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Zulu Dawn (1979)

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.

  • Douglas Hickox
  • Cy Endfield
  • Anthony Story
themoviedb icon 6.0/10
  • Release Date: 1979-05-14
  • Country: NL, US, ZA
  • Language: isiZulu | English
  • Runtime: 117

Ronald Pickup

Lt. Harford

Ronald Lacey

Norris Newman

Peter O'Toole

Lord Chelmsford

Burt Lancaster

Col. Anthony Durnford

Denholm Elliott

Colonel Pulleine

Bob Hoskins

C.S.M. Williams

John Mills

Sir Henry Bartle Frere

Nigel Davenport

Col. Hamilton-Brown

Simon Ward

Lt. Vereker

Phil Daniels

Boy Pullen

Peter Vaughan

QSM Bloomfield

Michael Jayston

Col. Crealock

David Bradley

Pte Williams

James Faulkner

Lt. Melvill

Paul Copley

Cpl. Storey

Donald Pickering

Maj. Russell R.A.

Chris Chittell

Lt. Milne

Freddie Jones

Bishop Colenso

Anna Calder-Marshall

Fanny Colenso

Patrick Mynhardt

Col. Harness

Don Leonard


Sydney Chama

S.M. Kambula

Ken Gampu

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