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Zulu 1963 ****

A British television staple in the 70’s and 80’s, Zulu is a colourful evocation of the battle of Rorke’s Drift, with Michael Caine, James Booth, Jack Hawkins and Stanley Baker amongst the stiff-upper lipped Brits who are standing before the massed armies of the Zulu nation. The Zulu’s are largely kept off-screen, with tension building as their tramping feet and drums are heard in the background. Zulu has been accused of racism, but it’s really just a snapshot of colonial attitudes, and a certain nostalgia for them in the hands of Cy Endfield, who worked on the script with John Prebble. While mot historically accurate, Endfield’s film is great to look at and highly watchable, not least for Caine’s fresh performance (he gets an introducing credit even though it wasn’t his first film) and Patrick Magee’s unhinged doctor. Richard Burton contributes a momentous slice of narration.

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