Zulu (1964)

48 mistakes

(5 votes)

Factual error: In the hospital, Corporal Friedrich Schiess tells William and Robert Jones that he's a member of the Natal Mounted Police. In actuality, Cpl. Schiess was a member of the Natal Native Contingent, a distinctly different branch of the colonial forces. The Natal Mounted Police did, however, have three men present at the Battle of Rorke's Drift: Troopers Lugg, Green, and Hunter, and Trooper Henry Lugg later published two detailed accounts of the battle.

Continuity mistake: Chard gets struck on the neck by a Zulu shield, and he falls as if severely wounded. There's no blood on his neck, yet later when Bromhead pulls him upright, his collar is smeared with it. Anyway, how can a blow like that knock him silly? Bromhead was later struck by a Zulu shield on the neck as well, yet he was fine.

Revealing mistake: In the scene where the cavalry arrive (Chard thinks they are coming to help) and ride up to the sandbag wall, you can quite see the lighting being turned on as they get near. For a few seconds they are all in heavy shadow under their hat brims, then suddenly their faces are well lit. It's not a cut, it's one continuous shot.

Michael Redfern

Continuity mistake: During one of the attacks, the Zulus are charging en masse towards the ramparts manned by British riflemen. When Bromhead yells "Fire!" the soldiers open fire with their rifles....and some Zulus at the REAR of the charge fall dead whilst those in the front continue charging, uninjured.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Soldiers miss more than they hit enemy soldiers...they could simply have missed warriors in the front and the bullets hit others further back in the formation.

Steve Kozak

Factual error: Lieutenants Chard (Stanley Baker) and Bromhead (Michael Caine) and nearly all the soldiers defending Rourke's Drift are clean-shaven. Between 1860 and 1916 all British army personnel, from Field Marshall to Private were not allowed to shave their upper lips. The army rigidly enforced this rule. Thus, all the soldiers defending Rourke's Drift sported moustaches. Many had beards, too.

Rob Halliday

Factual error: The film seems - through dialogue from the soldiers and the preacher - to suggest that the Zulus were the aggressors ("savages") in this in the actual Anglo Zulu war. In fact the British had crossed illegally into Zululand to provoke a war. The crossing point of the Buffalo river into the Zulu kingdom was Rorke's Drift - and so the Zulu attack on it was not from savage whimsy, but came from a Zulu contingent eager to see action as they were reserves at Isandlwana.


Continuity mistake: During the latter Zulu attacks, a number of charging Zulus fall to the ground clutching their chests as if shot before a single shot has been fired.

Surgeon Maj. Reynolds: You know this boy?
Orderly: Name is Cole, sir. He's a paper hanger.
Surgeon Maj. Reynolds: Well, he's a dead paper hanger now.

More quotes from Zulu

Trivia: The film omits George Smith. An assistant army chaplain, at Rourke's Drift he brought ammunition to the defending soldiers at great personal risk throughout the defence. Had he been a member of the armed forces he would have received a Victoria Cross. Technically, he was not a member of the armed forces and therefore could not receive a medal. Instead, in recognition of his service he was promoted to a full military chaplain. After Rourke's Drift he was always called "Ammunition Smith."

Rob Halliday

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Question: I first saw the movie in a cinema when it was first released. I'm quite sure I saw a scene which was later edited out, perhaps to accommodate the ratio of television screens. Before the attack various soldiers stop to listen to a strange sound echoing over the hills - "like a train" someone says. After we hear the sound twice my memory is that the movie cut to a panoramic view of thousands of Zulu warriors running across the veld, banging their shields with their spears, on their way to Rorke's Drift. This is what was causing the "train" sound, a phenomenon that is not explained subsequently anywhere in the edited version of the film. The dramatic effect of the shot, panning across what looks like thousands of armed Zulus, was riveting and served to emphasise the impossible odds faced by the British. Am I the only one who recalls this scene?

Answer: Absolutely correct. This exact scene is in my DVD of Zulu. They may have changes when the TV version aired, but this definitely in the original.


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