Zulu Dawn (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Zulu Dawn (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Zulu Dawn Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This film depicts the events prior to the devastating conflict that occurred in 1879 when British soldiers were held siege by thousands of Zulu warriors. Fifteen hundred soldiers were killed in the epic battle. This film portrays the tensions existing between the tribal factions and the British invaders. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovimore
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 27, 2005
Tango Entertainment


Burt Lancaster
as Col. Anthony Durnfor...
Peter O'Toole
as Lord Chelmsford
Simon Ward
as William Vereker
John Mills
as Sir Henry Bartle Fre...
Nigel Davenport
as Col. Hamilton-Brown
Michael Jayston
as Col. Crealock
Denholm Elliott
as Lt. Col. Pulleine
Ronald Lacey
as Norris Newman
Freddie Jones
as Bishop Colenso
Ronald Pickup
as Lt. Har-ford
Donald Pickering
as Maj. Russell
Anna Calder-Marshall
as Fanny Colenso
James Faulkner
as Lt. Melvill
Peter Vaughan
as QSM Bloomfield
Graham Armitage
as Capt. Shepstone
Bob Hoskins
as Sgt. Maj. Williams
Dai Bradley
as Pvt. Williams
Paul Copley
as Cpl. Storey
Patrick Mynhardt
as Maj. Harness
Simon Sabela
as Cetshwayo
Midge Carter
as Lt. Cavaye
Phil Daniels
as Boy Soldier Pullen
Ken Gampu
as Mantshonga
Ray Davies
as Sgt. Murphy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Zulu Dawn

Critic Reviews for Zulu Dawn

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A simple two-act story: Prelude to war, and the war. The former is concerned with a lot of British derring-do and priggish behavior. The latter consists of battle scenes with a lot of kinetic energy but not as much emotional punch as they should have.

Full Review… | February 28, 2011
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A rousing visual spectacle that's a prequel of the Cy Endfield directed Zulu (1964).

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Seen today, it's not only a startling indictment of British imperialism, but it seems a remarkably forward-thinking work.

Full Review… | March 7, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Zulu Dawn


Considering the epic magnitude of the screenplay and the diverse cast, this should have been much, much better. Directorialy flat and unimaginative.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


This film must be the most under-rated film of its time. It is a very accurate depiction of the battle of Isandhlwana and the massacre of the British Soldiers. The casting was brilliant, Burt Lancaster and Simon Ward were outstanding in the lead roles. The film following the lives of very different people through a very short timespan was very well done baring in mind the amount of people the film focused on, from a native south african messenger, to an arrogant British General. The film was fair to both armies that fought on that day and deserves to be recognised as a movie epic.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

This prequel to the very solid original is astonishing. Aside from an odd score, I am in love with this movies.

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