Zulu Dawn

Zulu Dawn

In 1879, the British have a loss at the Battle of Isandlwana because of incompetent leadership. Cy Endfield co-wrote the epic prequel Zulu Dawn 15 years after his enormously popular Zulu. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered. The film's opinion of events is made immediately clear in its title sequence: ebullient African village life presided over by King Cetshwayo is contrasted with aristocratic artifice under the arrogant eye of General Lord Chelmsford (Peter O'Toole). Chelmsford is at the center of everything goes wrong, initiating the catastrophic battle with an ultimatum made seemingly for the sake of giving his troops something to perform. His detached  manner leads to one mistake.