Director: Cy Endfield
Year Released: 1964
Exhausting reenactment of the famous battle at Natal between several hundred stranded Welsh soldiers and thousands of Zulu warriors - it's distressing, tense cinema, and Cy Endfield deserves most of the credit for it. Speaks volumes about the hollowness of war - bodies pile up as they're stabbed and shot - and how even the 'winners' have regrets after its over (Michael Caine's character confesses that he feels 'sick'); it ends perfectly, too, with the equivalent of a handshake and an acknowledgement of mutual respect. The first hour is obviously inferior to the second, as its role is to acquaint you with the principal players and their personalities before rushing headlong into the conflict itself. It was wise on the filmmakers' part to eliminate the religious figures (the father and daughter) from the picture when they did; don't need stentorian preachers and screechy daughters around when you've got a fort to defend.