Additional information for Zulu, which has a domestic theatrical release set for January 22, 1964. The film is being distributed by Paramount Pictures and has not yet been rated. Zulu has a total running time of 138 minutes.
No taglines exist for this title.
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.
In January 1879, a communiqué to the government in London, (narrated by Richard Burton), details the crushing defeat of a British force at the hands of the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana on January 22, 1879.At a mass Zulu marriage ceremony witnessed by Boer missionary Otto Witt (Jack Hawkins) and his daughter (Ulla Jacobsson), Zulu King Cetewayo (Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi) is also informed of the great victory earlier in the day. Witt and his daughter flee from the Zulu village to warn the British soldiers at their mission at Rorke's Drift about an impending Zulu attack.A company of the British Army's 24th Regiment of Foot, a Welsh regiment, is using the missionary station of Rorke's Drift in Natal as a supply depot and hospital for their invasion force across the border in Zululand. Upon receiving news of Isandhlwana from the Witts and that a large enemy force is advancing their way, Lieutenant John Chard (Stanley Baker) of the Royal Engineers assumes command of the small 135-man British detachment, being senior by virtue of his commission date to Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine), who, as an infantry officer, is rather put out to find himself subordinate to an engineer. Realising that they cannot outrun the Zulu army, especially with wounded soldiers, Chard decides to fortify the station and make a stand, using wagons, sacks of mealie, and crates of ship's biscuit. When Witt becomes drunk and starts demoralising the men with his dire predictions, causing the soldiers of the Natal Native Contingent to desert, Chard orders him and his daughter to leave. A group of Zulu warriors, on the hills around the fort, see them but recognizing them as missionaries, allow Witt and his daughter to pass by them.As the Zulu impis approach, a contingent of Boer horsemen arrives. They advise Chard that defending the station is hopeless before they flee, despite Chard's desperate pleas for them to stay. Minutes later, a low rumbling is heard which are thousands of Zulu warriors banging their spears against their cow-hide sheilds which according to Bromhead "it sounds like a train". The 4,000-strong Zulu impis appears on a ridge overlooking Rorke's Drift and advances to attack.After an inital assault, hundreds of Zulu riflemen open fire on the station from a neighbouring hill. Over the next few hours, wave after wave of Zulu attackers are repelled. The Zulus do succeed in setting fire to the hospital, leading to intense hand-to-hand fighting between British patients and Zulu warriors as the former try to escape the flames. Malingering Private Henry Hook (James Booth) surprises everyone by taking charge in the successful breakout. Attacks continue into the night.The next morning, at dawn, the Zulus approach to within several hundred yards and begin singing a war chant; the British respond by singing "Men of Harlech". In the last assault, just as it seems the Zulus will finally overwhelm the tired defenders, the British soldiers fall back to a tiny redoubt that Chard had earlier ordered constructed out of mealie bags. With a reserve of soldiers hidden within the redoubt, they form into three ranks, and pour volley after volley into the stunned natives, who withdraw after sustaining heavy casualties. Later, the Zulus sing a song to honour the bravery of the defenders and leave.The film ends with a narration by Richard Burton, listing the defenders who received the Victoria Cross, including Private Hook. Eleven were awarded for the actual fighting at Rorke's Drift.
Joseph E. Levine
executive producer (uncredited)
Lt. John Chard R.E.
Pvt. Henry Hook
Lt. Gonville Bromhead
Pvt. 612 Williams
Pvt. 593 Jones
Pvt. 716 Jones
Adendorff (as Gert Van Den Bergh)
Gert van den Bergh
Cetewayo (as Chief Buthelezi)
Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi
No theatrical release dates have been decided.
Joseph E. Levine
executive producer (uncredited)
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