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Old 10-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #51
diebitter
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

A little trivia about Colour-Sergeant Frank Bourne. He was recommended for a Victoria Cross, but told the powers that be that he would rather have a promotion instead. This he was given along with a D.C.M and an O.B.E. He was the last surviving veteran of Rourke's Drift when he died on V.E. Day 8th May 1945 aged 91 and with a rank of Lt. Col.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #52
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

Really good film.

I thought the first 10 minutes was the best part. I read the synopsis of the story before watching, and was kind of surprised that this would be favorite here in the lounge. It sounded like a movie celebrating British expansion and a small number of soldiers killing a much larger group of savages.

The first 10 minutes completely does away with that. The wedding ceremony is a beautifully shot scene, and the song is beautiful as well. The conversation between the preacher and his daughter shows that the Zulus are a respectable people with their own culture, and even some of the bad things in their culture are similar to those in England.

This scene really turns the movie into more of a celebration for discipline and martial prowess, but not a celebration of violence. It's really a beautiful film and has some great lines.

Along this same line of thought, the person who knows the Zulu tactics is pretty essential to the film. His explaining what the Zulus are doing really shows the discipline of the Zulu people, I think the biggest example is where the Zulus are counting the British guns. Without his commentary the scene would be too confusing, and I think people would just mistake the Zulus for being savages and getting shot at without doing anything in return.

I also felt the action scenes were lacking, and thought the director probably wasn't used to working with anything on this scale. It seemed like several of the scenes were just too large for the choreography, for example a bayonet would be stabbing someone in front of the camera, but in the background people would be running around just kind of aimlessly. It also lost all meaning when they fell back to the redoubt because the outer defense was getting overrun, when every scene it's overrun and the Zulus just run past the soldiers. These close up action scenes were the worst and just really "Hollywood" in general. I disliked the one guy taking out four or five Zulus with his crutch in one hand and a rifle in another. I also disliked the commander taking a wound, wandering around aimlessly for awhile, and then just deciding that he was alright after all.

As mentioned, the best action scene by far was the line push by the British soldiers. It showed the discipline of the soliders, the tactics of the time, and also how the British commanders kept their cool and handled the situation. The scene immediately following was probably my favorite scene other than the opening as well. The awkward silence, the two commanders now filthy looking across at each other, and then the water being brought out. Everything following this scene was really fantastic.

Anyways just some random thoughts about the movie. I'm glad that this was recommended as it's an area of history I'd never thought to learn about before. Since watching I've read up on a few wikipedia articles on Chelmsford's invasion and the movie as well. Sounds like a pretty tragic story with really Chelmsford's own ambition being the only reason for it. It's also sad about Hook's relatives and his portrayal in the film. Still really a great film though and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for recommending it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:56 AM   #53
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

Some of the action scenes were good in portraying the chaos of war, especially the fighting and the fire in the hospital. It is difficult to realize just how disjointed some fighting can become and equally hard to display this on the screen without it seeming silly.

I also liked the sergeant and the rollcall at the end. It was very well done.

As far as being a "battle movie" it certainly ranks up there with the best of them, given the time it was made.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:00 PM   #54
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

Felicia, Katy, don't think I haven't noticed you haven't said anything yet...
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #55
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

I just watched Zulu Dawn as a follow up. Like Zulu I had seen it before but it has to be at least 30 years ago. This was the prequel battle that lead to the Rourkes Drift defense in Zulu.

I liked Zulu better as a movie. Zulu Dawn had more recognizable actors and a bigger action budget but I think Zulu was more impressive with a more interesting set of circumstances and characters. Zulu made you more sympathetic to the situation where in Zulu Dawn as the aggressors you felt they got what they deserved. Zulu also had much better developed characters.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:10 AM   #56
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

I love Zulu. I don't like Zulu Dawn so much. Although the action in Zulu Dawn was better choreographed and it had bigger named actors, I don't think the acting overall was superior.

I'm unaware of the larger political ramifications of the Zulu uprising, though I know it happened when it seems a lot of the colonies were seeking independence. I was very impressed by the discipline of both the Zulu and the British, but think the half-ass attack to count guns was wasteful. The priest annoyed me, but really no more than some priests I've met in real life annoy me so the actor portraying him must have done a good job.

I especially liked the way the Zulu would appear on the horizon banging their spears on their shields sounding like a giant train. I imagine myself there and then and how I would have reacted and how I would have needed clean underpants.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:22 PM   #57
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

I just rewatched this.

Still my favourite movie of all time.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:57 AM   #58
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

Rewatched this again on my Birthday.

It's so great.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:53 AM   #59
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

Interesting tidbit: The war chant used by the Zulu's in the movie is also used by the Germanic tribe in the battle scene at the beginning of the Gladiator movie.
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:09 AM   #60
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Re: Classic Movie Club: Zulu

HAH! I remember recognising it when I heard it, but not being able to place it.
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