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About This Clan/Club

A fascinating subject - Warships in movies. Here, we discuss various aspects. * How were they represented, and how accurate were the stand-ins? * How faithfully reproduced are the maneuvers, the battles? * what happened to the ships afterward, and where did they end up? * How accurately, in terms of their life stories and actions, are the people on both sides enacted? What did their futures hold in stock for them? This Club was initiated by Admiral_Karasu in April 2024


Warships in Movies

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  1. What's new in this clan/club
  2. "The Defence of Rorke's Drift" by Lady Elizabeth Butler (née Thompson). Commissioned by Queen Victoria and inspired by survivors' accounts https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lady_butler_defense_rorkes_drift.jpg Elizabeth Thompson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Hope it doesn't look like the soil in the movie.
  4. I guess this means that in Zulu, my garden patch is kwaSwimu.
  5. A tidbit: Rorke’s Drift was a trading post established by James Rorke, a merchant of Irish descent. As Rorke’s trading post was located near a ford (or drift) on the Buffalo River, it became known as Rorke’s Drift. To the Zulu Rorke’s Drift was kwaJimu – Jim’s land. I assume it referred to James Rorke.
  6. Absolutely well worth watching, it's a spectacular movie and does what movies are supposed to do. Additionally, it may also create interest in those people who have appreciation for real history to look further into the real events that inspired the movie.
  7. @Admiral_Karasu - The article you linked to, “THE DEFEAT OF HISTORY IN THE FILM ZULU”, which focuses mainly on Otto Witt and his daughter was a good read. Although the author, Frederick Hale, does get off on lambasting the movie for its lack of historical accuracy, while ignoring the fact that he is flogging a dead horse as the publication of the article in 1996 came when it was already generally accepted that the movie lacked said accuracy, his research does move to reinstate Otto Witt's standing in South African history. It also shows that his daughter Margareta (wrong name, should have been Elin), was actually only two years old at the time, and suggests Ulla Jacobsson’s role on the cast was purely that of eye candy. So, to paraphrase heavily from the article, the movie does nothing to serve the needs of the South African historical archives, catering instead to the tastes of the British and other indifferents in providing a shallow, embellished and false depiction of the historical battle. Mr. Hale’s deprecation for the movie is not shared by me. I have mentioned my reservations in the earlier post, above, but overall, I quite enjoyed this film - With a bit of research to complement, it was well worth watching.
  8. Yep, there is artistic license and all that. Yet despite that, I see the two highlighted sentences as egregious oversteps in the film, attacking as they do the good character and intent of the the persons involved (as in the case of Witt). I thought to highlighting the fates of Private 593 William Jones, Private 716 Robert Jones, and Corporal Frederick Schiess in red as well, but though tragic, these were failings of society and not of the movie. I don't know whether said individuals later reached some form of agreement with the producers - I hope they did. As for the uniforms, it would not surprise me were these a later fashion - as I gleaned while compiling the above, close enough was good enough. So the rifles and pistols used were also later models.
  9. @I_cant_Swim_ Thank you for the verbal summary of the key differences. Some of the differences can be explained by how Zulu is a movie with a story to tell, not a documentary giving an detailed and accurate account of the events. I take the fact how Chard is portrayed as taking over command in the movie as something that allowed them to not include the role of Major Spalding (which would have made no difference as he was not present) and also introduce a level of tension between the two main protagonists, Chard and Bromhead. Still, I don't know what was the reason behind how radically the portrayal of Hook departed from the real historical person, and it amounts to something like, dare I say it, a character assassination. The portrayal of Reverend Witt does not fall far behind. Here's more background information on the Witts. http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol104fh.html A relatively minor point, I'm not sure if the officers wear their rank stars correctly for January 1879. If I've understood it correctly they should still be wearing the middle Victorian uniform with the rank stars on the collar, not on the epaulets. The radically revised late Victorian rank system was adopted in 1880, but if someone's more thoroughly acquainted with the history of the British Army feel free to correct me. http://www.victorianstrollers.co.uk/stevesuniforms/ranks.html Finally, YouTube has lots of information on Zulu as well as the historical battles. Here's one rather good account of the differences between the way the movie depicted it all and the reality behind it, reality that paints a far starker picture than the stylized movie based on the real events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf65gMsgen8
  10. Great bits of info there, @Wolfswetpaws. So the making of this film did produce some firsts. I thought the movie was great, though the wiki states, as @Admiral_Karasu said, that the storytelling does take some liberties. As I too, like to know about the real people portrayed in the events, I've made a list with some info. I make no claims as to accuracy. Information based mainly on the linked pages at Wikipedia.org. Character Played by About the historical person About the actor Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead Michael Caine Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Continued service in south Asia and was promoted to major in 1883. First major role Lieutenant John Chard Stanley Baker Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Retired from the army as a colonel in 1897. Reverend Otto Witt Jack Hawkins Witt was not a pacifist as suggested, but left to be with his family who were 30 km away from Rorke’s Drift. Margareta Witt Ulla Jacobsson Had the only female speaking role in the film Henry Hook James Booth Hook is depicted as “a thief, a coward, and an insubordinate barrack-room lawyer”. In fact, he was a teetotaler and fine solder. His daughters walked out during the film’s premiere. Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Colour sergeant Frank Bourne Nigel Green Received the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), 2nd highest military decoration after the VC. Appointed adjutant of the School of Musketry in 1893, retired from the army in 1907, returned to serve in WW1. The last surviving defender from the battle, he died at age 90 the day after VE day, on May 9, 1945. Cavalry from the Battle of Isandlwana Depicted as white men In reality, these were mainly black farmers, members of the Native Natal Contingent, who had survived the Battle of Isandlwana and come to warn the British. They were present early in the battle but left because of a shortage of ammunition for their carbines. Corporal William Allen Glynn Edwards Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Later regained the rank of sergeant (which he had lost due to drinking before the battle) Private Frederick Hitch David Kernan Private Hitch received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Was discharged from service after the battle due to the severity of his wounds. His VC may have been stolen, re-acquired by his descendants at an auction. Surgeon-Major James Henry Reynolds Patrick Magee Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Had his fox terrier, named Dick, with him the whole time of the battle. Private 612 John Williams Peter Gill A member of the company choir, he received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Born John Fielding, he also served in WW1, in which one of his sons was killed. His picture is displayed in a Welsh pub named after him, in the town of Cwmbran where he died in 1932. Private 593 William Jones Richard Davies Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Discharged from service soon after due to chronic rheumatism, he died in poverty in 1913 and was buried in a paupers grave. Private 716 Robert Jones Denys Graham Received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Died tragically in 1898 by suicide, believed to be driven by nightmares from the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. The church, the grounds of which he is buried on, turned his headstone away from the church to shame him for the suicide. How sad. Corporal Frederick Schiess Dickie Owen FS was a Swiss corporal, hospitalized, who volunteered to join the defenders at Rorke’s Drift. Received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle. He was the first non-British recipient of the medal. Died in poverty in 1894, his remains were buried at sea. Lieutenant Gert Adendorff Gert van den Bergh This was the Afrikaner who remained with Chard as an advisor. He had been at the Battle of Isandlwana before Rorke’s Drift, and was unjustly accused of having fled that battle as a coward. He died in South Africa in 1914. James Langley Dalton Dennis Folbigge Received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle. He died in 1887 in South Africa. Richard Burton (voice) Opening and closing narration Zulu King Cetshwayo kaMpande Mangosuthu Buthelezi Cetawayo, as he is often referred to, was related to the famous king Shaka. He was always against the war, and is wrongly portrayed as having started it. MB was a Zulu chief and later South African political leader, also great-grandson to King he enacted. Zulu warriors Impi, the zulu fighters, are perhaps best known from their one-time leader Shaka, who made them a force to be reckoned with. Most of the Zulu actors were real Zulus. 240 Zulus took part in the battle scenes. Another 1,000 were filmed in Zululand. Other Soldiers 80 South African military personnel enacted roles as soldiers
  11. I cannot remember when I first saw Zulu, but watching it again was refreshing. First, there is something special about film versus shooting a movie digitally. And the fact that Zulu was shot in widescreen -Technirama—(like many what were termed "epic" movies at the time - think Lawrence of Arabia-Super Panavision) makes it all the better. Visually, the film is outstanding. The story (true) was really well done. The casting for the characters was perfect. Michael Caine, as Lt. Bromhead, played the "pompous British officer" perfectly. They just don't make films like this anymore, which is truly sad.
  12. "Several Zulu warriors wear wrist watches." https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058777/goofs/?tab=gf&ref_=tt_trv_gf "One of this movie's technical advisors was a Zulu Princess, and the tribe's historian. She knew the battle strategy perfectly, and drew it on the sand. Director Cy Endfield shot it exactly as she drew it." https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058777/trivia/?ref_=tt_trv_trv "The Zulu extras, who had never seen a movie, had trouble understanding what they were doing playing to a camera. Stanley Baker sent to Johannesburg for silent movies, and showed Harold Lloyd, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and Buster Keaton, which the Zulus loved." "Director Cy Endfield wanted a camera crane that was lightweight when disassembled, so it could be packed and transported through the African bush. Ken Eddy designed the first Filmair Giraffe camera crane for the job, starting the world's best-known camera crane company. This key piece of gear is still used in the film industry."
  13. Yep. Did my homework. I missed seeing the Witts get eaten by dinosaurs, but otherwise a good movie.
  14. So... have you guys remembered to watch the movie? This is not a documentary, so I already had a quick look around what sort of 'creative liberties' they took making Zulu. The case of the Witts seems to be one that got 'dramatized' in the process.
  15. Which seems to be unavailable to me. As long as everybody can see some video we should be fine....
  16. I did. Your link worked, for me. I'll view it later, perhaps. I've seen the movie Zulu, years (decades?) ago. I remember why the movie would be age-restricted. 😉
  17. Give my link a shot @Wolfswetpaws
  18. "Video unavailable" "This video contains content from Studio canal who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"
  19. Can you see this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5w68IeWDCw
  20. If the above link does not work in your country (I'm in NA, and it is blocked), try this one. Zulu Full Movie - US, perhaps all of NA link (click here) Depending on where you live, you may have to search for "Zulu Full Movie" in YouTube search.
  21. Movie of the Month for July 2024 Zulu Try having the movie watched by the next weekend or so, that's SAT/SUN July 6 to 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NetxJAkdO6Y Note! Recommended that you use the link to watch the movie in an adjacent tab or new window for ease of reference. Zulu on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_(1964_film) And on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058777/ Spoiler Warning! If you have no clue about the movie previously, watch the movie first before going into the discussion. General discussion of the movie to follow below.
  22. Only later, in 1943, when Vice Admiral Paul Wenneker was allowed to visit the Yamato. Even then, though, the Japanese pulled the wool over his eyes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wenneker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlJKL0VAwDY
  23. I doubt seriously that the German Navy knew any more about Yamato than the US Navy.


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