Zulu Dawn (1979)
Zulu messenger: I bring greetings from your friends the British and from the great Lord Chelmsford.
Ceteseyo: And what do your masters say?
Zulu messenger: They are angry and send these demands. They say that you rule in old ways that are wrong; that you kill your people without trial. The Great White Queen herself cannot kill her lowliest subject, though she rules forty lands, each greater than all of Zululand.
[on the death of his young assistant from friendly fire]
Corporal Storey: Oh no! Come all this bloody way to get shot by a bullet from Birmingham? Shoot straight you bastards!
General Lord Chelmsford: After lunch, Brown, I want you to return to Isandhlwana and instruct Col. Pulleine to join us here immediately.
Col. Hamilton-Brown: If you'll excuse me, My Lord.
General Lord Chelmsford: No appetite, Colonel?
Col. Hamilton-Brown: My men haven't eaten since yesterday and there won't be any supplies until I get them back to Isandhlwana.
General Lord Chelmsford: Then they can start off now and you can join them when you've eaten.
Col. Hamilton-Brown: Kind of you, My Lord, but I don't think it would be proper for me to sit at your table, they with their bellies stuck to their backbones.
Lt. Harford: [rising to follow Hamilton-Brown] Excuse me, Sir.
General Lord Chelmsford: [to Lt. Harford] Learn nothing from that Irishman, Harford, except how not to behave.
Corporal Storey: [to the soldier next to him, referring to the ammunition] Soft 'eaded buggers these. Flatten out against the bone. Smash 'em out.
Storey's mate: But bullets run out... and those bloody spears don 't.
General Lord Chelmsford: For a savage, as for a child, chastisement is sometimes a kindness.
Sir Henry Bartle Frere: Let us hope, General, that this will be the final solution to the Zulu problem.
[Vereker asks what happens if he can't drink the Stanger's cup without stopping]
Lt. Raw: Then a bottle of good claret to each member of the mess is charged to your account.
Lt. Melvill: If it's too much, we can have the bill forwarded to your father, in the House of Lords. Oh, no offense meant, Vereker.
Lt. William Vereker: No offense taken, Melvill. To men who aren't afraid to speak their minds.
Lt. Melvill: You didn't really have to choose between your country and the Zulu, did you?
Lt. William Vereker: Um, and a damn close thing it was too.
[Durnford is questioning Lt. Vereker on scouting reports around the camp]
Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.
Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
[a newspaperman is commenting on Chelmsford's decision to divide his forces]
Norris-Newman: Crealock, old fella. I'm doing notes for my dispatch and I need to clear up a few military points... I don't want to bother His Lordship. Had it drummed into my thick skull that a good commander never willingly splits his force, especially in an enemy's country, before knowing their dispositions.
Col. Crealock: Ah yes, if we were facing a European enemy armed with guns I think your point would hold, Noggs. Further may I remind you, I do not make the strategies you wish to comment on. I am only His Lordship's secretary.
Norris-Newman: I wouldn't take overly comfort from that, Crealock old fella, because if he sinks, then you sink with him.
[the Zulus are about to overrun the British position]
Col. Durnford: Sergeant, you're to ride back to Natal. When you see the Bishop tell him, that is, tell his daughter, that I was obliged to remain here with my infantry. Now go. God go with you.
Sgt. Maj. Kambula: I leave God Jesus with you.
[British lancers have just ridden down and killed a Zulu warrior]
Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down.
Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr. Melvill.
General Lord Chelmsford: Well, gentlemen, first blood to us and a rousing good report in the newspapers to satisfy the politicians, eh?
[Catches Pvt. Williams looking around and not paying any attention]
C.S.M. Williams: You moved! You moved! Go and tell the NCO at that black shambles that you love him more than you love me! NOW!
Sir Henry Bartle Frere: [proofreading aloud the ultimatum he has just drafted] Cetshwayo's Zulu army to disband and the warriors permitted to return to their homes.
Lt. Melvill: [bellowing a reply to the Zulu challenge] We come here by the orders of the Great Queen Victoria, Queen of all Africa.
Pte. Williams: I heard 'em first.
C.S.M. Williams: [with sarcasm] I'll get you a medal for modesty, Private Williams, would you like that?
Pte. Williams: You never would, Colour Sergeant, a medal?
Lt. Col. Pulleine: [to Melvill and Coghill] Well fought, gentlemen. It's time to save the colours. Get to Rorke's Drift. You must warn them.
End Captions: The Battle of Isandhlwana was recorded in history as the worst defeat ever inflicted on a modern army by native troops. In parliament, upon the downfall of his government, British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, asked the question: "Who are these Zulus, who are these remarkable people who defeat our generals, convert our bishops and who on this day have put an end to a great dynasty?"
Col. Crealock: [to Lord Chelmsford] Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders My Lord? Do we move to the Drift?
Boy Pullen: You afeared of the Zulus then, Quartermaster?
QSM Bloomfield: One Zulu is only one man... and I'm afeared of no one man... but the Zulu, they come in the thousands... like a black wave of death... in the thousands... and them assegais... stabbing!
Boy Pullen: Why don't the Zulus attack?
QSM Bloomfield: Zulus may not wear shoes or trousers and the like but it don't mean to say they got no brains. They'll watch us and wait and find our weaknesses.
Boy Pullen: Have we weaknesses, Quartermaster?
[Bloomfield does not answer]
Col. Durnford: Mr. Raw. Take Mr. Vereker to the Store and see he is issued the necessary equipment. And show him to the Mess and explain to him how an Officer is expected to behave.
[Raw salutes and leads Vereker off left, as Durnford watches their departure]
Lt. Raw: [Lt. Raw and Vereker entering the Mess. Chelmsford sits alone at a corner table reading his newspaper]
[Adressing the Mess:]
Lt. Raw: Stranger in the Mess. Gentlemen.
[to Chelmsford ]
Lt. Raw: My Lord.
[The officers and Vereker survey each other]
Lt. Raw: [to Vereker: ] Announce yourself.
Lt. William Vereker: [Vereker spots Chelmsford in the corner ] Good day Frederick.
General Lord Chelmsford: Good day William.
[Folding his newspaper, he stands to shake hands]
General Lord Chelmsford: Pleased you could join us.
[The officers turn, a bit startled, to look at this newcomer who is somehow on first-name terms with the Lord General]
Lt. William Vereker: It was either that, or join the Zulu.
General Lord Chelmsford: [Removing his glasses] Join the Zulu? Oh yes, you're right in the thick of it aren't you? Talked to your father before we sailed... he said you'd taken to farming near Zulu land. Sends his regards... Should I meet up with you.
Lt. William Vereker: [Wryly] That was nice of the old boy.