was made in 1964, starring Sir
Stanley Baker as Chard, Sir
Michael Caine as Bromhead. (although he was 'introduced',
I personally know of three films, although I now understand
there are seventeen, in which he appeared as an extra prior
to 'Zulu'.) Jack
Hawkins as Rev. Otto Witt, Ulla
Jacobsson as Margareta Witt, Nigel
Green as Colour Sergeant Bourne, James
Booth as Pte. Hook,and Patrick
Magee as Surgeon Reynolds.
film which was co-produced by Sir
Stanley Baker and Cy
Endfield with music by John
Barry (who also wrote music for the James Bond films) and it still
remains to me one of the most dramatic and gripping films ever
made. It evokes the best traditions of the British Army and
the stuff of which legends are made. It features stunning scenery,
filmed in the Natal National Park. The property master was John
film gives a good overall version of the events although the
way they are portrayed in the film is not totally accurate.
This doesn't detract from the impact of the film. The film does
portray also the courage of the Zulus. It must have taken much
for them to attack against a defended position, bare footed,
and in many cases only armed with an assegai and a shield. It
is unlikely that the weapons used against the defenders were
taken from the dead at Isandhlwana
since Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande and his regiment had not taken
much part at Isandhlwana
but wanted to have some glory.
details ought to be mentioned though. Rev. Witt was not a drunk.
He, along with Rev. Smith
(who did not feature in the film but played an important role)
and Surgeon Reynolds went up to
the Oskerberg (Shiyane Hill) to
look out for the approaching Zulus. There were two parties who
warned the post of the possible approach of the Zulus and told
of the events at Isandhlwana.
One reported to Chard at the river,
the other, including Adendorff (Gert
Van Der Berg), reported to Chard at the mission station.
The command at the station was not decided between Chard and
Bromhead on the basis of date
of commission, it was decided by Capt. Spalding (Officer in
command) before going to Helpmekaar, not before saying to Chard
'Which of you is senior, you or Bromhead?'
Chard said 'I don't know.' Having then checked
the army list Spalding said to Chard 'I see that you are
senior, so you will be in charge. Of course, nothing will happen,
and I shall be back again early this evening.'
Horse Contingent which arrived at Rorke's
Drift from Isandhlwana were actually deployed for defence
but thought that their position was useless and then withdrew.
was portrayed in the film as a petty crook in the hospital scenes.
Not a true representation of him although the film version seems
to be an accurate portrayal of the events during the fight in
the hospital. The evacuation was not totally true. When the
patients emerged, they were subjected to rifle fire and assegai
attacks in their withdrawal. At least one of them was killed
on the journey to the inner defences.
Folbigge) ('Pot that chap somebody!') was
portrayed as a whimpish character. In reality, much of the
success of the preparation for the defences was due to him,
he being a long serving and experienced soldier.
contingent (some 200 in number) deserted, ('They've
hooked it... every one of 'em.') having helped to
build the barricades. A British officer (Capt. Stevenson)
and an NCO (Cpl. Anderson) deserted with them. The NCO was
killed by one of the defenders while doing so, (some speculate
it may have been by Hitch who was on on look-out duty on the
hospital roof). Stevenson was later court-martialled and dismissed
from the army.
Bond) died in the hospital. ('Well he's a dead paperhanger
now!'). In reality he was slaughtered or shot through
the head (with some reports that the bullet then struck another
defender on the nose).
also featured on the fact that it was a Welsh regiment. Although
it was then based in Brecon in South Wales and called the
24th. Regiment of Foot (later to be the South Wales Borderers),
it was formerly the Warwickshire Regiment. Many of the defenders
had never been to Brecon. Of the 24th. Regt. at the defence,
49 were English, 16 Irish, 1 Scottish, 32 Welsh and 24 of
other Nationalities. ('This is a Welsh regiment, although
there are some foreigners in it in mind').
many discrepancies, I still think the film ('movie' to
our American friends) is the best ever. Following are some of
the more memorable quotes from it:
doesn't like more than one disaster in a day. (Chard)
Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their
Damned hot work! (Chard).
Still, the river cooled you off a bit... Err... who said you
could use my men? (Bromhead)
They were sitting around on their backsides doing nothing.
...Rather you asked first old boy! I'll tell my man to clean
your kit (Bromhead)
Don't bother (Chard)
No bother...not offering to clean it myself. Still, a chap
ought to look smart in front of the men. (Bromhead)
levies man... Cowardly blacks! (Bromhead)
hell do you you mean, cowardly blacks? They died on your side
didn't they? And who do you think is coming to wipe out your
little command? The grenadier guards!? (Adendorff)
the deuce is the matter with him? (Bromhead to Chard)
our ground? Which military genius thought that one up? Somebody's
son and heir? Got a commission before he learned to shave?
(Chard to Bromhead)
fancy that he's nobody's son and heir now! (Bromhead)
er, jolly simple doesn't it? (Bromhead to Adendorff)
Jolly deadly old boy! (Adendorff)
Well done Adendorff, we'll make an Englishman of you yet!
No thanks, I'm a Boer. The Zulus are the enemy of my blood,
but what are you doing here? (Adendorff)
You don't object to our help I hope? (Bromhead)
It all depends on what you damned English want for it afterwards!
this as good a place to be when a man is in pain? (Surgeon
is as good as a bayonet on a day like this. (CS Bourne
for? Did I ever see a Zulu walk down the City Road? No! So
what am I doing here? (Hook)
then! Nobody told you to stop workin' (CS Bourne)
hooked it! All 'ov 'em! (Anon)
funny! Like a train in the distance. (Bromhead)
mind 'im boy. You get along to the ramparts with your mates.
(then to Witt) Mr. Witt sir... be quiet now will you,
there's a good gentleman, you'll upset the lads. (CS Bourne)
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 realise?
Can't you see? You're all going to die! Die... Death awaits
you all! Die... (Witt)
right! Why's it us eh? Why us? (Pte. Cole)
Because we're 'ere lad! Nobody else. Just us. (CS Bourne)
Pot that chap somebody! Good fellow, good fellow! (Dalton)
Sir! Patrol has come back, Zulus have gone, all of 'em. It's
a miracle! (Bourne to Chard)
a miracle Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer Henry,
point 4-5 caliber miracle. (Chard)
bayonet Sir! With some guts behind it! (CS Bourne)
how it was for you? The first time? (Bromhead to Chard
in the morning)
time? Do you think I could stand this butcher's yard more
than once? (Chard)
you. I came up here to build a bridge. (Chard)
building the pontoon
returning from hunting
and Bromhead, discussing the plan
Bourne and Chard, as preparations are made
Zulus advance on the post
and Bromhead, watching the deserters
call after the battle
and Bromhead survey the devastation
and trademarks recognised.
within this document go to the Internet