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Zulu Dawn [DVD] [1979] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Burt Lancaster , Peter Vaughan    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
Price: 7.19
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

Zulu Dawn [DVD] [1979] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Zulu [1964] [DVD] + The Man Who Would Be King [DVD] [2010]
Price For All Three: 15.88

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Product details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott
  • Format: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Severin
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Dec 2013
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,887 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

Cy Endfield cowrote 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--the British contingent was 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 and this is wryly illustrated in a moment when neither he nor his officers can be bothered to pronounce the name of the land they're in. That it's a beautiful land none the less is made clear by the superb cinematography, which drinks in the massive open spaces that shrink the British army to a line of red ants.

Splendidly stiff-upper-lipped support comes from a heroic Burt Lancaster and a fluffy, yet gruff, Bob Hoskins. Although the story is less focused and inevitably more diffuse than the concentrated events of Rorke's Drift that followed soon after, Zulu Dawn is an unflinchingly honest depiction of British Imperial diplomacy. --Paul Tonks

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning prequel to Zulu 20 Nov 2002
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Zulu with Stanley Baker and Michael Caine is one of my favourite films, and I think some make the mistake of judging Zulu Dawn against Zulu. Though they are about the battles with the Zulu on the same day, they should not be judged against the other, but used as companion pieces. Zulu was the story of a small band on British Soldiers, barely 100, who held out against over 4000 Zulu warriors. It is a more personal film, looking at the triumph for Chard and Bromhead against such odds. At the start of Zulu, you see the Zulu walking through the British dead. That is the aftermath of Zulu Dawn. Zulu Dawn is much less person, more sweeping in statement and scope.
Cy Enfield co-wrote Zulu Dawn with Anthony Story, some 15 years after Zulu,(Enfield half of the Baker-Enfield team that produced ZULU - and interesting to note Anthony Story was the biographer of Stanley Baker), depict the British Colonialism 'Little England' policy and arrogance that contributed to the downfall of the British troops left on the face of Ishlandlwana in January 1879, the greatest defeat of a modern army by natives. Chelmsford, played perfectly by Peter O'Toole, made the first mistake: divided his forces in the face of the enemy, especially when he had no idea where the enemy was. Secondly, the same arrogance left them to camp nearly 1500 and native levees on the open slope of Isandhlwana without forming any sort of defencive works for protection, despite warnings. They ignored Boer sightings of Zulu in the Valley just beyond, because Chelmsford had it set in his mind they were at Ulundi. The stupid rationing of bullets, the way the quartermaster passed them out, saw the unprotected Brits left without any means of defending themselves.
Zulu Dawn is more depressing, because it shows the whole loss of life was so futile, but the film is a beautiful tribute to the soldier of Queen Victoria's Wars, warts, arrogance, stiff upperlip, valour and all.
Utterly mesmerising, deeply moving.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars zulu dawn blu-ray review 16 Jan 2014
I bought Zulu Dawn blu-ray for my Xmas,I remember seeing it at the Cinema,1979/80,I thought it was very good.
I bought the dvd when it was released,not particularly good "viewing",this blu-ray knocks the dvd to smithereens for picture quality,it is a HUGE JUMP in pq,it,s like seeing it for the first time,it,s not in the same league as Zulu blu-ray,what is?but it is now a worthy blu-ray double feature,watch Zulu Dawn blu-ray first,then Zulu blu-ray,you wont get a better double feature,full praise for the Guys who have restored/remastered Zulu Dawn on blu-ray,for the fans of this film it is a MUST-BUY!!!!!
Now,the bonus for us Brits,this USA blu-ray is REGION FREE!!!!!!and it has very good extras,three wee documentary,s,History of the Zulu Wars,Making of Zulu Dawn,and Visit to the Battlefield,they really are bonus features.One of my friends came to the house yesterday,same age as me,he was amazed at how great this blu-ray looked,I repeat,for any fans of Zulu Dawn this blu-ray is a MUST-BUY!!!!!it,s a 5 out of 5,compared to the dvd.
Davy Cairns,Scotland.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The film is excellent for the atmosphere it creates at what it must have been like with 20 odd thousand Zulu's coming at you in full force.

The Zulu battle tactic of the 'horns of a bullalo' are not explained at all in the movie,the fact that the entire camp was surrounded and swallowed up in less than an hour and that it was a total eclipse of the sun on that day, which is important to the Zulu's. As a rule the Zulu's never fight on such a day, but were forced to as their army's whereabouts was discovered.

Melville was given the colours to save on his own. Not as shown in the film.He met Coghill at the Buffalo river, Having crossed the river, they were killed as Coghill was helping Melville climb up the river bank on the far side. Also Durnford stayed with and died with his men, not as shown standing alone on a wagon.Go to rorkesdriftvc for an excellent write up on the battle.

There is an excellent audio cd by David Rattray on the Anglo Zulu Wars, called 'The Day of the Dead Moon' that are a must for those interested.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rifles and spears in conflict. 3 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The film Zulu Dawn has often suffered in comparison to its predecessor Zulu which is unfortunate for Zulu Dawn is an excellent film in its own right.
It boasts a stellar cast,strong characterisation,stunning scenery and it sticks closely to historical fact.
It tells the true story of the battle of Isandhlwana which was fought prior to Rorkes Drift (on which the 1963 film Zulu was based).As the film progresses one sympathises with the Zulus who are on the receiving end of the scramble for Africa and the rank and file privates in the army who must have wondered why they were in South Africa in the first place.
The battle scenes are carefully staged and although the first half of the film is slow the story is carefully crafted to give a real sense of history.
The scenes of the Officers dining with servants and silver service while a few miles away over 1000 British troops are been massacred is particularly well done .
In conclusion I feel the real power of the film is the fact that it is a true historical event and the soldiers who fought and died thousands of miles from their home are shown as real heroes to the shame of the politicians and diplomats who sent them there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The picture is generally much better than all the previous dvd...
Finally on bluray this prequel to the classic Zulu..The picture is generally much better than all the previous dvd releases of this film although the sound is a bit muffled in... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Nicholas James Bradburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Have always enjoyed this film based on fact and lost my original film so good to get this again
Published 21 days ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth it
If you like Zulu I think you will like this, it gives a good insight into the biggest slaughter of British troops ever recorded.
Published 29 days ago by John Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars landywhana
you've all heard of the Zulu war ( the battle at rourkes drift) well this is where and how it was started ,after agreeing with the Zulu king not to cross buffalo river the English... Read more
Published 1 month ago by davidhattermann
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound
A good film, but spoilt by poor sound. I had to crank up the volume control on my TV to hear the dialogue, and there was a lot of extraneous click and crackles. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Elinvar
5.0 out of 5 stars ZULU DAWN
Fantastic! Thoroughly enjoyed this film and will certainly be watching it again and again. You just have to marvel at such epic mastery, both on the part of the actors and also... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marion Mortimer
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
film,stellar cast, tells true story of zulu battle,welsh(mostly) defeated overwellming odds at roukes drift well worth seeing, michael caine here stop throwing those bloody... Read more
Published 4 months ago by dark magic
5.0 out of 5 stars historical blunder
this tells the real tragic events of imperial greed and bulling of the time and no holes barred movie.very interesting and we brits know our history and past .very good movie . Read more
Published 4 months ago by markus
5.0 out of 5 stars goood
most excellent movie good start to next 1 explains a lot crazy but wow liked a lot watch it go for it
Published 4 months ago by mark l jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars This a good movie
For some reason this film has received many unfavourable reviews when compared with Zulu, starring Stanley Baker and Michael Caine. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Speedygee
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