"The sun dawned bloodied...two great armies met face to face...and the earth trembled to the sound of the Zulu death chant!"14 May 1979Adventure, Drama, History113 mins
In 1879, the British suffer a great loss at the Battle of Isandlwana due to incompetent leadership. Cy Endfield co-wrote the epic prequel Zulu Dawn 15 years after his enormously popular Zulu. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered 16-to-1 by the Zulu tribesmen. The film's opinion of events is made immediately clear in its title sequence: ebullient African village life presided over by King Cetshwayo is contrasted with aristocratic artifice under the arrogant eye of General Lord Chelmsford (Peter O'Toole). Chelmsford is at the heart of all that goes wrong, initiating the catastrophic battle with an ultimatum made seemingly for the sake of giving his troops something to do. His detached manner leads to one mistake after another.
A romanced story of Attila the Hun, since his childhood, when he lost his parents until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist and lover and the movie shows his respect to the great Roman strategist Flavius Aetius, his loves and passions, the gossips, intrigues and betrayals in Rome, all of these feelings evolved by magic and mysticism.
In 1879, during the Zulu wars, man of the people Lt. John Chard (Stanley Baker) and snooty Lt Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine) are in charge of defending the isolated Natal outpost of Rorke's Drift from tribal hordes, holding out during an Alamo-like seige until they are overwhelmed, losing the battle, but going down in history as heroes.
The last of the 'Airport' series again stars George Kennedy as aviation disaster-prone Joe Patroni, this time having to contend with nuclear missiles, the French Air Force and the threat of the plane splitting in two over the Alps!
Have you watched Zulu Dawn yet? What did you think about it?