Random stuff on Life, the Universe and Science Fiction

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 15 – Your Favourite War Film

Well, I couldn’t for the life of me think of a film that depicts my life, so I decided to change today’s category. There’s a favourite Action film category coming up that would cover war films but I really think they are deserving of their own.

This 1964 film tells the story of the defence of Rourke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. Rourke’s Drift was a tiny mission station in present day South Africa consisting of a church, hospital and store-house with a small contingent of soldiers stationed at it. Around 150 men of the 2nd Batallion 24th Regiment of Foot under the command of Lieutenant Bromhead (Michael Caine in his first major role) receive word from a messenger that the rest of their regiment consisting of almost 2000 men has been slaughtered at the Battle of Isandlwana by a force of 20,000 Zulu warriors, 5,000 of whom are now heading for them.

Under orders to hold the station at all costs, Bromhead and the other officer on site, Lt. Chard of the Royal Engineers (Stanley Baker) prepare their men to defend. What follows has gone down in the military history of not only Britain but the Zulu nation as well. The film is expertly directed by Cy Enfield and recieved the full support of the Zulus during production. The Zulus in the film are all played by actual Zulus and the Zulu King by his own great-grandson. Along with fantastic performances by the two leads, Nigel Green shines as the unflappable Colour Sergeant Bourne and Richard Burton narrates at the beginning and end.

The film is in the Public Domain, so I have no qualms in linking you to the entire movie on Youtube (in High Definition no less)

There’s no good trailer for this film so instead here is a clip of one of the early Zulu attacks-

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4 responses

  1. Mary

    I had ‘Film that describes your life’ on my list. This is a much better category.

    I’d go with Paths of Glory. I’d also be tempted to put The War Game in but I don’t think it’s strictly a ‘War Film’.

    21 April, 2011 at 10:00

    • Yeah… I had that category too but I thought it was rubbish and couldn’t think of anything so I went with this category instead.

      I’ve not seen Paths of Glory (*adds it to lovefilm*), but the war game scared the hell out of me. It’s so dark!

      21 April, 2011 at 10:16

      • Mary

        Have you seen Threads? That’s a similar tale. I recently rewatched it. I’m a sucker for post apoc’ stuff.

        21 April, 2011 at 14:09

  2. kiraniumbra

    I just watched this the other day. Brilliant film. great choice, especially for a history buff.

    21 April, 2011 at 14:06

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