These are the days and nights of fury and honor and courage and cowardice that an entire century of empire-making and film-making can never surpass!
Zulu is a 1964 British epic historic war film depicting the Battle of Rorke’s Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War. It depicts 130 British soldiers, many of whom were sick and wounded patients in a field hospital, who successfully held off a force of 3,000 Zulu warriors.
The film was directed by American screenwriter Cy Endfield and produced by Stanley Baker and Endfield, with Joseph E. Levine as executive producer. The screenplay is by John Prebble and Endfield, based on an article by Prebble, a historical writer. The film stars Stanley Baker and introduces Michael Caine, in his first major role, with a supporting cast that includes Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth, Nigel Green, Paul Daneman, Glynn Edwards, Ivor Emmanuel and Patrick Magee. Future South African political leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi played Zulu King Cetshwayo kaMpande, his great-grandfather. The opening and closing narration is spoken by Richard Burton.
The film was first shown on the 85th anniversary of the actual battle, 22 January 1964, at the Plaza Theatre in the West End of London. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine ranked it the 93rd best British film ever.