrusts the Union Flag to two junior officers, Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill, who attempt to carry it to safety in Cape Colony, passing gruesome scenes as Zulu warriors hunt down British and African infantrymen attempting to flee towards Natal. While attempting to cross the Buffalo River, the three lieutenants - Melvill, Coghill, and Vereker - are cut down by Zulu troops and the Union Flag captured by the Zulus. In the evening, Chelmsford and the rest of the British army return to Isandhlwana, to be greeted by the sight of their slaughtered comrades, and the news that a mass Zulu army has invaded Cape Colony and lain siege to Rorke's Drift. The film ends with Zulu warriors in a silhouetted victory procession, dragging captured British artillery back to Ulundi. In South African English, a Donga is a ditch formed by the erosion of soil. ... The Congreve Rocket was a British military weapon designed by Sir William Congreve in 1804. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Ammunition, often referred to as ammo, is a generic term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... “Union Jack” redirects here. ... “Union Jack” redirects here. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders John Chard Gonville Bromhead Prince Dabulamanzi Strength 139 4,000–5,000 Casualties 17 killed, 10 wounded Around 500-600 dead found in 500 foot perimeter Rorkes Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford (drift) on the... For other uses, see Silhouette (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Ulundi was at one time the capital of Zululand in South Africa, and later the capital of the Bantustan of KwaZulu. ...


Cast

British

Colonel Durnford being assegaied.
Colonel Durnford being assegaied.
  • Burt Lancaster: Colonel Durnford. Commander of a large force of the Natal Native Contingent, Britain's African allies, Durnford is a humane officer who expresses concern for the lives and welfare of his African troops. When war breaks out, Durnford, much to his chagrin, is ordered to remain in Natal and defend the border rather than accompany the invasion force. His troops are ultimately called to reinforce the invasion army, and on the day of battle, Durnford and his African cavalrymen are driven into the camp at Isandlwana. As the British force breaks apart, the one-armed Durnford becomes trapped in the camp. Hoping to save his men, Durnford orders his African cavalrymen to retreat. Remaining on foot at the battlefield, Durnford is killed alongside his infantrymen .
  • Simon Ward: Lt. William Vereker. A junior officer who has recently attached to Durnford's command, Lt Vereker is a light-hearted cavalry officer eager to see war. Vereker's enthusiasm, though, evaporates as he sees Zulu warriors tortured and slain by British troops. Vereker and his men discover the main Zulu army on the morning of the battle, and as British battle lines collapse, Vereker accompanies Lts. Melvill and Coghill in an effort to return the army's flags to Natal. Although Zulu warriors capture the Union Flag, Vereker, in his dying moments, shoots the lead Zulu warrior, ensuring that the flag falls into the Zambezi River, where it is washed out of the reach of Zulu forces.
  • Denholm Elliott: Colonel Pulleine. A mild-mannered and indecisive man, Pulleine is a military bureaucrat who accompanies the army into Zululand, and finds himself left in command of the camp at Isandlwana after Chelmsford leaves on a sortie. News of the approaching Zulu army unnerves Pulleine, and his overstretched troops are unable to defend the camp. After having entrusted the Union Flag to Lts. Melvill and Coghill, Pulleine returns to his tent to pen a last letter to his wife. He is discovered by one of the escaped Zulus and, unwilling to kill the young soldier, the elderly Pulleine allows himself to be killed in his tent.
  • Peter Vaughan: Quarter Sergeant-Major Bloomfield. An elderly and jovial sergeant, QSM Bloomfield, who claims (somewhat dubiously) to have joined the army during the Napoleonic Wars some sixty years earlier, is a military administrator responsible for overseeing the invasion force's supply network. Bloomfield takes a young teenage soldier under his wing, but his compassion and concern does not extend to the Natal Native Contingent's black soldiers, who he sees as little more than animals. During the battle, Bloomfield refuses to dispense ammunition to troops from other units, contributing to chronic ammunition shortages which oblige British troops to retreat. Bloomfield is badly injured when his ammunition wagon explodes, and is killed by a Zulu warrior's assegai.
Lieutenants Coghill and Melvill.
Lieutenants Coghill and Melvill.
  • James Faulkner: Lieutenant Melvill. An arrogant, conceited, and unpleasant man, when a lone Zulu warrior calls from a mountaintop, asking why British forces are invading, Melvill shouts back "we come in the name of Queen Victoria, Queen of all Africa". During the invasion, Melvill expresses a lack of sympathy for African soldiers who drown in the river, and encourages the torture of Zulu prisoners. Towards the end of the battle, Melvill carries the Union Flag back towards Natal, ignoring British infantrymen being killed as they escape on foot. Melvill reaches the border between Zululand and Natal, but is stabbed to death by Zulu warriors while crossing the Buffalo River.
  • Christopher Cazenove: Lieutenant Coghill. A polite and educated young officer, Lieutenant Coghill is temporarily attached to Colonel Pulleine's staff, due to an injured leg which requires him to ride on horseback. Coghill has a close friendship with Lt. Melvill, and during the invasion he expresses dissatisfaction at Chelmsford's strategy. Towards the end of the battle, Coghill accompanies Melvill in his attempt to gallop the Union Flag back towards Natal. When Melvill nearly drowns while trying to cross the Buffalo River, Coghill turns to help him, and is ambushed by Zulu warriors. Coghill attempts to defend himself with his sword, but is killed.
  • Bob Hoskins: Colour-Sergeant-Major Williams. The loud, aggressive Williams, a high-ranking NCO, is viewed by his soldiers with a mixture of fear and respect, but displays genuine concern for his troops. During the battle, Williams loses many of his infantrymen during hand-to-hand fighting, and is badly injured while defending a group of unarmed artillerymen. Williams is killed while attempting to save the life of one of his young soldiers, and having killed several Zulu soldiers with his bayonet, dies at the hands of a large group of fanatical Zulu infantrymen.
  • Peter O'Toole: Lord Chelmsford. The arrogant commander of British forces in South Africa, Chelmsford is eager to advance his military career by crushing neighbouring Zululand, believing that "for the savage as for the child, chastisement is sometimes a blessing". During the invasion, Chelmsford refuses to listen to advice from his British and Boer advisers, and from the comfort of his tent and personal coach, authorises his troops to torture Zulu captives. On the day of the battle, Chelmsford commits a cardinal error in splitting his forces. While the troops at Isandlwana fight for their lives, Chelmsford and his equally arrogant officers, a few miles away, enjoy a silver-service luncheon, laughing sardonically at increasingly desperate reports of the battle. Chelmsford is last seen arriving at the site of the battle several hours later, staring emptily at the bodies of his soldiers, absorbing the news that the victorious Zulu army has invaded Natal.
Sir Henry Bartle Frere (John Mills) meets negotiator Mantshonga (Ken Gampu).
Sir Henry Bartle Frere (John Mills) meets negotiator Mantshonga (Ken Gampu).
  • John Mills: Sir Henry Bartle Frere. The British High Commissioner for South Africa who provokes the war by issuing King Cetshwayo with an impossible ultimatum. Viewing the Zulus as savage barbarians, Bartle Frere believes that the war will provide "a Final Solution to the Zulu Question". Frere is last seen on the night of the British invasion, and does not appear again in the film.
  • Ronald Lacey: Norris Newman. A war correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, Newman accompanies the army into Zululand to report on the war. Newman is deeply critical of Chelmsford, frequently points out Chelmsford's tactical errors, and makes no effort to conceal his contempt for the general. Newman appears to have much more background knowledge on the Zulus than the officers, and frequently expresses sympathy for Zulus who stand little chance against British weaponry. Newman accompanies Chelmsford's expedition and so avoids the battle, and is last seen with Chelmsford, staring at the devastation of the battlefield.
  • Michael Jayston: Colonel Crealock. An officer of the Royal Artillery and lickspittle to his commander, Major Crealock acts as Lord Chelmsford's secretary, constantly expressing his agreement with Chelmsford's decisions. He accompanies Chelmsford's expedition away from Isandhlwana, and is seen idly sketching the landscape while the battle rages a few miles away. When questioned by Newman on the logic of splitting the British army, Russell acidly replies that the Zulus' primitive weaponry does not pose any real threat. When Lieutenant Raw arrives from Isandhlwana with an urgent request for reinforcements, Crealock lectures Raw on military etiquette, and does nothing to facilitate the request. Crealock is last seen with Chelmsford after returning to the devastated camp, bringing news of an ongoing battle at Rorke's Drift and a Zulu invasion of Natal.
  • Ronald Pickup: Lieutenant Harford. A well-meaning officer of the Natal Native Contingent, Harford distinguishes himself from his colleagues through his concern for his African soldiers, and is horrified at British soldiers' lack of interest in the lives of their black allies, and at Chelmsford's casual attitude to the torture of Zulu captives. During the early stages of the battle, Raw is dispatched by Colonel Pulleine to catch up with Chelmsford's army, carrying an urgent request for reinforcements. His message is ignored, and Raw is denied permission to return to Isandhlwana. He is last seen in the evening, weeping as he walks through the countless corpses of young soldiers.

Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Burt Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an Oscar-winning American film actor, noted for his athletic physique (a rare thing for leading men of that time), distinct smile (which he called The Grin) and, later, his willingness to play roles that went against his initial tough guy... Brevet Colonel Anthony Durnford was an officer during the Anglo_Zulu War, and is mainly known for his presence at the defeat of the British army by the Zulu at the Battle of Isandlwana. ... The Natal Native Contingent was a large force of black auxiliary soldiers in British South Africa, forming a large portion of the defence forces of the British colony of Natal, and saw action during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. ... Simon Ward (born London, October 19, 1941) is an English actor. ... “Union Jack” redirects here. ... Zambezi River in North Western Zambia The Zambezi (also spelled Zambesi) is a river in Southern Africa. ... Elliott in The Signal-Man Denholm Mitchell Elliott (May 31, 1922 – October 6, 1992) was a distinguished British actor, well known for his appearances on stage, film and television. ... Henry Pulleine was an administrator in the British Army in the Anglo-Zulu War and had no experience of front line command. ... A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within an institution of the government. ... Sortie is a term for deployment of one military aircraft or a ship for the purposes of a specific mission, whether alone, or with other aircraft or vessels. ... Peter Vaughan (born April 4, 1923 in Shropshire, England) is a British character actor, known for many supporting roles in a variety of British film and television productions. ... Bloomfield may refer to: // Bloomfield, Connecticut Bloomfield, Indiana Bloomfield, Iowa Bloomfield, Kentucky Bloomfield, Missouri Bloomfield, Nebraska Bloomfield, New Jersey Bloomfield, New Mexico Bloomfield, New York Bloomfield (Pittsburgh) Bloomfield, Pennsylvania Bloomfield, Staten Island Bloomfield, Walworth County, Wisconsin Bloomfield, Waushara County, Wisconsin Bloomfield, Vermont Bloomfield, Virginia Bloomfield, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Bloomfield... Combatants Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Sicily  Spain[3]  Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Holland Italy Naples [5] Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[6] Saxony[7] Denmark-Norway [8] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack von Leiberich João Francisco de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun Gebhard von... The Natal Native Contingent was a large force of black auxiliary soldiers in British South Africa, forming a large portion of the defence forces of the British colony of Natal, and saw action during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. ... Ammunition, often referred to as ammo, is a generic term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ... An Askari guards an Allied air training school at Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... James Faulkner (born 18 July 1948 in London, England) is an actor. ... Teignmouth Melvill was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria) (24 May 1819–22 January 1901) was a Queen of the United Kingdom, reigning from 20 June 1837 until her death. ... ... Bufallo River can refer to: The Buffalo River, a tributary of the White River in Arkansas in the United States, and the location of the Buffalo National River. ... Christopher Cazenove (born December 17, 1945) is a British cinema, television and stage actor. ... Photo submitted by John Young Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill, born Drumcondra Co Dublin, 25 January 1852, was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... Bufallo River can refer to: The Buffalo River, a tributary of the White River in Arkansas in the United States, and the location of the Buffalo National River. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Robert William Bob Hoskins Jr. ... Williams can refer to: Williams College, an elite liberal arts college in Williamstown, MA The Williams Companies, an oil and gas pipeline company Williams International, a manufacturer of jet turbines The Williams Street Mix, a collegiate a cappella group from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut Williams Tower, the third... NCO may mean: a numerically-controlled oscillator in electronics a non-commissioned officer in the military   This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... For other uses, see bayonet (disambiguation). ... Peter Seamus OToole (born August 2, 1932, uncertain but presumed correct date[1]) is an eight-time Academy Award-nominated Irish actor. ... Frederic Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford (May 31, 1827–April 9, 1905) was a British general. ... Catherine IIs carved, painted and gilded Coronation Coach (Hermitage Museum) George VI and Queen Elizabeth in a landau with footmen and an outrider, Canada 1939 The classic definition of a carriage is a four-wheeled horse drawn private passenger vehicle with leaf springs (elliptical springs in the 19th century... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... Lunch is a meal that is taken at noon or in the early afternoon. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Ken Gampu (1929 to 4 November 2003) was a South African actor. ... John Mills as Professor Bernard Quatermass in the Thames Television science-fiction serial Quatermass (1979). ... Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet (March 29, 1815 - May 29, 1884) was a British administrator. ... In a February 26, 1942, letter to German diplomat Martin Luther, Reinhard Heydrich follows up on the Wannsee Conference by asking Luther for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Endlösung der Judenfrage (Final Solution of the Jewish Question). ... Ronald Lacey (June 18, 1935 - May 15, 1991) was born in the suburbs of London. ... A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories first-hand from a war zone. ... This article concerns the British newspaper. ... Michael Jayston (born 29th October, 1935 in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire) is a British actor. ... Tactical Recognition Flash of the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army. ... Toady redirects here. ... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders John Chard Gonville Bromhead Prince Dabulamanzi Strength 139 4,000–5,000 Casualties 17 killed, 10 wounded Around 500-600 dead found in 500 foot perimeter Rorkes Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford (drift) on the... The Colony of Natal was a British colony in south-eastern Africa. ... Sir Ronald Pickup (born 7 June 1940) is a well-established English actor. ... Harford may refer to: In the United States: Harford, New York Harford County, Maryland In the United Kingdom: Harford, Carmarthenshire Harford, Devon This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Natal Native Contingent was a large force of black auxiliary soldiers in British South Africa, forming a large portion of the defence forces of the British colony of Natal, and saw action during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. ...

Zulu

  • Simon Sabela: King Cetshwayo. King of Zululand, Cetshwayo is depicted as a peaceful and effective ruler, eager to avoid war but unwilling to compromise Zululand's security by agreeing to Bartle Frere's ultimatum. Cetshwayo is concerned that mobilising his armies will leave a chronic labour shortage, and is eager to defeat the British army in time for his soldiers to return and gather the harvest. Cetshwayo is last seen in his kraal at Ulundi, reluctantly announcing a state of war between Zululand and Cape Colony.
  • Ken Gampu: Mantshonga. A leading general in the Zulu army, Mantshonga masterminds various schemes to confuse British forces, using scouts to gain intelligence on the British army, and small raiding parties to confuse their scouts on the whereabouts of Zulu impis. Mantshonga realises he must overwhelm the British while they are exposed and vulnerable; and that an open battle would result in a crushing Zulu defeat. He keeps his impis hidden, allowing the invaders to progress deep into Zululand, waiting for them to commit an error that will give the impis the opportunity to overwhelm the British before they have time to commit their technology to the battle. While chasing a Boer scout, Mantshonga instructs three of his warriors to allow themselves to be captured by the British, who eventually escape and advise Mantshonga on British weaknesses. In contrast to the British commanders, Mantshonga displays immense bravery, and is last seen leading his warriors into the débâcle of the British camp, where he is shot and presumably killed.
  • Gilbert Tiabane: Bayele. A young warrior in the Zulu army, Bayele leads several scouting missions to glean intelligence on British forces. Under orders from Mantshonga, Bayele allows himself to be captured by cavalrymen of the Natal Native Contingent, and with two other warriors, is taken to the camp at Isandhlwana. While lashed to wagon wheels, Bayele and his two comrades are tortured but only reveal false information. Bayele later uses a distraction in the camp to kill the guard, releases his two comrades, and the three escape to rejoin the Zulu army. Bayele takes part in the assault on the camp, and by chance finds himself face-to-face with Colonel Pulleine in the command tent. Pulleine, recognising Bayele as the tortured prisoner, is unable to shoot Bayele, and Bayele seizes the opportunity to kill him.

Cetshwayo kaMpande (circa 1826 - February 8, 1884) was the king of the Zulu nation from 1872 to 1879 and their leader during the Zulu War. ... Zululand was the Zulu-dominated area of what is now northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ... Look up Harvest in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A South African cattle kraal (Photo by Richard Jones) Kraal (also spelt craal or kraul) is an Afrikaans and South African English word for an enclosure for cattle or other livestock, located within an African homestead or village surrounded by a palisade, mud wall, or other fencing, roughly circular in... Ulundi was at one time the capital of Zululand in South Africa, and later the capital of the Bantustan of KwaZulu. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... Ken Gampu (1929 to 4 November 2003) was a South African actor. ... An Impi is an isiZulu word for any armed body of men. ... An Impi is an isiZulu word for any armed body of men. ... This article is about the Boer people (Boerevolk). ... The Natal Native Contingent was a large force of black auxiliary soldiers in British South Africa, forming a large portion of the defence forces of the British colony of Natal, and saw action during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. ...

Historical accuracy

The film generally avoids historical inaccuracies and is fairly true to the events of January 22, 1879. The costumes of the British soldiers are reasonably accurate, and feature the soldiers staining their pith helmets with tea to reduce the shimmering glare; a practice popular among British soldiers on tropical service, and unlike the film Zulu, which inaccurately depicted shining white helmets. The uniforms of the Natal Native Contingent are also accurate replicas, as are the costumes worn by members of the Royal Artillery and irregular cavalry units, such as the Natal Mounted Police. One notable inaccuracy in the film is that the rifles carried by British infantrymen are not Martini-Henrys as at the actual battle, but cavalry carbines. Colonel Durnford is shown using a Webley Mk VI .455 revolver which was not introduced until 1915 (36 years after the events depicted in the film), so the appearance in the film is an anachronism. However, the British officer of the time was allowed to use any sort of sidearm he wished, as long as it fired .455 ammunition. Officers often privately purchased Webley top-break revolvers (in 1879 not yet officially adopted for service) somewhat similar in appearance to the Mk VI Webley. These Webley models had been put on the market during the 1870's - such as the Webley-Green army model 1879 or the Webley-Pryse model. So Durnford's Webley model Mk VI was not yet developed when the film was set, but the design is typical of Webley revolvers of the period and can be seen as an example of artistic licence. Later movies like "The Four Feathers" paid more attention to such prop gun details. 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Pith helmet of Harry S. Truman The Pith Helmet (also known as Sun helmet, Topee, or Topi) is a lightweight helmet made of cork or pith typically from the sola or a similar plant [1], with a cloth cover, designed to shade the wearers head from the sun. ... For other uses, see Tea (disambiguation). ... Zulu is a 1964 adventure film depicting the Battle of Rorkes Drift between the British Army and the Zulus. ... The Natal Native Contingent was a large force of black auxiliary soldiers in British South Africa, forming a large portion of the defence forces of the British colony of Natal, and saw action during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. ... Tactical Recognition Flash of the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army. ... The Martini-Henry (also known as the Peabody-Martini-Henry) was a breech-loading lever-actuated rifle adopted by the British, combining an action worked on by Friedrich von Martini (based on the Peabody rifle developed by Henry Peabody), with the rifled barrel designed by Scotsman Alexander Henry. ... A carbine is a firearm similar to, but generally shorter and less powerful than, a rifle or musket of a given period. ... The Webley Revolver (also known/referred to as the Webley Break-Top Revolver or Webley Self-Extracting Revolver) was, in various marks, the standard issue service pistol for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth from 1887 until 1963. ... The Four Feathers is a 2002 drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, starring Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...



Several events portrayed in the film are erroneous. These include:

  • Scenes early in the battle which depict British infantrymen clustered into tightly-packed firing lines. Recent research has revealed that British soldiers were very thinly-spread, with a gap of two or three metres between each soldier.
  • The issue of ammunition shortage is now held to be inaccurate (see Battle of Isandlwana). According to the testimony of British and Zulu survivors after the war, the pace of fire did not slacken due to ammunition shortages, but due to rifles becoming overheated or jamming, and their firers retreating into the camp.
  • The film portrays the artillery units being overwhelmed inside the camp; in reality, the field guns were attached to their limbers and attempted to escape the camp, and almost reached the Natal border before being caught by Zulu soldiers.
  • Lt. Melville is shown commanding a company of the 24th, this is erroneous. Lt. Melville was the Adjutant and as such would not have commanded a company on the firing line.
  • The scene depicting Lts. Melvill and Coghill's escape with the Union Flag is inaccurate. In the film, Lt. Melvill carries the Union Flag unfurled, whereas in reality the Union Flag of the 24th Regiment was furled up inside its leather case. In addition, the scene in which Lt. Vereker shoots dead a Zulu warrior in order to save the flag from Zulu capture is entirely fictional; in reality, Melvill was too exhausted to hold onto the heavy flag while trying to swim the river, and it slipped from his grip.
  • Also the escape of Melvill and Coghill was probably not ordered by Pulleine, who was probably dead by that time. It was Melvill's responsibility to save the regimental colours as he did not have any troops directly under his command. Lt. Coghill likewise did not have any responsibility for troops, therefore there was no necessity for him to remain.
  • The film does not portray the solar eclipse which occurred at 2:37 PM, near the end of the battle, interpreted by the Zulus as an omen of their impending victory.
  • During the battle, a large group of British and African soldiers led by Captain Younghusband rallied near the foot of the mountain, succeeding in holding off Zulu attacks for some time. When the soldiers finally ran out of ammunition, they executed a bayonet charge against Zulu warriors, led by a group of infantry officers wielding their swords. Zulu accounts state that the Zulus respected these soldiers' bravery, and having killed them, accorded them ceremonial honours usually reserved for fallen Zulu warriors. This event is not portrayed in the film.
  • The film does not depict an event which occurred in the evening, when a large Zulu impi heading in the direction of Rorke's Drift passed within shooting range of Chelmsford's force returning to Isandhlwana. The two forces, wary of each other, shadowed one another for some time without making any attacks, and finally broke off after around an hour.
  • The rank and file soldiers' uniforms were made of a very poor quality thin cloth (presumably because of the weather) which was far too bright a red. The helmets were obviously moulded plastic with the tan effect flaking off in places.
  • The British troops are shown to be firing Carbines, when they actually used Martini-Henry rifles.

This article is about the unit of length. ... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pulleine† Anthony Durnford† Ntshingwayo Khoza Strength 1,400 men 22,000 men Casualties 52 officers killed 1,277 other ranks killed 3,000 killed 3,000 wounded The Battle of Isandlwana was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War in which... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... A field gun is an artillery piece. ... Franklin D. Roosevelts funeral procession. ... “Union Jack” redirects here. ... Photo taken during the 1999 eclipse. ... Examples of omens from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493): natural phenomena and strange births. ... For other uses, see bayonet (disambiguation). ... An Impi is an isiZulu word for any armed body of men. ... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders John Chard Gonville Bromhead Prince Dabulamanzi Strength 139 4,000–5,000 Casualties 17 killed, 10 wounded Around 500-600 dead found in 500 foot perimeter Rorkes Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford (drift) on the...

Reception

Despite having a large budget and being designed to complement the hugely successful film Zulu, the film was not well received and did not fare particularly well at the box office. Although the film is slanted more towards the British in terms of screen time, its sympathies lie more with the Zulus, which may have confused audiences as to who the film's heroes are. Other films about military defeats, such as Tora! Tora! Tora! and A Bridge Too Far, have also tended to be unsuccessful at the box office. Zulu is a 1964 adventure film depicting the Battle of Rorkes Drift between the British Army and the Zulus. ... For the Melvinss album, see Tora Tora Tora (album) Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American-Japanese film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that unintentionally improved its effectiveness. ... A Bridge Too Far, a book by Cornelius Ryan published in 1974, tells the story of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem in the occupied Netherlands during World War II. The name for the book comes from a comment made by British...


Related titles

  • Zulu Dawn is a prequel to another film set during the early stages of the Anglo-Zulu War; Zulu released in 1964:
  • Zulu depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift, and was also written and co-directed by Cy Enfield.

Combatants United Kingdom Zulu Nation Commanders Sir Bartle Frere, Frederick Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford Cetshwayo Strength 14,800 (6,400 Europeans 8,400 Natal Troops) 40,000 Casualties 1,727 killed, 256 wounded 8,250+ killed, 3,000+ wounded The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the... Zulu is a 1964 adventure film depicting the Battle of Rorkes Drift between the British Army and the Zulus. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... Zulu is a 1964 adventure film depicting the Battle of Rorkes Drift between the British Army and the Zulus. ... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders John Chard Gonville Bromhead Prince Dabulamanzi Strength 139 4,000–5,000 Casualties 17 killed, 10 wounded Around 500-600 dead found in 500 foot perimeter Rorkes Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford (drift) on the...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Channel 4 - History - Zulu Dawn (788 words)
Zulu Dawn was a naked attempt to cash in on the success of Michael Caine's first major movie, Zulu (1964), which even by 1979 –; when this 'prequel' was made – had achieved the status of something of a classic.
However, whereas Zulu had sacrificed historical accuracy for the sake of compelling drama, Zulu Dawn sacrificed historical accuracy to commercial blandness.
Although the film begins with an impressive ceremony at the recreated Zulu royal homestead, it fails to offer any convincing Zulu perspective, and its apparent sympathy for the Zulu cause is undermined by an entirely fictitious gladiatorial contest between warriors that might have been written by Rider Haggard in his best 'noble savage' mode.
Zulu (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1025 words)
Zulu is a 1964 film depicting the 1879 Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus.
The rifles used by the Zulus were not taken from the British column at Isandlwana, as the film implies, but had been purchased much earlier.
The Zulu impis that attacked Rorke's Drift had not participated in the Battle of Isandlwana.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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