6.7/10
6,086
70 user 29 critic

Zulu Dawn (1979)

A dramatization of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the British Army met its match against the Zulu nation.

Director:

Douglas Hickox

Writers:

Cy Endfield (original story and scenario), Cy Endfield (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Col. Durnford
Simon Ward ... Lt. Vereker
Denholm Elliott ... Col. Pulleine
Peter Vaughan ... Q.S.M. Bloomfield
James Faulkner ... Lt. Melvill
Christopher Cazenove ... Lt. Coghill
Bob Hoskins ... C.S.M. Williams
David Bradley ... Pte. Williams (as Dai Bradley)
Paul Copley ... Cpl. Storey
Donald Pickering ... Maj. Russell R.A.
Nicholas Clay ... Lt. Raw
Phil Daniels ... Boy Pullen
Ian Yule ... Cpl. Fields
Peter J. Elliott Peter J. Elliott ... Sentry
Brian O'Shaughnessy Brian O'Shaughnessy ... Maj. Smith R.A. (as Brian O'Shaunnessy)
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Storyline

In 1879 South Africa, the administrators of the British Cape Colony have designs to eliminate the Zulus as a hindrance to their colonial economy. To that end, the British present King Cetshwayo with an impossible ultimatum to provoke a war they are sure they can win easily with their rifles and artillery against native spears. However, that war proves more difficult than the arrogant British commander, Lord Chelmsford, expects as his overburdened army fruitlessly searches for the elusive enemy. However, in the shadow of a hill called Isandlwana, the overconfident British army learns to its sorrow just how badly they have underestimated the tactical skill and might of the Zulu nation. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The blood and thunder epic... a true story (dvd) See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the oft-quoted figure of one thousand five hundred British troops killed in action is used to describe Isandlhwana, there were, in fact, only about seven hundred British soldiers killed in the battle. The rest of the number killed were African auxiliaries and European militia. See more »

Goofs

The Queen's Colour (flag) of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment, is shown uncased and unfurled in the camp, and when Lt. Melvill tries to carry it to safety. In reality, the colour was kept cased - with a black leather sheath around the furled flag - and Melville carried it away cased. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sir Henry Bartle Frere: [proofreading aloud the ultimatum he has just drafted] Cetshwayo's Zulu army to disband and the warriors permitted to return to their homes.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: One hundred years ago the British Colony of Natal in Southern Africa was surrounded by a vast and independent Zulu Kingdom.

In 1879, a battle took place that was forever to alter the course of Colonial history: ISANDHLWANA See more »

Connections

Featured in History Buffs: Zulu (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard when the troops depart for Zululand
See more »

User Reviews

 
ZUUULUUUUUUUUUU
5 May 2003 | by christopher-45See all my reviews

An impressive recreation of the events leading up to and of the battle of Isandlwana. The cast quality was first class, but the film jumped about from British to Zulu camps and back again to much, and some more footage of the Zulu rulers and their decisions would have been nice.

As it is the film gave a fairly balanced account of both sides. The actual battle scenes were very impressive but given the area at Isandlwana were not as tightly shot as in Zulu nor as good, and thus the same atmosphere just wasn't there, with scenes jumping around, and you could not relate to the individual characters as much as in Zulu, as they were on and off screen to quickly.

The Zulu charge though was frightening, and you felt for the soldiers who had to meet it. In short, not as good as the original, and with some mistakes in the British weapons and some equipment, but a very good introduction to Zulu if you were to see both movies back to back.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Netherlands | USA

Language:

English | Zulu

Release Date:

15 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amanecer sangriento See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby System Noise Reduction - High Fidelity)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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