This is the full story of the making of Zulu, one of the best-loved and most enduringly popular British films ever made. It tells the epic story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift of 1879, in which barely 150 soldiers of the British Army in South Africa fought for twelve hours to hold an isolated mission station against sustained assault from 4000 highly disciplined Zulu warriors. Zulu enjoyed blockbusting box office success and now holds near-legendary status in the British popular imagination. Written in a lively and accessible style and lavishly illustrated throughout, this is the definitive account of the filming of one of the great movie epics. Covered in fascinating detail are such topics as: How hundreds of Zulu tribesmen, many of whom had never before seen a film, were taught to perform for the camera; Filming under Apartheid: vivid reminiscences of working in the midst of an oppressive political regime; We are taken behind the cameras with actors Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins, James Booth, Nigel Green and Ivor Emmanuel; How the battle was reconstructed against the spectacular backdrop of Natal's Drakensberg mountain range.
The book is based on three years of original research and dozens of new interviews with cast and crew members and their families. It includes: The original article by John Prebble, never before published in full; First-hand accounts of shooting the film, many never before published; Extracts from the screenplay and script notes, never before published; Extracts from letters and production documents, never before published; Hundreds of rare and unusual illustrations, many never before published; Biographies of all the principal actors and filmmakers.
Table of Contents
Researching the Story; John Prebble; Developing the Screenplay; Cy Enfield; Creating the Characters; Stanley Baker; Making the Deal; Casting the Actors; Locations, Props and Costumes; Working with Zulus; Filming Under Apartheid; Lights, Camera, Action; Editing and Sound; Music and Narration; Censorship; Publicity, Promotion and Premieres; Release and Box-Office; Reviews and Criticism; Myths, Gaffes and Spoofs; The Legacy of 'Zulu'; Afterword.
Sheldon Hall contributed audio commentaries to the Paramount Home Entertainment DVD releases of 'Zulu' and 'Once Upon a Time in the West'. A former film journalist, he lectures in Film Studies at Sheffield Hallam University and has written extensively on many aspects of the cinema.