Zulu – 1964 – English
Film directed in 1964 by Cy Endfield, and starring Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth, Nigel Green, Ivor Emmanuel, Paul Daneman, Glynn Edwards, Neil McCarthy, Gary Bond…
Synopsis: South Africa, 1879. A hundred English soldiers await the attack of 4,000 Zulu warriors. They have orders to resist in their position and, despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy (40 to 1), they are ready to fight to the end.
Review: It`s shameful no-one makes films like Zulu anymore. In these PC dominated times there are those who may view this film as being racist dealing with a heroic battle between white foreign troops against native black Africans during Victorian times. Nothing could be further from the truth. The zulus are rightly presented as being fearless and disciplined warriors ready to willingly die than show cowardice.
The only other criticism a modern day audience can level at the film is the fact that the battle scenes are slightly ungory compared to the likes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and PLATOON. But so what ? How many other films compete with the excitement and tension of scenes like the soldiers fighting off the hordes of zulus in the hospital building ? Would graphic disembowelment and decapitation improve these scenes ? of course not.
I could go on all day as to what`s brilliant about ZULU , but I wont. But I will say that for me the greatest aspect of the film is John Barry`s score. The fact that he never won an oscar for it just goes to show there`s no justice in the world.
Without doubt the greatest British film of the 1960`s , probably the greatest British picture ever , and possibly the greatest film ever. Let`s hope Hollywood never decides to remake it