Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Wargame of the Book of the Film...Part 2

No surprises but it looks like Zulu may be the hot favourite inspirational film for wargamers. It would be easy to see why - the sheer epic nature of the subject matter; the heroic defence against hordes of hostile 'savages'; the believable characters from across a broad spectrum of Victorian stereotypes and the relentless but relatively anonymous Zulu warriors; coupled with that soundtrack! The chanting and shield bashing - especially if you were fortunate enough to experience the film on the big screen - is guaranteed to get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck. If the film could do this imagine what it would have been like for real!

Nigel Greene's portrayal of Colour Sergeant Bourne is, for me, one of the definitive portrayals of an NCO in service - or rather what I would expect one to be like - a sonorous voice, authoritive and yet with the men's upkeep at heart. Tremendous stuff. Michael Caine as the 'stiff upper lip' officer offset by Stanley Baker's dour engineer makes a great screen dynamic and is one of the big screens great partnerships.

The rank and file, Hook, Hitch and the various Williams, Jones etc were all varied in their characters but represented a typical cross section of what the Victorian army probably looked like. I enjoyed the Choir.......;-)

Over the top? Certainly. Historically accurate? In places - but never let the truth stand in the way of a good story! The soundtrack? Awe inspiring and really gets under your skin.

One of the great unknowns from the film though was how did one hundred British infantryman with a stirring rendition of 'Men of Harlech' manage to out sing four thousand screaming Zulus?

For sheer entertainment value and jaw dropping inspiration with more than a passing nod to what actually happened this film is hard to beat and so is rightly at the top of many gamers favourite film lists.


Paul O'G said...

Sorry I was away and thus tardy in my input:

1. Battle of the Bulge

2. Hornblower (Gregory Peck version)

3. Zulu

Classic crackers all, though Icould name another 2 dozen offthe top of my head - my sunday night ironing movies!!!!

David Crook said...

Funny you should mention about ironing movies - the film I watched whilst engaged in the said chore was 'Where Eagles Dare' - now that is a classic....."Broadsword calling Danny Boy, broadsword calling....etc, etc"

All the best,