The battle of Rorke’s Drift, in 1879, when a handful of British soldiers fought off something like 3,000 Zulu warriors (139 to 4500, actually. There’s a good, concise article on it at Britishbattles.com).
I can’t believe that I haven’t reviewed this movie, which means that it’s been more than four years since I saw it last…far too long. This is one of the best war movies ever made, for many reasons (besides the fact that it’s Serious Honey Michael Caine’s first big role, and is he ever young and cute in this one, yowza!):
- it’s extremely well made, with enough character development to interest the viewer in the lives of the people in the movie without slowing down the action
- the military stuff ditto, enough to set the scene and get you involved, but not so much picky detail that Otter’s head threatens to explode.
- Not having big ol’ famous actors helps a lot too. (Yes, Stanley Baker had been around forever, and had a solid reputation, but certainly wasn’t a big name, and it was Caine’s first big role)
- And the details: the costumes, the weaponry, the accuracy of the layout of the mission station at Rorke’s Drift, it’s all very well done.
And that’s not even the best part of the movie, the part that EVERYONE who has seen it talks about because it is indeed wonderful…and I’m not going to give it away. Watch it, you’ll see not only one of the best and best made war movies ever, but a scene you’ll remember forever.