Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mitt Romney Can Speak

Well, that was a surprise. His acceptance speech was in turns emotional, powerful, and presidential. Honestly, I did not expect this out of him, but it looks like Ryan’s pushing him to be himself has paid off.

I did not plan to watch any of the convention live, but my father wanted to check it out and PBS had it live. It was the testimonials by people who knew Romney when he was a bishop that changed the mood of the entire convention. Extraordinarily emotional and given by everyday people rather than politicians, the bored and barely polite delegates got teary eyed. For the first time, Mitt the real man was revealed to the surprise of the people.

Reaction on the conservative and libertarian side of the Net followed the same pattern. The whole night of speakers were very effective at conveying the Mitt Romney they know and included a liberal Democrat who served in his administration in Massachusetts. Her heartfelt endorsement of Mitt’s authenticity and goodness really was a special moment.

The Olympic medalists were a surprise and quite good too. It was good to see Scott Hamilton up there.

Clint Eastwood channeled a mix of Don Rickles and Bob Newhart in a devastating comic routine involving talking to Obama in an empty chair. Strange at first, it turned into something amazing by the end.

Rubio was smooth and impressive introducing Romney. I can see why great things are expected for him.

But it was Mitt’s make or break moment and he was incredible. Where has this man been the whole campaign? Absolutely tremendous speech and hard hitting on Obama’s short comings made even more impressive by the fact he writes his own speeches.
I think this is the real beginning of the campaign.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bleach Ep. 18: Reclaim! The Power of the Shinigami!

That classic trope of shounen anime has arrived: the dreaded training story arc. But do not expect the normal kind of training, for the mysterious Urahara has rather… unorthodox methods. Stripped of his spiritual power, can Ichigo get it back in time to rescue Rukia from Soul Society?

Bleach1 Main Title

Bleach 18 Title

Few episodes in Bleach veer so radically between comedy and seriousness as this one. There were times I felt I was suffering mental whiplash, but it certainly is not a boring entry in the series. With Ichigo accepting the offer from Urahara to get his powers back at the end of the last episode, it was pretty obvious we would get a mini-arc with a power up at the end of it. Oh how I dreaded it when first watching the show -- for they are the most boring things in anime to me.

Bleach 18 Ichigo BroodsBleach 18 Memory of Rukia Fades

Returning to school for the first time since Rukia was taken back to Soul Society, Ichigo broods constantly about her absence. Nobody else remembers her at all, which compounds the pain he feels. She haunts him to the point he visualizes her fading away like a ghost, which manages to inject some poignancy into the midst of the slapstick comedy involving his classmates.

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Defense of Fantasy and Sci-Fi B-Movies

In which I opine on the merits of B-movies of yesteryear, their decline, and how they haven’t really gone extinct.

Being a child of the 1970s, I was fortunate to grow up during a transitional period in cinema and before VCRs (along with cable television) changed how we see movies. The only places to see movies were at the theater and on broadcast, so a lot of very old movies were my main diet. Hey, movie tickets cost money even at the third run small town theater. Unlike other kids, it was rare to go out to see a badly faded and scratched print.

B Movies 01 War of the WorldsB Movies 02 War of the Worlds

So I got to watch the badly faded and scratched prints cropped to television box format via the miracle of pan and scan. Most of the movies were much older than I was, so black and white flicks were watched nearly as much as color. Do not get me started on Ted Turner’s colorizing old films in the 1980s. The words “brain dead” would be the beginning of the rant which would veer into zombie killing at some point.

So what is a B-movie?

Hate: A Challenging Dream

An attempt to sleep in resulted in one odd dream that ended on a strange note and a profound question. Part of my ongoing series Hate.

Awaking and going back to sleep rarely results in memorable dreams for me. This is not the case this morning. It started as an odd jumble involving a look at the next Captain America film in a sociopolitical context at a nearby Catholic college presentation open to the public. In the dream, I was sick and bundled in a blanket in a front row seat.

The female professor making the presentation was very liberal and very much about being in control of the discussion. We watched a clip and then she asked a question that had absolutely nothing to do with what we had just watched. Tedious conversation followed.

At that point I was losing interest in the whole thing, since it appeared to be a waste of time and I felt lousy. I saw a friend sitting several rows in front of me and we waved to each other. Yes, I was sitting in the front row and suddenly there were rows in front of me. One has to love the ability of dreams to be completely inconsistent.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

If I only Had a Brain

I have had this going through my head for a good part of the day. Why? Because I have been addled at best today. The early morning hours were not kind to me from overdoing things, so I did not make it to church. Trying to work on the post I started earlier this week turned into an ordeal and that is when this tune began to play in my head. Good thing, because it needed to be filled with something.

At least I found an old MP3 player to use as a Sunday only one. Where the good one went, I do not know. Also, I did work on changing the look of the site. Hopefully it is a bit more presentable now.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Health 8-25-2012

Well, that was not a good week. Gastrointestinal distress, high pain levels, and interrupted sleep contributed to keeping me at low ebb. I barely was able to start a rather large post and never did get back to finishing it. Chores around the house suffered the same fate.

It is pretty clear I overextended myself by making a shopping trip on Monday. There are no regrets, since badly needed items were gotten and the piper always has to be paid. Hopefully next week will be better.

Now to see if my shoe repairs worked this time around!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Headlines: Shootings and Armstrong Is a Doper

Early reports of three to four dead near the Empire State Building in New York City with the gunman dead. Like I have written before, I expect to see a lot more of this as society slowly comes apart at the seams. Too many economic and social pressures are causing marginally stable people to crack.

Meanwhile, Anders Breivik gets twenty one years for killing seventy seven people in Norway. He is eligible for early release in a mere decade. Way to protect your public, Norway!

The other big story is that Lance Armstrong quit defending himself and has been found guilty of doping. All seven Tour de France titles have been stripped from him. It puzzles me that people did not believe he was doping when that sport is completely dishonest. Frankly, all sports are populated by cheaters and dopers now and are not worth following. Certainly, the athletes should not be made heroes at this point, but the masses are desperate for secular gods.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boy’s cancer a fight between good and evil

Boy’s cancer a fight between good and evil

I am friends of the Kuglers and have to say that Jonas is even more impressive in person. He has handled the whole ordeal incredibly well given his age. Watching the whole family deal with this has impressed me greatly -- they are amazing folks.

Movie Illiteracy

Hello to the few who read this blog!

This will be a short post while I continue writing a longer one which has brought a question to mind: Does anyone under 50 have any familiarity with classic movies these days?

I ask this because I will often mention a movie to someone below forty and get a blank look. These are not obscure movies and include:
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Bridge Over the River Kwai
  • Zulu
  • Casablanca
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Citizen Kane

And many more I could list. Hollywood is in a downturn and has been for some time, mainly due to the dreck they insist on putting out. The latest fad it to watch HBO or Showtime for original series rather than theatrical releases due to the supposed superior quality. I've sampled those series and am unimpressed, to put it lightly.

Since I am not film illiterate and something of a buff, it would be considered my problem, not theirs by the consumers of current film and television. But I wonder if they would have a different attitude if they were versed in classic films of yesteryear?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zulu (1964) Review

Few war movies are as rousing and inspiring as this heavily fictionalized depiction of the badly out numbered British soldiers resisting an attack by 4,000 Zulu warriors in 1879. Beautiful cinematography, a sharp script, excellent acting, and and a memorable score all contribute to one of the best movies ever made. UPDATED: Aug 2012 with screencaps and revised text for the extraordinary Blu-ray.

Zulu Title

By the late 1800’s, the British empire stretched across the planet, an amazing achievement for a small island nation.  But they were stretched thin and the natives often got restless. So was the case in South Africa, where the Brits had subjugated not only the native tribes, but the Dutch descended Boers who had colonized first. It is against this backdrop that Zulu takes place.

For the purposes of the review, I will not go into all the historical inaccuracies in the film -- not even those which do grave injustice to some of the men depicted. Instead, I suggest going to to read about the real men and events. It is an excellent site and worth devoting serious time to.

Zulu IsandhlwanaZulu Cetewayo and the Witts

The movie starts out in very old fashioned style by going straight to the credits which are of the no-nonsense kind. But the music is wonderful, large and dramatic, promising great things to come. As the music fades, a narration by Richard Burton informs us of the complete wipeout of 1,500 British soldiers on the slopes of the mountain Isandhwlana at the hands of Zulu warriors. A full fledged rebellion has begun.

The message is dated November 23, 1879. The movie depicts the events of November 22 to the morning of the 23rd at Rorke’s Drift, but is not very clear about it.

Sobering is how I would describe the first images of the movie. A slow pan across the bodies at Isandhwlana reveals the victorious Zulu warriors starting to loot the bodies for rifles.  One brave raises a rifle to the sky and we finally see the name of the movie presented with a fanfare. Already there is a feeling that this will be an intense movie.

That makes things jarring when the setting changes to Zulu dancers at a village. It is all part of a mass marriage ceremony being overseen by King Cetewayo (Chief Buthelezi) where young maidens are being married to older men. As shown in the rest of the film, the Zulu’s are excellent singers and they are almost hypnotic vocalists. I should note that the girls are topless and it is a lengthy sequence. More on that later.

At the wedding are Reverend Witt (Jack Hawkins) and his daughter; Christian missionaries attempting to convert the locals. An interesting discussion about the marriages gives an insight into both cultures of the time. The daughter is newly arrived in South Africa and does not like what is going on. Or so she says, but her eyes say something else. The Swedish minister disapproves of the mass marriage since the girls may soon be widows,  but goes on to point out to his daughter that at least the girls are getting brave men for husbands.

Meanwhile, Margareta (Ulla Jacobsson) is busy being the stereotypical repressed Victorian lady and being improperly captivated  by the dancing. Yes, Zulu is filled with lots of stereotypes but they are mostly too well executed to criticize. However, this particular bit sticks out like a sore thumb. Jacobsson does the most she can with a thankless role.

A messenger interrupts the festivities with the news of the great victory which leads to the upset missionaries hastily leaving to warn the soldiers at Rorke’s Drift that they are being targeted. Their departure does not go smoothly, but it does demonstrate the discipline employed by the Zulu leadership. Now things begin to start moving again.

Screenshot - 8_21_2012 , 11_46_51 AMScreenshot - 8_21_2012 , 11_47_09 AM

Or do they?  It is time to introduce the main protagonists. Lieutenant John Chard (Stanley Baker) of the Royal Engineers is at Rorke’s Drift to build a bridge. Not exactly exciting duty and he turns out to be a very by the books officer with little tolerance for slacking off. Having only just arrived, he has taken the local troops and laborers to work on the bridge.

Zulu Lieutenant Gonville BromheadZulu Hook Runs a Con

This is not particularly appreciated by the local officer in charge, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine), who is an upper class twit stereotype. His approach to leading is a great deal more lax and he even allows his troops to have a choir. Having returned from hunting, he is more than a little condescending to the engineer upon discovering his presence.

Back at the garrison, we are introduced to an array of soldiers including: Private Hook (James Booth), a thief and malingerer; Surgeon Reynolds (Patrick Magee), a somewhat ill tempered doctor; Tommy, a former farmer with a soft spot for animals; and Colour-Sargeant Bourne (Nigel Green) an experienced leader.  There are many more and I could spend the entire review going over them, but I will not. Suffice it to say, they all have distinctly individual personalities and good lines during the course of the film. You will get attached to the motley group.

Zulu AdendorffZulu Bulls Head Formation

A pair of riders disrupt the peace with the news of the massacre earlier in the morning. One of them stays behind, a boer named Adendorff (Gert Van Der Bergh) who seems to know a great deal about the Zulus and their tactics. This is good, because Chard and Bromhead do not. A conflict soon arises between the two and Chard’s seniority of several months puts him in charge despite not being a combat soldier. Working together is going to be difficult.

Chard compensates for all this by being very decisive and immediately formulates a plan for defenses in the dirt.  To Bromhead’s horror, the engineer plans to fight a defensive battle behind barricades. But the decision has been made and they will stay and fight. It is an insane decision on the face of it, for two Impies of two thousand warriors each are coming. The defenders are seven officers, thirty-six wounded, and ninety-seven fit for duty plus forty levies.

Zulu Cavalry ArrivesZulu Reverend Witt Scares the Locals

A brief moment of hope arrives in the form of local volunteer cavalrymen who ride to the gate of the makeshift barricades to speak to the officers in charge. What looks like salvation quickly turns into a tense confrontation when they refuse to help defend the outpost. Raging at the departing riders, Chard looses face in front of the troops he is commanding and who do not know him.

The silence and stillness of the troops is driven home by the camera as it swoops slowly across the defenders of Rorke’s Drift. Despair, uncertainty, and fear are all apparent on the faces of the soldiers. It is a terrifically human moment.

Zulu Wagon FlippingZulu Witt Undermines the Soldier's Resolve

Adding to the difficulty is the panicked fire and brimstone preaching of Rev. Witt. His devotion to God is only dwarfed by his pacifism and the Swede convinces all the local help to run off. His further calls for the sick and wounded to be taken out by him leads to one of the more pointed responses I have seen in a movie. Witt is not shown in a sympathetic light at all.

While Chard tries to establish himself over the men and ready the defenses, the missionary continues to undermine him despite being locked up. A strange sound in the distance can be heard, like a train…

Zulu Rorke's DriftZulu Warriors on the Hills

The Zulu’s have arrived. Above left is a shot that gives you an idea of how small an outpost Rorke’s Drift is, with all the defenders between the hospital and church buildings. The image to the right is one I hastily stitched together from two DVD screen captures in order to show the Zulu forces arrayed against the British. Quite the contrast in size, eh?

Zulu Impi CommandersZulu Warriors

With their officers commanding from a hilltop, the Zulu braves make their first approach toward the South wall. It is a strangely slow approach, with them banging on their shields with their short spears and apparently taunting the redcoats. Shot after shot is fired into the warriors who stop well short of the defenses. Eventually they retreat and the soldiers think they have won a victory.

Zulu Why UsZulu Guns in the Bush

Soon it is made clear that is not the case and once again fear begins to grip the defenders. Determined to get rid of the cancer in his midst, Chard orders the missionaries out on their carriage. Witt screams “You are all going to die!” as they ride out, proving himself to be particularly unhelpful at this critical juncture. This leads to one of the greatest quotes from a war movie:

Private Cole: “Why us?”

Colour-Sergeant Bourne: “Because we are here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.”

It is a quietly delivered and poignant exchange that echoes across the centuries. Zulu is filled with many such small, but powerful moments, including Chard’s hand shaking as he reloads his revolver, a soldier dropping his bayonet,  and Bourne reciting parts of Psalm 46.

Zulu AttackZulu Brave and Afraid

With the missionaries gone, the battle is joined in earnest with the rifles taken from Isandhwlana coming into play. While the Zulu’s are not good shots, they make up for it in volume. Casualties on both sides slowly mount and it is time for a full out attack.

Human wave tactics are used and soon the outer line finds themselves up close and personal with the spears and shields of the angry natives shouting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” in Zulu. The scene is one of confusion and brutal hand to hand fighting with spears versus bayonets.

Zulu Bourne Defends with BayonetZulu Schiess to the Rescue

Attackers swiftly make their way into the compound and Chard is taken down with a blow to the head. The hobbling Swiss born Corporal Schiess (Dickie Owen) battles with rifle and crutch to the rescue of the fallen officer in an amazing feat of bravery. It is only one of many scenes of bravery in the movie.

Zulu Rear Rank FIREZulu Slaughter

The fanatic and fearless Zulu’s are as well disciplined as their British counterparts, but even great numbers find it very hard to overcome better armed defenders. It is nearly a beautiful thing to watch the awful carnage inflicted by stepped rank volley firing. The soundtrack is used sparingly in the movie and it adds greatly to the “you are there” feel.

Multiple attacks, all planned out carefully by the Zulu leaders, probe for weaknesses in the defense as the day grinds by. Fighting takes to the rooftops, such as they are, for a suspense filled assault on the hospital.

Zulu Hook DefendsZulu Hospital Burns Down

With wounded and sick troops still in their beds, the walking wounded fight for their lives and those of their fellow soldiers when the building catches fire. It is a grim and relentless battle that goes into the night. With the hospital destroyed, the men exhausted, outnumbered, and running out of water things look very bleak indeed.

Can the defenders of Rorke’s Drift survive until reinforcements come?


Wow, what a movie!

Can a story be called an epic if it only takes place over two days and mainly in one location? That is the question facing me at the moment. Technically the answer has to be no, but Zulu does feel like an epic. Everything about it is large and grand, even if Rorke’s Drift is not.

Zulu is a thoughtful action movie which is not something you see much of these days. In many ways it is an odd mix of in your face anti-war statements while romanticizing battle with a dash of pacifist bashing mixed in. It also celebrates the Welsh and the Zulus while running down the English upper class. Class warfare is a subtheme of the plot, but even it gets thrown out by the end. Perhaps the truth that all men become brothers when fighting side by side is part of the intent, but it is is hard to tell when it pulls in so many different directions.

Perhaps all of this reflects the soul of Stanley Baker more than anything else. He was an ardent Socialist (he belonged to the political party) and patriotic Welshman. The film was very much his project and I suspect he poured much of himself into it. It was one of the few times he played a good guy and he preferred playing heavies. Also playing into this were Cy Endfield’s beliefs, for the director was a Communist. He and Baker collaborated closely on the movie before a later severe falling out while making another one.

I mentioned romanticized battle earlier, but that may be unintentional given the very anti-war statement near the end of the film. It is the bravery of the men that shades Zulu in a very sentimental way which is solidly masculine. No question about it, this is a guy’s movie with a vengeance. The only female with a speaking role is mainly there to get abused verbally and physically by the soldiers. Frankly, Margareta Witt could have been omitted from the film and nobody would have noticed. That is ironic, given the script proposal that landed funding had her character in a romance with Chard.

The battles are very well staged and the camera work is exceptional. Endfield did a fantastic job directing the movie. Whether it be small character moments, purely visual meditations, or frenetic combat the film never stumbles. It did not hurt that they filmed in Natal and used the incredible scenery there as a backdrop. Visually stunning only begins to describe the cinematography.

The acting is excellent throughout the cast with special kudos to Stanley Baker and Michael Caine. This whole production was Baker’s baby and his Chard is a believably flawed martinet in over his head. Caine made his starring debut in the movie and his talent already shows in this early role. Strangely, everyone involved in the movie thought James Booth would be the breakout star from his turn as Hook. In the end, it is Caine’s name that is put on the covers of the DVD and Blu-ray editions. Not even Baker gets that honor.

While being PG rated, a few warnings about the content are merited. Zulu is not a suitable film for kids or young teens, mostly thanks to the nudity involving the local Zulu maidens in the beginning of the movie. Many of them are clearly underage themselves in this accurate portrayal of the culture. Think National Geographic Magazine and you will get the idea of what is shown. There are also two attempted assaults on Miss Witt and coarse language toward her from the soldiers. Parental guidance is required since you should know the maturity level of your children.

The copious amounts of violence are not accompanied by a like amount of blood. While there is some, it is done with extreme restraint and there is no true gore. Even the surgeon’s operating scenes demand more from your imagination than is represented. The violence is not sensationalized in any way or form.

I highly recommend Zulu to history and military enthusiasts, those who appreciate bravery, and anyone who likes a really good movie. It is one of my all time favorite films.


For most of my life, Zulu was something I got to see on television in a hacked down, panned and scanned, worn out print version. Having recorded it off of TBS back when it was a still good movie channel, I later replaced it with a DVD that was a transfer of the VHS version. It was the first time I got to see it in widescreen format, but the picture was a muddy mess. I had despaired of ever seeing it in a good issue, so it was really something to see the MGM DVD at a local Best Buy and it was an instant buy.

Once I had a 1080p HDTV and a good Blu-ray player to go with it, I wondered if the film had been put out in high definition. To my delight it had; to my horror it was not cheap. Half a year later I got lucky and ran into a brand new copy incorrectly listed on Amazon as used at ten dollars. So now I get to update the review and give details on Paramount’s Blu-ray edition.

Zulu Face of Victory

Zulu Stanley Baker

Zulu Cetewayo's VillageZulu Cetewayo's Village Blu-ray

The transfer is anamorphic widescreen at a 2.35:1 ratio and is of superb visual quality. Above are captures from the DVD on the left and on the right from the Blu-ray. While the DVD is absolutely gorgeous, it is completely blown out of the water by the Blu-ray edition. Colors are bright and vivid making the stunning scenery shown a true cinematic experience that does justice to the 70mm Technicolor film stock it was remastered and restored from.

Simply put, this is the best looking Blu-ray I have ever seen. Normal Blu-ray discs have 18-20 GB of data allocated to the movie itself. This one has over thirty gigabytes! Watching it has been like seeing the movie for the first time, please pardon the cliché. There is no end to the superlatives I could lavish on the video quality, so I will simply say that if you want to test the picture of any HDTV, this is the disc to do it with. The color levels are amazing and the picture detail is just stunning.

The sound is Dolby Digital monaural and of excellent fidelity. John Barry’s terrific score sounds great, as does the singing of the Zulu’s. You won’t have to strain to hear any dialogue with this DVD.

The Blu-ray is far superior and restores the six track stereo sound in uncompressed format. The commentary is in mono and the only subtitles are in English plus English SDH.

The only extras included on the DVD are optional subtitles in English, French, and Spanish plus the theatrical trailer. That trailer features a different logo than used in the movie and is completely sensationalistic. It treats the film as a B movie and does not reflect the movie well at all. That just proves poor advertising is eternal, I suppose.

Paramount Pictures Blu-ray edition has everything the DVD has and much, much more. The extras were originally made for a DVD special edition from 2002 and include:

Commentary with Film Historian Sheldon Hall and Zulu Second Director Robert Porter – This is very informative and reveals a great deal about shooting the film as well as the people who worked on it. Hall is politely put in his place a few times by Porter in a good illustration of the difference between fan boys and those who actually work in the industry.

Documentaries are all DVD quality, but fascinating thanks to a wealth of materials.

Zulu John BarryZulu Sound Recording

The Music of Zulu – This is a six and a half minute look at how John Barry came up with the score. It turns out it was heavily inspired by Zulu chants and songs brought to him by the production crew. If you are a fan of soundtracks and Barry especially, this is gold.

Zulu Color Home MovieZulu Baker Directing

Zulu: Remembering an Epic – At almost twelve minutes, it is packed with trivia about the production. Better yet, it features home films shot by the cast and crew during shooting of the film.

Zulu Cy Endfield and LocalsZulu Filming a Charge

The Making of Zulu: “Roll of Honour” – A nearly half hour documentary covering the creation of Diamond Films and the movie featuring interviews with Baker and Prebble’s widows, plus surviving cast members sans Michael Caine.

Zulu Baker FamilyZulu Military Extras

The Making of Zulu: “…And Snappeth the Spear in Sunder” – A continuation of above featuring reminiscences about filming and the reception of the movie.  It dwells on Stanley Baker the man more than the actor, producer, or director. He died young, but left a memorable legacy in Zulu.

Zulu Theatrical Trailer

Theatrical Trailer – Same as with the DVD.

Teaser Trailer – Shorter version of above.


Zulu Dawn BreaksZulu Sunrise

The dawn of the second day is shown in breath taking shots mixed with Chard approaching his exhausted troops. With the rising sun comes the reappearance of the Zulus on the hilltops, guaranteeing more bloodshed to come. It must have been something to have seen this in a 70mm equipped theater in 1964.

Zulu Braves SingZulu Men of Harlech

Ask someone what scene they remember the most from Zulu and it will almost always be when the two sides battled in song. Men of Harlech being sung by the Welsh soldiers is a stirring moment of bravery in the face of death. An absolutely riveting scene made stronger by overlapping the songs.

Zulu Charge

A piece of disinformation from years past was that the movie was filmed at the actual site of Rorke’s Drift and that you could make out the monument pole in the scenes where the Zulus charge. Having fallen for that and relaying it to others, I wish to set things right. As the above still shows, that is the flag pole they are running by, not a monument. The movie was filmed in the Royal Natal National Park and not at the original location.

Zulu Volley FireZulu Newspaper Graphic

The ranked volley firing is still fascinating to watch after all these years. The destruction unleashed made it clear that attacking firearms with spears was not wise, especially if the rifles were allowed to be concentrated. The flying platoon was another tactic that impressed me when young – and still does.

Zulu Bourne Roll Call

The roll call is another scene that resonated mainly due to the gallows humor so typical to soldiers. It also made for a great showcase for Nigel Green’s sympathetic but firm sergeant. What an interesting contrast it was between him and Reverend Witt with both being good Christian men, yet handling things completely differently. In some ways the movie can be viewed as Christian bashing, but Colour-Sergeant Bourne nullifies it to a good degree.

Zulu DespairZulu Retreat

The ending was perfect. Take a look at Chard and Bromhead’s faces as they see the Zulu’s having returned after vanishing. Shock and despair is how I would describe it. Having the Zulu warriors salute the British with singing before leaving is highly emotional, if utter balderdash. In reality that did not happen. But it this is romanticized warfare after all.

Zulu ReinforcementsZulu Last Scene

The final scenes with Richard Burton reading off the Victoria’s Cross winners while showing the actors who played them is well executed and generates a nearly nostalgic feeling after being with them for the past two hours plus. Here the anti-war statement given by Chard earlier is reinforced by his staring at the fallen bodies of the enemy and planting a shield upright.

Notice the reinforcements have arrived in the form of uniformed cavalry. In reality, it was the arrival of more troops that caused the Zulu’s to retreat. Only fifteen defenders were killed and sixteen wounded, but they were running out of ammo. It was only a matter of time and dead Zulu’s consuming lead before they would have fallen.