Zulu Dawn

Zulu Dawn

Douglas Hickox (1979)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Zulu plonked us down in the heat of battle and didn't have the time to tell us why Britain and the Zulus were arguing so violently. But because the 1963 epic was such a big hit, star Stanley Baker and writer/director Cy Endfield conceived this prequel, although by the time it came out in 1979 Baker had died and Endfield was sidelined. There's spectacle in abundance here but little of the characterisation that made Zulu so memorable. American Burt Lancaster doesn't quite fit his uniform or have the required stiff upper lip, though the assembled British stalwarts certainly do as they blunder on towards the massacre of Isandhlwana, the bloody aftermath of which opened this film's illustrious predecessor.


Fact-based drama, chronicling the rising tensions between British colonial forces and Zulu tribes in 1879, culminating in the massacre at Isandlwana in which more than 1,500 British soldiers died shortly before the attack on Rorke's Drift. Prequel to Zulu, starring Burt Lancaster, Peter O'Toole, Denholm Elliott, John Mills, Simon Ward and Nigel Davenport.

Cast & Crew

Colonel Anthony Durnford Burt Lancaster
Lord Chelmsford Peter O'Toole
William Vereker Simon Ward
Sir Henry Bartle Frere John Mills
Colonel Hamilton-Brown Nigel Davenport
Colonel Crealock Michael Jayston
Lt Col Pulleine Denholm Elliott
Bishop Colenso Freddie Jones
Sgt Major Williams Bob Hoskins
QSM Bloomfield Peter Vaughan
Pullen Phil Daniels
Private Williams David Bradley (3)
Norris Newman Ronald Lacey
Lt Melvill James Faulkner
Lt Coghill Christopher Cazenove
Cpl Storey Paul Copley
Lt Harford Ronald Pickup
Director Douglas Hickox
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Edited for violence and language.Available on: video and DVD