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'Zulu' was probably the Welsh movie. With Richard Burton's rich tones narrating, Stanley Baker's smouldering Chief Engineer Chard, and a plethora of Welsh accents and voices, including Ivor Emmanuel's riposte to a moving Zulu chant, stirring the troops into singing 'Men of Harlech' - as the hordes charged them yet again.

Stanley ("Do you think I could stand this butcher's yard more than once?") Baker is almost matched in stiffupperlippedness by Michael ("I feel ashamed") Caine as Lt. Bromhead. Rorke's Drift, 1879, is indeed a long way from 'Alfie' and the Swinging Sixties. This was Iron Mike's first biggie.

James Booth as the wastrel Hook, Nigel Green as the bristling, totally unfazed Colour Sergeant Bourne, and Jack Hawkins as a drunken priest, all make notable impressions.

The British won, but it's not a pro-colonial/imperialist movie. It doesn't show war for anything it isn't. Death and mayhem affects both sides. A young soldier enquires why they're there to Colour Sergeant Bourne, who replies: "Because we're here, lad..." It sums up the futility of it all.

- Paul Rance.

Originally published in Eastern Rainbow No. 6, 2000.

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Zulu Main Cast List
Stanley Baker as Lt. John Chard
Jack Hawkins as Rev. Otto Witt
Ulla Jacobsson as Margareta Witt
James Booth as Pte. Henry Hook
Michael Caine as Lt. Gonville Bromhead
Nigel Green as Colour Sgt. Frank Bourne
Ivor Emmanuel as Pte. Owen
Paul Daneman as Sgt. Robert Maxfield
Glynn Edwards as Cpl. William Allen
Neil McCarthy as Pte. John Thomas
David Kernan as Pte. Fred Hitch
Gary Bond as Pte. Thomas Cole
Peter Gill as Pte. John (612) Williams
Tom Gerrard as Lance Corporal
Patrick Magee as Surgeon Maj. James Henry Reynolds
Richard Davies as Pte. William (593) Jones
Denys Graham as Pte. Robert (716) Jones
Dafydd Havard as Gunner Howarth
Dickie Owen as Cpl. Frederic Schiess, NNC
Larry Taylor as Hughes
Joe Powell as Sgt. Joseph Windridge
John Sullivan as Capt. Stephenson, Durnford's Horse
Harvey Hall as Sick man
Gert Van den Bergh as Lt. Josef Adendorff, NNC
Dennis Folbigge as Commissary James Langley Dalton
Kerry Jordan as Company cook
Ronald Hill as Bugler
Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi as King Cetshwayo kaMpande (as Chief Buthelezi)
Daniel Tshabalala as Jacob
Ephraim Mbhele as Red Garters
Simon Sabela as Zulu dance leader
Richard Burton as Narrator (voice)

Directed by Cy Endfield

Amazon Books relevant to the film

Author: Saul David
The Washing of the Spears
Author: Mangosuthu Chief Buthelezi
Author: Sheldon Hall

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