Posted by Tom on June 04, 1999 at 09:03:23:
In Reply to: The posted by Rich on May 31, 1999 at 09:49:16:
This one caught my eye.
Good luck on trying to see "Zulu Dawn." I do not believe this film has been shown in the US in fifteen years. It is also extremely difficult to find on VHS due the fact it is not available in that format in the US. (I was able to track down a copy of it through a Canadian retailer.)
"Zulu Dawn" is a rather puzzling movie. The producers, who had also created the magnificent "Zulu", put together a terrific all star cast (Burt Lancaster, Peter O'Toole, Sir John Mills, Denholm Elliot, Bob Hoskins, and Simon Ward), they have literally thousands of extras, and it was filmed on location in South Africa near the actual sight of the battle. You have all the elements of an epic yet the producers decided to squeeze the film into the standard two hour time frame and the result is a rushed project with no real characters. Maybe if they had gone the distance with a longer running time the film would have become something better than a substandard film with some decent battle scenes. In contrast "Zulu" is a terrific film with developed characters and the patience to play its story to its fullest potential.
"Zulu Dawn" is more of triumph of logistics than of filmmaking. That unfortunately is the epitaph of so many other "epic" war movies such as Gettysburg, A Bridge Too Far, The Alamo, Waterloo, and others. Those films have some spectacular scenes and some decent performances but overall they generally fail to triumph as films. Also their appeal to anyone other than history buffs is often limited. For example I love "A Bridge Too Far," but among most other members of my family it is often referred to as a "A Bore Too Long."
Also the actor who played Shaka in "Shaka Zulu" was Henry Cele. The last thing I saw him in was the 1996 film "The Ghost and the Darkness."
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