Total Film - 02/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "Superbly scripted and laced with some incredible performances..."
Empire - 12/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is a complex affair well worth another look."
Based on an actual historic event, this is the story of a group of British soldiers stationed in Africa who are forced to defend their tiny outpost against an attack by powerful Zulu warriors. They are outnumbered 40-1 but are still ready to fight to the finish. Michael Caine is outstanding in Cy Endfield's powerful drama. Narrated by Richard Burton.
Based on actual events, this film takes place in 1879 at Africa's Roarke's Drift, a military post occupied by 97 British soldiers. The Englishmen receive word that they are about to be besieged by 4,000 Zulu warriors armed with spears and even rifles. The soldiers stay and fight the warriors, desperately using everything they can find to withstand the onslaught.
Theatrical Release |
True Story |
Filmed in Natal and completed at Twickenham Film Studios in England. Shot in Technicolor and Super Technorama 70.
Originally released on video by Charter Entertainment in 1986.
First British film production for American impressario Joseph E. Levine.
Copyright 1963 Diamond Films, Ltd.
First starring role for British actor Michael Caine, born Maurice Joseph Mickewhite March 14, 1933, in Bermondsey, England. Married in 1973 to Shakira Baksh, they have one daughter, Natasha. He has an elder, married daughter, Dominique, born 1956, to his first wife, Patricia Haynes.
Additional cast: Ivor Emmanuel (Private Owen), Glynn Edwards (Corporal Allen), Neil McCarthy (Private Thomas), David Kernan (Private Hitch), Peter Gill (Private G12 Williams), Tom Gerrard (Lance Corporal), Richard Davies (Private 593 Jones), Dafydd Havard (Gunner Howarth), Denys Graham (Private 716 Jones), Dickie Owen (Corporal Schiess), Larry Taylor (Hughes), Joe Powell (Sergeant Windridge), John Sullivan (Stephenson), Harvey Hall (Sick Man), Gert Van Den Bergh (Adendorf), Dennis Folbigge (Commissary Dalton), Kerry Jordan (Company Cook), Ronald Hill (Bugler), Chief Buthelezi (Cetewayo), Daniel Tshabalala (Jacob), Ephraim Mbhele (Red Garters), and Simon Sabela (Dance Leader).
Additional credits: Jennifer Thompson (assistant editor), Douglas Rankin (production consultant), and Rusty Coppleman (sound editor).