Zulu (film)

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Zulu is a 1964 film that chronicles a company of British soldiers defending the mission station at Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Based on historical events. It marked the first major role in the long film career of Michael Caine.

Directed by Cy Endfield. Screenplay by Cy Endfield and John Prebble.
Dwarfing the Mightiest! Towering Over the Greatest!

Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead

  • Still, a chap ought to look smart in front of the men, don't you think?
  • Do carry on with your mudpies...
  • You mean your only plan is to stand behind a few feet of mealie bags and wait for the Zulus to attack?
  • I'll lead the men up into the hills. I know exactly how to disperse them. Ambush, you see? We cut them down in the passes!
  • Right now, I wish I were a damned ranker, like Hook or Hitch.
  • That's a bitter pill! Our own damned rifles!
  • I knew it... I knew it! They're going to attack both sides at once!

Colour Sergeant Bourne

  • If you're sick in hospital, I suggest you go and lie down.
  • Pull your heads in afore they fall off!
  • All right, then! Nobody told you to stop working!
  • A prayer's as good as a bayonet on a day like this.
  • I shall be exalted among the heathen. I shall be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us.
  • Mister Witt, be quiet now, will you? There's a good gentleman. You'll upset the lads.
  • Because we're here, lad. No one else. Just us.

Reverend Otto Witt

  • In Europe, young women accept arranged marriages to rich men. Perhaps the Zulu girls are luckier, getting a brave man.
  • You will all be killed like those this morning -- and now the sick in their beds!
  • Stay not to kill and be killed! The curse of Cain will be upon you! 'Am I my brother's keeper?' asked Cain. Yea, we are all our brothers' keepers!
  • Boy! Hear me, boy. Will you be Cain and kill your brother? 'Thou shalt not kill,' saith the Lord. You believe in the Lord's Word, don't you? Go to the others, boy. Go to the others...
  • You have made a covenant with death, and with hell you are in agreement! Death awaits you all! You're all going to DIE!

Private Henry Hook

  • Stuff me with green apples! You know, if a dog was as sick as him, they'd shoot him.
  • And what for? Did I ever see a Zulu walk down the City Road? No! So what am I doing here?
  • We're next, boys! This is the blind spot. Even if those flamin' officers haven't seen it, I'll bet the Zulus have.
  • Out you get, Hooky, you done your bit!
  • Where's me bloody Sergeant?

Surgeon Major Reynolds

  • Brandy's for heroes, Mister Hook. The rest of you will make do with flies in your meat, boils in your skin, and dysentery in your bellies.
  • Don't take it so badly, Mister Witt. Isn't this as good a place as any for a man to be when he's in pain?
  • It's all right, boy. You sleep now. I'm damned if I can tell you why.
  • Damn you, Chard! Damn all you butchers!

Others

  • Margareta Witt: [watching Zulu mass-wedding ceremony] It's... splendid, I know. But it's quite horrible, too, isn't it?
  • Margareta Witt: Animals! All of you, animals!
  • Commissary Dalton: Now, don't distress yourself, my dear fellow. There's your own officer, over there. You go and speak to him.
  • Commissary Dalton: Careful! POP that chap, somebody! Good fellow. Good fellow.
  • Private Thomas: I thought I was tired of farming. No adventure in it. But when you look at it, this country's not a bit as good as Bala and the lake there. Not really green, like. And the soil... there's no moisture in it. Nothing to hold a man in his grave.
  • Private Jones-716: Well, there's a silly man, by damn! He's got himself into a private war.
  • Lieutenant Stevenson: Look at my men! If they're going to die, they'll die on their own farms. You're the professionals. You fight here if you want to.
  • Corporal Allen: You slovenly soldier.
  • Private Hitch: [after being shot] C-can I... undo me, me tunic now?
  • Private Owen: I think they've got more guts than we have, boyo!
  • Sergeant Maxfield: That's my boy, Hook! You're a soldier now! I've made a soldier of you!
  • Private Williams: Hooky, that's a flogging offense! For God's sake, man, get out!

Dialogue

(A visiting missionary figures out why the Zulus are so agitated.)
Mr. Witt: Oh, Lord in heaven...
Margareta Witt: What is it, father?
Mr. Witt: A thousand British soldiers have been massacred. While I stood here talking peace, a war has started.

Hughes: Hey, Hooky, who's doing all that shooting, eh? Who do you think?
Hook: Who do you think? Mister Flamin' Bromhead's shooting flamin' defenseless animals for the flamin' officers' flamin' dinner.
Hughes: Wish he'd bring us some fresh meat. Wonder what they're cooking for supper.
Hook: Same as usual - horse meat in axle grease.

Lieutenant Chard: John Chard, Royal Engineers.
Lieutenant Bromhead: Bromhead, 24th. That's my post up there. You've come down from the column?
Chard: That's right. They want a bridge across the river.
Bromhead: Who said you could use my men?
Chard: They were sitting around on their backsides doing nothing.
Bromhead: Rather you asked first, old boy.
Chard: I was told their officer was out hunting.
Bromhead: Oh... yes. I'll tell my men to clean your kit.
Chard: Don't bother.
Bromhead: No bother - not offering to do it myself. Still, a chap ought to look smart in front of the men, don't you think? Well, chin-chin. Do carry on with your mud pies.

Lt. Chard: Are you supposed to be here?
Private Owen: Yes, sir. That is... no, sir. Only you've got my only solo tenor out there working in the cold water.
Chard: Well, I hope he sings better than he works.
Owen: Indeed he does, sir.
Chard: So, your officer lets you have a choir.
Owen: Every Welsh regiment has a choir, sir. Mister Bromhead is English, but he is a proper gentleman.
Chard: Yes, he's certainly that.

Lt. Bromhead: The entire column? It's damned impossible! Eight hundred men?
Adendorff: Twelve hundred men. There were four hundred native levies, also.
Bromhead: Damn the levies, man, more cowardly blacks.
Adendorff: What the hell do you mean, "cowardly blacks"? They died on your side, didn't they? And who the hell do you think is coming to wipe out your little command? The Grenadier Guards?
...
Lt. Chard: Adendorff, are you staying?
Adendorff: Is there anywhere else to go?
Chard: Talk to our levies, will you? Tell them whose side they're on.

Surgeon Reynolds: You know what you've got there, my malingering Hector?
Private Hook: No, sir. Uh, Hook's the name, sir.
Reynolds: You've got a fine handsome boil, my friend. There's one glistening boil for every soldier in Africa. You may not win any medals on this campaign, but you'll certainly get more boils. For every gunshot wound I probe, I expect to lance three boils.
Hook: Uh, a spot of medicinal brandy would set me up, sir.
Reynolds: Brandy's for heroes, Mr. Hook. The rest of you will make due with boils in your skin, flies in your meat, and dysentery in your bellies. Now - this will hurt you a lot more than it will me, I'm happy to say.

Lt. Chard: Did the runner bring orders?
Lt. Bromhead: He brought orders to the commander of this post.
Chard: To do what?
Bromhead: To hold our ground.
Chard: To hold our ground? What military genius thought up that one? Somebody's son and heir, who got a commission before he learned to shave?
Bromhead: I rather fancy he's nobody's son and heir now.

Lt. Chard: All right, what's the date of your commission?
Lt. Bromhead: Now, don't tell me... I suppose you have seniority. 1872, May.
Chard: 1872, February.
Bromhead: Oh, well, I suppose there are such things as gifted amateurs. If I may —
Chard: Are you questioning my right to command?
Bromhead: Oh, not your right, old boy. Never mind. We can... cooperate, as they say. I'll be here, won't I?

Mr. Witt: You will all be killed like those this morning - and now the sick in their beds! All of you!
Lt. Chard: I don't think so, Mr. Witt. The Army doesn't like more than one disaster in a day.
Lt. Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.

Lt. Chard: What's our strength?
Lt. Bromhead: Seven officers, including surgeon, commissaries, and so on... oh, and Adendorff now, I suppose. Wounded and sick, thirty-six, fit for duty, ninety-seven, and about forty native levies. Not much of an army for you.

Adendorff: The classical attack of the Zulus is in the shape of a fighting bull buffalo, like this (he uses a bayonet to draw diagram in the dirt): the head, the horns, and the loins. First the head moves forward and the enemy naturally moves in to meet it - but it's only a feint. The warriors in the head then disperse to form the encircling horns, and the enemy is drawn in on the loins, and the horns close in on the back and sides. (He stabs the bayonet into the ground.) Finish.
Lt. Bromhead: It looks, uh, jolly simple, doesn't it?
Adendorff: Oh, it's jolly deadly, old boy.
Bromhead: Good show, Adendorff, we'll make an Englishman of you yet!
Adendorff: No, thanks. I'm a Boer. The Zulus are the enemies of my blood. What are you doing here?
Bromhead: You don't object to our help, I hope.
Adendorff: It all depends on what you damned English want for it afterward.

Lt. Chard: Now pay attention. Are there any walking sick without rifles?
"Dutchy" Schiess: Me!
Sergeant Windridge: You, Dutchy? You couldn't walk to the latrine.
Schiess: This is not my first action. Come on.
(Chard and Windridge exit. Schiess checks his rifle over.)
Jones-716: What's he going to do, Five-nine-three?
Jones-593: Oh, I think he wants to be a hero, Seven-one-six.
Schiess: Haven't you rednecks got names instead of numbers?
Jones-593: This is a Welsh regiment, man - though there are some foreigners from England in it, mind. I am Jones from Builth Cywyd. He is Jones from Builth Wells. There are four more Joneses in C Company. Confusing, isn't it, Dutchy? What's your name, then?
Schiess: It's Schiess - and I'm not Dutch! I'm Swiss.
Jones-716: Well, there's a silly man, by damn. He's got himself into a private war!
Schiess: I belong to Natal Mounted Police.
Jones-593: (sharp intake of breath) That true, then? He's a Peeler, Seven-one-six, come to arrest the Zulus.
Schiess: What do you know about Zulus?
Jones-716: Bunch of savages, isn't it?
Schiess: All right, how far can you rednecks march in a day?
Jones-716: Oh, fifteen, twenty miles, is it?
Schiess: A Zulu regiment can run - RUN - fifty miles, and fight a battle at the end of it!
Jones-593: Well, it's daft that is, then! I don't see no sense in running to fight a battle.

Mr. Witt: I was praying that your officer may turn to God's word.
Colour Sergeant Bourne: That's right, sir. A prayer's as good as a bayonet on a day like this.
Witt: Have you prayed?
Bourne: There'll be a time for it, sir.
Witt: What will you say?
Bourne: Oh, a bit of the Psalms, I suppose, sir. My father was a lay preacher. Great one for the Psalms, he was. There was one - well, it might have been written for a soldier.
Witt: Say it, man! Lift your voice to God.
Bourne: Now, sir?
Witt: Let them hear your voice. (He gestures toward the troops.)
Bourne: They'll know my voice when they hear it, sir.
Witt: Let them hear it now, in praise of the Lord. Call upon Him - call upon Him, man, for your salvation!
Bourne: Well, as far as I can remember, sir, it goes something like this: "He maketh wars to cease in all the world. He breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear in sunder." Do you know it, sir?
Witt: "I shall be exalted among the heathen, I shall be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us."
Bourne: That's it, sir. (to troops in work detail) All right, nobody told you to stop working! You leadbacks get sweatin'.

Lt. Chard: You didn't say a word to help, Bromhead.
Lt. Bromhead: Oh, when you're in command, old boy, you're on your own. The first lesson the general, my grandfather, taught me.

Private Williams: I'm making a loophole, see? Me and Hooky's gonna fight in here, aren't we, Hooky?
Private Hook: You're joking - I'm sick! Nobody's got any right to ask me to muck around in a flamin' battle. I'm getting out.
...
(Sergeant Maxfield rises from his sickbed to chastise Private Hook.)
Sgt. Maxfield: I know you, Hook.
Pvt. Hook: Yeah, you ought to.
Maxfield: You're no good, Hook. They gave us you because you are no good to anyone - except the Queen and Sergeant Maxfield!
Hook: Thank you very much, the both of you.
Maxfield: Pick up the rifle, Hook. And get to it! I'll make a soldier of you yet.
Hook: And what for? Did I ever see a Zulu walk down the City Road? No! So what am I doing here?
Maxfield: You are here because you were a thief. And you still are one. And now, you can be a soldier... like what they pay you for.

Colour Sergeant Bourne: Face to the front. Mark the orders. Mark a target when it comes. (softly, to Pvt. Hitch) Hitch, do your tunic up.
Private Hitch: My tunic?
Bourne: Do it up! Where do you think you are, man?

Private Cole: Why does it have to be us? Why us?
Colour Sgt. Bourne: Because we're here, lad. No one else. Just us.

Lt. Bromhead: Reload! Independent - fire at will!
Pvt. Owen: That's very nice of him.

Lt. Bromhead: Sixty! We dropped at least sixty, wouldn't you say?
Adendorff: That leaves only three thousand nine hundred and forty.

Surgeon Major Reynolds: Did you know this boy?
Orderly: Name of Cole, sir. He was a paper-hanger.
Reynolds: Well, he's a dead paper-hanger now.

(Outside the operating room, two of the wounded take over distributing ammunition after Commissary Dalton is shot.)
Corporal Allen: Can you move your leg?
Private Hitch: Not if you want me to dance.
Allen: I want you to crawl. Come on, you slovenly soldier. We got work to do.

(Early in the second day of battle, the Zulus are singing a war-chant.)
Lt. Chard: You think the Welsh can do better than that, Owen?
Pvt. Owen: Well, they've got a very good bass section, mind. But no top tenors, that's for sure.

Lt. Chard: Well, you've fought your first action.
Lt. Bromhead: Does everyone feel like this afterward?
Chard: How do you feel?
Bromhead: I feel... sick.
Chard: Well, you have to be alive to feel sick.
Bromhead: You asked me, I told you. There's... something else. I feel ashamed.

(Colour Sergeant Bourne calls the roll at the battle's end.)
Colour Sgt.Bourne: Hitch. (pauses.) Hitch, I saw you. You're alive.
Private Hitch: I am? Well, thanks very much.
Bourne: So answer the roll.
Hitch: Yes, sir!
Bourne: All right. Now get back to the hospital, where you belong.
...
Colour Sgt. Bourne: Hughes.
Pvt Hughes: Excused duty!
Bourne: No comedians, please.
Hughes: Yes, Colour Sergeant!
Bourne: Say "Sir". Officer on parade.

Colour Sgt. Bourne: Sir, sentries report the Zulus have gone. All of them. It's a miracle.
Lt. Chard: If it's a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer-Henry point-four-five caliber miracle.
Sgt. Bourne: And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind it.

[Adendorff sees the Zulus re-forming on a hill.]
Adendorff: Damn you... God damn you!
Lt. Chard: Adendorff, what are they doing? Answer me!
Adendorff: Haven't you had enough? Can't you see your damned egos don't matter anymore? We're dead.
Lt. Bromhead: (shouting at Zulus) Well, what are you waiting for? Come on! Come on!
(The Zulus begin another musical war-chant.)
Bromhead: Those bastards! They're taunting us!
Adendorff: (laughing) No, you couldn't be more wrong! They're saluting you. They're saluting fellow braves!

Cast

External links

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