Zulu Movie Review (1964) Blu-ray

It’s great to see that another classic British film that has been restored, the film I’m referring to is the focus of this week’s review. So without further ado here is my Zulu movie review (Blu-ray version).  I’ll be honest I love this film, it’s incredibly well made, but more on that later.

  • Zulu Movie Review (1964 War Film)
  • Directed by: Cy Endfield
  • Written By: John Prebble, Cy Endfield
  • Music By: John Barry
  • Cinematography By: Stephen Dade
  • Running Time: 133 Mins
  • UK Rating: PG
  • Foreword spoken By: Richard Burton
zulu blu-ray 1964Plot

So for those of you yet to experience this classic war film here is a brief plot overview.

It should be noted that Zulu is based on a true story.  The year is 1879, South Africa the British have a small outpost/hospital/trading post at Rorke’s Drift consisting of between 100 to 150 men.

Following the routing of the British Army in a earlier battle against the Zulu’s, there is nothing to protect or stand in the way of the advancing Zulu Army that consists of between 3000, to 4000 Zulu warriors.

The British at Rorke’s Drift are utterly unaware of what awaits them and furthermore they are completely unprepared for the fight.

Michael Caine plays the commanding officer, Lt Bromhead at Rorke’s Drift, a slight cocky and arrogant character. Also in the area are a group of Royal Engineers lead by Lieutenant John Chard play by Stanley Baker.

When word arrives of a imminent attack the two Lieutenants have to decide who will take charge with Lt John Chard (Stanley Baker) just by months serving longer and therefore the senior officer getting the ominous job.

What follows are wave after wave of relentless attacks in what looks to be a futile defence.

Conclusion – Zulu Movie Review (1964) Blu-ray

It has to be said the way the film looks and feels in terms of direction and the way it builds the tension is absolutely perfect.  The cinematography is outstanding with the beautiful backdrop of South Africa.

Next I have to mention the soundtrack to the film, be it the Zulu chanting or the fabulous score from John Barry (James Bond Fame) all helps in elevating the film even further.  There is a nice documentary included on the Blu-ray version explaining how the music was created by incorporating the Zulu beats.  It’s well worth checking out.

Acting

Now to the acting and unsurprisingly with a great main cast and great supporting cast they deliver a performances that give the film a realistic and believable feel.  This is Michael Caine’s first main film role and he delivers the goods.  Caine plays an upper class officer and is a great contrast between that of Stanley Bakers character.

I believe it’s because of his performance here that he began to be offered the roles that made him famous, think Harry Palmer (The Ipcress File) and Alfie.  These were indeed his next two films and iconic ones.  But it was Zulu which was ultimately his big break.

Whilst Caine delivers a outstanding performance the films best performance comes from that of Stanley Baker.  He is the commanding officer faced with overwhelming odds. Initially playing a officer appearing to be somewhat out of his depth, by the end of the film you would not want anyone else in charge.  Great acting!

I know one thing for sure if I was in that predicament I would love to have Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne (Nigel Green) alongside me.  He is exactly the guy you need when anything’s going to hell!

Zulu Movie Review (1964) Blu-ray

The question is have they delivered near perfect sound and picture on the Blu-ray version?  Well no it’s not near perfect it’s actually PERFECT.  Zulu has been restored to look better than any other version out there including when it was first released.

The picture is nice and crisp and sharp without speckles of dirt or flickers.  It really does increase the enjoyment level seeing this newly restored version.  Top marks to all involved in the restoration.

Special features include a couple of documentaries one of those is with John Barry about the music of Zulu as I mentioned earlier.

Summary

So a truly great war film, that delivers a outstanding visual and audio experience along with some memorable acting performances.

The film shows plenty of respect to the Zulu warriors and their bravery, whilst depicting the utter despair of the British Army.  This is done extremely well, the British who seemingly survive one attack only for another series of probing and relentless Zulu assaults to continue in what feels like an endless cycle.

But now to my Zulu movie review final verdict…

So what is my movie rating for Zulu (1964)?  Recommended Films

  • Movie Rating: RECOMMENDED
  • Blu-ray Sound & Picture: EXCELLENT

The Blu-ray version ranks as one of the best restoration of a classic film I have seen. It truly looks amazing and shows why you really don’t need to remake classics when they look this good!

 


A truly great war film, that delivers in every aspect, a outstanding visual and audio experience.

Zulu (1964) is available now on Blu-ray.

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That was my Zulu movie review but I guess you would like to see a bit of it.  I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Original Theatrical Trailer – Not representative of Blu-ray Version

 

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Zulu (1964) Blu-ray Review

Director(s): Cy Endfield

Actor(s): Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth, Nigel Green

Genre: War

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Rating
5

Summary

A truly great war film, that delivers in every aspect, a outstanding visual and audio experience.

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