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Guns at Batasi [DVD] [1964] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Richard Attenborough , Jack Hawkins , John Guillermin    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 5.90
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Guns at Batasi [DVD] [1964] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Tunes of Glory [1960] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Attenborough, Jack Hawkins, Flora Robson, John Leyton, Mia Farrow
  • Directors: John Guillermin
  • Writers: C.M. Pennington-Richards, Leo Marks, Marshall Pugh, Robert Holles
  • Producers: George H. Brown
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: 23 May 2006
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,691 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Take one terrific performance by Richard Attenborough, add the nature of the character he plays, throw in politics, the British Army, mutiny, the end of Empire...and you have a strangely affecting and engrossing film that you may remember for quite awhile.

Regimental Sergeant Major Lauderdale (Richard Attenborough) and a detachment of the British Army are based outside Batasi, a town in a newly independent East African nation which had been part of the colonial empire. Lauderdale is at once pompous, narrow-minded, serious and proud. He is a dedicated professional soldier who has reached the top rank for a non-commissioned officer. He presents himself immaculately; he believes in traditions and rules; he is ram-rod straight and can strip hide off a malefactor at the top of his voice. "Now understand this, Wilkes! I can stomach a good soldier whatever his faults. What I can't stomach are Bolshies, skivers, scrimshankers and bunkhouse barristers. I've broken more of them than you've had eggs for breakfast!" And he is shrewd at war. He is resourceful and courageous. He knows his business.

A revolt against the government starts and most of the country's army takes part to overthrow the old and bring in the new. The British officers and NCOs at the base near Batasi are held at gun point in their respective messes. While the local British representatives keep a practical eye peeled for which way the wind is blowing, RSM Lauderdale, alone with only five sergeants and one enlisted man, is determined, in the absence of any officers or instructions, to do his duty. He will not acquiesce to unlawful orders from the rebels. He will not turn over to the rebels a seriously wounded native officer.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) is spot on in his review there is no point covering the actual film.

I am lucky as I have the technical know how to play Region 1 DVD's but I do realise that many people cant which is a big shame as The Guns at Batasi is a ultra sharp version in the correct Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Richard Attenborough is fantastic - absolutely fantastic.

One has to wonder why such a British Film is not available in region 2 as it makes no sense at all . It should be available to all and its a criminal shame its not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb period piece 14 Jun 2011
A film which contains some very fine acting, some good stuff from actors often only seen in commic roles, and an interesting peep into the British mind set of the time.

Well worth a viewing
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting performance 8 Nov 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film itself has a fairly interesting theme, though not especially original; it is well directed and very well acted by the ensemble cast (though John Leyton is weak) and with a very good script, and the atmosphere of Africa is astonishingly well created from Pinewood Studios!

What lifts this into the classic category is Richard Attenborough's performance, as other reviewers say. I'd say this is his greatest ever, in fact. It approaches but never reaches caricature. RA conveys fully the starchy, hidebound nature of the sergeant major whose essentially black-and-white view of the world is in the film being challenged and even overcome by dodgy politics. Attenborough manages to give him a measure of intelligence, much courage and basic humanity as well, and even at the end pathos when his world is undergoing change. A wonderfully careful, subtle portrayal which single-handedly turns this from a *** film into a ***** one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it just for Attenborough's performance 17 Jan 2012
I have seen this film many times and am NEVER disappointed by Attenborough's portrayal of
a Regimental Sgt Major. I was in the army and came across this breed of NCO several times.
They are, without a doubt, the backbone of the Army. Attenborough apparently spent some weeks at
Purbright, the Guards' Depot, observing the routines,manner, and drill disciplines before filming started, and it shows! His performance is a delight.

This should not be regarded as a war film at all. It is simply an incident,(fictitious) that happens during
Britain's relinquishing its colonial rule. It is really a character study, concentrating on Attenborough's RSM but
ably portraying the other members of the Sgt's Mess, all played by the very best of British character actors.
The confrontation between Attenborough and the upstart black officer in the mess (he doesn't remove his head dress)
is one I will cherish for ever, and I anticipate it with glee whenever I watch the film.

If you relish great acting and a fascinating story,watch this. You will never look at Attenborough in the same
light, ever again. This truly was his day in the sun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent period piece 8 Jun 2013
'Guns at Batasi' is fiction, although during the year it was released (1964) the scenario it describes was actually enacted with the army mutinies in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (now Tanzania), which were suppressed by British military intervention.

This film captures the politics of decolonisation, but it is also an excellent drama in its own right. Richard Attenborough's portrayal of the old-school RSM is exemplary, but there are a lot of other fine performances in it as well.

I won't say much more about this film, but it is politically sophisticated and also exciting, with a strong strain of dark humour and also pathos. It also captures the enduring character of the British Army, epitomised by the scenes between Attenborough and the young Pte played by John Leyton (and as an ex-Lance Jack I appreciate the fact that he pulls right under the noses of the SNCOs).

Go see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The last stand of British Empire... err, I mean, of Regimental...
I just finally discovered this old 1964 classic and I was VERY impressed! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Maciej
4.0 out of 5 stars A suspenseful film with a bit of a twist.
I bought this dvd because of Jack Hawkins. He is excellent as always, but his role is a supporting one with appearances at the beginning and the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kerry R.J. Tattersall
5.0 out of 5 stars Well you only need to watch
I love this film always have, epitome of the situation of the Commonwealth struggle to maintain order by assistance, the characters are brilliant, the actors some of the best John... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. M. Stagg
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Film
Rarely seen (occasionally on Film 4) but powerful not a war/war film.

RSM Lauderdale is an excellent character - the saluting scene at the beginning is worth buying it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Graeme Winning
5.0 out of 5 stars delivered in good condition on time
A great film and my favourite line is: Well maam, they 'ad guns and we didn't; that's not very equal is it.
Published 15 months ago by Derek Oliver Sibthorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Play
More like a play than a film , truly wonderful acting , direction and screen play. The cast of characters are exceptional
Published 16 months ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A great British film
A great British film.
Showing the British Army & British soldiers at their best.
Dedication to the Army. Respect for duty.
Published 17 months ago by Snapper
5.0 out of 5 stars Another oldie but goodie
Another old film that my dad was pleased to receive for Christmas. His only gripe, "why can't they leave these films in Black and White like they were originally filmed... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Soop
5.0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that
A brilliant film, set in East Africa in the 60s, but still relevant today
I served in a similar team in the mid 80s, and nothing had changed. Read more
Published 21 months ago by derek lance
4.0 out of 5 stars Films
Excellent insight into the end of imperial Africa with a stirling performance by Richard Attenborough as an RSM. The saluting scene has to be a true classic.
Published on 4 Jan 2012 by William
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