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Zulu Dawn

14 May 1979
117 min
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In 1879, the British suffer a great loss at the Battle of Isandlwana due to incompetent leadership. Cy Endfield co-wrote the epic prequel Zulu Dawn 15 years after his enormously popular Zulu. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered 16-to-1 by the Zulu tribesmen. The film's opinion of events is made immediately clear in its title sequence: ebullient African village life presided over by King Cetshwayo is contrasted with aristocratic artifice under the arrogant eye of General Lord Chelmsford (Peter O'Toole). Chelmsford is at the heart of all that goes wrong, initiating the catastrophic battle with an ultimatum made seemingly for the sake of giving his troops something to do. His detached  manner leads to one mistake after another.




Peter O'Toole

Lord Chelmsford

James Faulkner

Lt. Melvill

Burt Lancaster

Col. Anthony Durnford

John Mills

Sir Henry Bartle Frere

Bob Hoskins

C.S.M. Williams

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Phil Daniels

Boy Pullen

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Ronald Pickup

Lt. Harford

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Freddie Jones

Bishop Colenso

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Peter Vaughan

QSM Bloomfield

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