A prequel to the war epic "Zulu", this dramatic story recounts the breathtaking defeat of British forces at the hands of a 25,000 strong and relentlessly determined Zulu army in 1870. The all-star cast, and extravagant pr... more »oduction quality make Zulu Dawn a spectacular film with a guaranteed place in the list of Hollywood Greats.« less
Patty V. from TERRE HAUTE, IN Reviewed on 3/23/2011...
This is an Epic story, a Clasic.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 8/29/2010...
an excellent movie depicting one of the great massacres in history. Worth watching
Zulu Dawn Flawed, But Good
Roger Kennedy | 03/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a decent movie which attempts to cover its subject well. The anti-British bias of the movie hurts its accuracy. For one, the Zulu Kingdom was not some innocent, put upon people. Shaku Zulu had spend years creating a brutal tribal kingdom that was under his complete control. His seccessors were no less brutal. King Catayweo may have been marginal less dictatorial than Shaku, but only by degrees. Despite this flaw, the movie is still worthwhile. Peter O'Tool lays it on thick by making Lord Chelmsford look the arrogant fool. This was not quite the case. Burt Lancaster does a nice job as Durnsford, and Simon Ward is great as the young gent recruit in the native horse.
The battle scene at Ishlandwana is impressive, but almost totally inaccurate. For one thing the British firepower kept the Zulus pinned for quite a while. The movie shows them charging forward ever invincible. Only when the Britsh fire slackend were they able to surge forward and break the line. The movie does not show this. Also the Zulu prisoners reporting the British position back to the main Impi is pure fantasy! This never happened and is another attempt by the movie to make the British look cruel and stupid! There are some other flaws, but to me these are the most serious.
The production quality is first-rate, and the attention to the flow of historical events is well done, if a little confusing at times. Those not familar with the campaign may have problems following it. Although portrayed as one of the most serious defeats ever in British military history this is also an exaggeration. The Zulu campaign was a embarrassment in some ways for the British, and also an un-wanted conflict, but the ultimate result was a crushing British victory a few weeks later under Chelmsford. Those who want a truly crushing victory of the natives over the Europeans should check out the fate of the Italians in Ethiopia in 1896! That was a true debacle. The British endured their set-back and came back for the final win as they often did. A flawed movie, but worthwhile."
Great Entertainment, well made fascinating story line
Stuart Gardner | Fair Lawn, NJ | 02/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's suprising so many comments are tailoured on the accuracy of the film rather than the entertainment value. This is an exciting film, with a good plot, good acting and is more entertaining to watch than most new releases.
The battle scenes are spectacular.
If the film were 100 percent accurate it would be unwatchable. One of the outcomes of this battle was that boy soldiers ("
Enjoyable film marred by a poor transfer
Bill Allcorn | 04/24/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'll leave it to others to comment on the film itself, but I do want to warn potential purchasers that the DVD transfer leaves a lot to be desired. The original film is 2.35:1; the DVD is 16:9 letter boxed (not anamorphic)so about a third of the film is missing and it is clearly obvious in quite a few scenes. The quality of the transfer itself, while not awful, is not particularly good either."
Soldiers of the Queen
Bill Allcorn | 11/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you get this video and the other epic relating to this same time (Zulu) you'll know all about the British and Zulu war in Africa. This film, Zulu Dawn, tells the story of the debacle at Islandhwana where spear-carrying Zulus badly mauled British rifles and effected the greatest defeat of so-called natives on British arms. It sticks pretty close to the actual history of the engagement. The action is the star, but big names appear throughout. John Mills, Peter O'Toole, Burt Lancaster. A first-rate job of filmaking if you like military action and stories of the Thin Red Line of Britain's heyday as a colonial power.
To get the full picture you might also want to get "Zulu", mentioned above, starring Stanley Baker and introducing a very young Michael Caine. This is more along the lines of Gunga Din and portrays the true heroism of the British (Welsh really) at Rorke's Drift, a subsidiry action to the events of Zulu Dawn. Again with considerable historical accuracy. Both films are British made and together make a nice balanced commentary on England's shortcomings and successes in the Zulu War."