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Rubber suited Zulu
Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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Just had a quick dip into "Zulu" and just spotted this charactor. He appears to be wearing a rubber vest? Am I the only one not to have noticed him in the last forty odd years of viewing the film? Confused




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Mel
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Sheldon Hall


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 377
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I don't think this is a rubber vest! Is the image a frame grab from the Blu-ray or remastered DVD? I ask because there is a lot of criticism of them on specialist home-cinema websites which object to the over-processed appearance of the digital transfer, rendering the actors' faces "waxy" (i.e., too smooth, like waxworks). This may be a similar effect, giving an artificial look to the Zulu actor's torso which would not be apparent in a film print. There would have been be no reason for him to wear a vest or any other body armour, as the bayonets were themselves made of rubber.
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Jeff Dickinson


Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Baltimore, United states
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Mel,
Normally I would never disagree with Sheldon about anything “Zulu”, but in this case you are correct he has on a vest. Here are a couple of still shots showing Tom Gerrard having at your man with the bayonet where it is more visible. Looks like take Two as well (notice one hole already present in the vest).
Hope this helps.
Cheers, Jeff





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Sheldon Hall


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 377
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Mea culpa! You're quite right. Just goes to show there is no such thing as nothing left to say or discover about a movie! This is one for the Second Edition.
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Well done Jeff !

As with most things, there is always something left to find and prove to be right. Wink

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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And well done Mel! Is it just me that thinks so or does the Amphitheater (the escapement in the background) look to be made of rubber as well? Wink Only kidding.

By the looks of Jeff's detailed zoom, he's wearing more than just a rubber vest. It actually appears to be some serious body armor-- I guess you never can tell where these stunt men are going to try to stick a bayonet (even a fake one).
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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Just a further thought about the bayonet. I'm thinking that it's spring loaded to retract within itself. Would it be practical to make it of rubber when metal or a rigid plastic would be easier to produce and look much more realistic on the thrust? If so that could hurt some, especially if it were to jam for some reason and not retract smoothly. Rigid construction might also explain the damage to the vest from an earlier take. Hmm... I'll bet the rubber is only covering a recycled bullet proof vest or at least some sort of heavier armor.
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Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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Jeff
Thanks for posting the stills. Never seen those before.

Saw
As you can see, the grass was quite short (rather than the usual chest height) and we could get quite close to the amphitheatre in Oct. I can assure you that it is not made of rubber. I think that would have made it too floppy in the wind. Close examination shows that it's actually made of painted cardboard. Wink



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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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I figured it was something like painted cardboard (CGI hadn't been discovered yet in the early Sixties unless it came as a pill or on a sugar cube)Surprised . After all, how could there be such a dramatic backdrop in a movie if it wasn't a John Ford "oater" filmed in Arizona? Seriously now, I often wonder why ZULU wasn't filmed in our own West. The terrain around Arizona and Utah is very similar to that around The Royal Natal National Park, English isn't a second language for most of the extras, we've got even more authentic looking "Zulus" than SA has, there wouldn't be near as much politics involved in the production, the air fare would have been cheaper, yadda, yadda.

I think you "made" those stills, Jeff. Did you?

I was fortunate to see The Amphitheater in October as well, Mel. The Northern 'Berg is not to be believed and anyone going to Isandlwana (I was reading one of IK's book last night and decided I should follow his spelling) or Rorke's Drift because they saw ZULU in their youth ought to take the drive to that Holy Land.
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Sawubona

I still think the highlands of Scotland would have been a great stand-in for Zululand, when filming 'Zulu Dawn' or 'Zulu'.

Apart from those who can name the plants/trees, when comparing with Africa, it'd pass the test - Monty Python tried it in their Rorke's Drift sketch - 'near Glasgow', the onscreen caption read I seem to recall. Wink

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Kiwi Sapper


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: Middle Earth & Home of Narnia; (Auckland, New Zealand)
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Coll wrote:
Sawubona..........- Monty Python tried it in their Rorke's Drift sketch - 'near Glasgow', the onscreen caption read I seem to recall. Wink

Coll
Was it this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCkFhafk26A&context=C34f724aADOEgsToPDskKpB-_V9ThsPTityTEdUlFj

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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Great sketch! I swear that the Python crew could achieve as much realism and accuracy when they were larking as most movies do when serious. Their attention to detail is amazing even in just that little snippet. "Monty Python Presents Zulu Dawn"! That's what I'm talking about. No tigers, though!

Would Scotland look dry enough at any time to pass for SA in January though? Bleak enough I imagine, but toasted enough? I've never been there, but I've always imagined Scotland as mostly bleak and windy, with occasional cold and damp.
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Kiwi - That's the one. Thanks.

Sawubona

Scotland's weather would add to the drama of the battles, as 'Zulu' had its blue sky enhanced by technicolour, though its scenery was amazing.

Never been to Scotland ? - I've never been outside of the U.K. at all, or even outside of Scotland.

I still haven't managed to visit the Culloden battlefield - where the Scots didn't use a 'Horns Of The Bull' tactic - they ran directly at the enemy, in what was known as the 'Highland Charge'. !

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Last edited by Coll on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 999
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Saw',

Three words why it wasn't filmed in Monument Valley - Joseph Raymond McCarthy.

John Y.
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John

Would this be the same chap that the excellent film 'Good Night and Good Luck' was based on ?

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Rubber suited Zulu
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