Zulu (film)

1964 film directed by Cy Endfield

Zulu is a 1964 film that chronicles a company of British soldiers defending the mission station at Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. It is based on historical events, and marked the first major role in the long film career of Michael Caine.

Directed by Cy Endfield. Screenplay by Cy Endfield and John Prebble.
Dwarfing the Mightiest! Towering Over the Greatest!
"Why is it us? Why us?" "Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us."
In the hundred years since the Victoria Cross was created for valour and extreme courage beyond that normally expected of the British soldier in face of the enemy only 1344 have been awarded. Eleven of these were won by the defenders of the mission station at Rorke's Drift, Natal, January 22nd to the 23rd 1879.
Right- nobody told you to stop workin'.

Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead edit

  • Still, a chap ought to look smart in front of the men, don't you think?
  • [Upon being told the rifles the Zulu are firing were taken from British soldiers] Well, that's a bitter pill, our own damn rifles!
  • [At an extreme peak in the battle, Lieutenant Chard starts to buckle under the pressure and becomes unresponsive] Stay in the fight, man! We need you, damn it! We need you!
  • At one hundred yards, volley fire present! Aim! FIRE!
  • Volley by ranks! First rank, FIRE! Second rank, FIRE! Third rank, FIRE!

Colour Sergeant Bourne edit

  • A prayer's as good as a bayonet on a day like this.
  • Right- nobody told you to stop workin'.

Private Henry Hook edit

  • What do you think? It's Mr. Flamin' Bromhead shooting flamin' defenseless animals for the flamin' officers' flamin' dinner.

Dialogue edit

Mr. Witt: Oh, Lord in heaven...
Margareta Witt: What is it, father?
Mr. Witt: A thousand British soldiers have been massacred. While I stood here talking peace, a war has started.

Cpl. William Allen: Heave! Put a bit more weight on that rope, you men!
Pvt. John Williams: He's even got a voice like a corporal!
Pvt. Fred Hitch: Yeah, sort of like a female hippopotamus in labor.

Sgt. Robert Maxfield: You're no good to anyone, except the Queen and Sergeant Maxfield!
Pvt. Henry Hook: Well thank you very much, the both of you!

Lt. Chard: The Army doesn't like more than one defeat in a day.
Lt. Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.

Lt. Bromhead: The entire column? It's damned impossible! Eight hundred men?
Adendorff: Twelve hundred men. There were four hundred native levies, also.
Bromhead: Damn the levies, man, more cowardly blacks!
Adendorff: What the hell do you mean, "cowardly blacks"? They died on your side, didn't they? And who the hell do you think is coming to wipe out your little command? The Grenadier Guards? [Adendorff begins to walk away]
Lt. Chard: Adendorff, are you staying?
Adendorff: Is there anywhere else to go?
Lt. Chard: Talk to our levies, will you? Tell them whose side they're on.

Reynolds: You've got a fine handsome boil, my friend. There's one glistening boil for every soldier in Africa. You may not win any medals on this campaign, but you'll certainly get more boils. For every gunshot wound I probe, I expect to lance three boils.
Hook: Uh, a spot of medicinal brandy would set me up, sir.
Reynolds: Brandy's for heroes, Mr. Hook. The rest of you will make do with boils in your skin, flies in your meat, and dysentery in your bellies. Now - this will hurt you a lot more than it will me, I'm happy to say.

Bourne: They'll know my voice when they hear it, sir.
Witt: Let them hear it now, in praise of the Lord. Call upon Him - call upon Him, man, for your salvation!
Bourne: Well, as far as I can remember, sir, it goes something like this: "He maketh wars to cease in all the world. He breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear in sunder." Do you know it, sir?
Witt: "I shall be exalted among the heathen, I shall be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us."
Bourne: That's it, sir. [to troops in work detail] All right, nobody told you to stop working! You lead back-sided-- get sweatin'!

Maxfield: Pick up the rifle, Hook. And get to it! I'll make a soldier of you yet.
Hook: And what for? Did I ever see a Zulu walk down the City Road? No! So what am I doing here?
Maxfield: You're here because you were a liar, a coward, and a thief. Now you can be a soldier- like what they pay you for.

[Colour Sergeant Bourne and several other soldiers have brought a drunken Mr. Witt and his daughter to their wagon to get them away before the Zulus attack.]
Lt. Chard: Keep driving with the sun at your back. Should make it safely.
Mr. Witt: Sergeant!
Margareta Witt: Father!
Mr. Witt: Leave me alone!
Lt. Chard: Try to understand him, Miss Witt.
Mr. Witt: Death awaits you! You have made a covenant with death and with Hell you are in agreement! You're all going to die! Don't you realize? Can't you see? You're all going to die! [Chard whips one of the horses. They start, pulling the Witts and their carriage away.] DIE! Death awaits you all! Die! Die!
Private Cole: He's right. Why is it us? Why us?
Colour Sgt. Bourne: Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.
Lt. Chard: Colour Sergeant.
Colour Sgt. Bourne: Right. Now, get back to your posts! On the double!

[At the ruins of the garrison hospital]
Lt. Chard: Who was left in here?
Lt. Bromhead: I don't know.
Lt. Chard: They had names, they had faces, they were our men. What do you mean you don't know?
Lt. Bromhead: Chard!
Lt. Chard: All right. Well, you've fought your first action.
Lt. Bromhead: Does everyone feel like this afterward?
Lt. Chard: How do you feel?
Lt. Bromhead: I feel... sick.
Lt. Chard: Well, you have to be alive to feel sick.
Lt. Bromhead: You asked me, I told you. There's... something else. I feel ashamed. Was that how it was for you? The first time?
Lt. Chard: The first time? You think I could stand this butcher's yard more than once?
Lt. Bromhead: I didn't know.
Lt. Chard: I told you. I came up here to build a bridge.

Lt. Chard: Thank you, for what you said.
Lt. Bromhead: Hm? Oh, you mean about our needing you? Don't bother, old boy, it's true.

Colour Sgt. Bourne: Sir, sentries report the Zulus have gone. All of them! It's a miracle.
Lt. Chard: If it's a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer-Henry point-four-five caliber miracle.
Sgt. Bourne: And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind it.

[Adendorff sees the Zulus re-forming on a hill.]
Adendorff: Damn you... God damn you!
Lt. Chard: Adendorff, what are they doing? Answer me!
Adendorff: Haven't you had enough? Both of you?! Can't you see your damned egos don't matter anymore? We're dead.
Lt. Bromhead: [shouting at Zulus] Well, what are you waiting for? Come on! Come on!
[The Zulus begin another musical war-chant.]
Bromhead: Those bastards! They're taunting us!
Adendorff: [Realizing what the Zulus are really doing, he begins to laugh] No, you couldn't be more wrong! They're saluting you. They're saluting fellow braves!

Narrator (Richard Burton) edit

[At the end of the film]
In the hundred years since the Victoria Cross was created for valour and extreme courage beyond that normally expected of the British soldier in face of the enemy only 1344 have been awarded. Eleven of these were won by the defenders of the mission station at Rorke's Drift, Natal, January 22nd to the 23rd 1879.
Fredrick Schiess, Corporal, Natal Native Contingent.
William Allen, Corporal, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
Fred Hitch, Private B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
James Langley Dalton, Acting Assistant Commissary, Army Commissariat Department.
612 John Williams, Private, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
726 Robert Jones, 593 William Jones, Privates, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
Henry Hook, Private, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
James Henry Reynolds, Surgeon Major, Army Hospital Corps.
Gonville Bromhead, Lieutenant, B Company, 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot, South Wales Borderers.
John Rouse Merriott Chard, Lieutenant, Royal Engineers, Officer Commanding - Rorke's Drift.

Taglines edit

  • Dwarfing The Mightiest! Towering Over The Greatest!
  • The supreme spectacle that had to come thundering out of the most thrilling continent!
  • The epic story of courage, honour and pride.
  • These are the days and nights of fury and honor and courage and cowardice that an entire century of empire-making and film-making can never surpass!

Cast edit

External links edit

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