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!