Yes indeed we also went to " SPION KOP " and a very moving place it is to. These photo's were taken up at the summit at the graves of the British Soldiers as we know these were the trenches they were defending and were then used to bury them.
Americans remember the Alamo, and the British remember Rorke's Drift, a South African outpost where 120 Welsh soldiers fought a pitched battle against 4,000 Zulu warriors in 1879. This 1964 film re-creates the battle -- and the events leading up to it -- in spectacular style. At the beginning of the film, suspense builds when a pacifist minister warns the British that Zulus are on the march. Unless the soldiers abandon their garrison, they will all die, the minister says. Alarmed but unwilling to forsake their duty, the soldiers dig in. Director Cy Raker Endfield then invokes an audio effect to herald the coming of the Zulus: With their spears and shields, they pound out an unnerving cadence like that of a chugging locomotive. Then the Zulus attack. Along with the combat scenes, the acting and script are superb. Stanley Baker and Michael Caine portray feuding lieutenants who rally their meager forces to withstand one assault after the next, and Nigel Green plays a stiff-lipped sergeant who heartens the soldiers with his iron resolve and cool composure. But the battle is the real star. The Zulu extras enlisted by co-producer Baker creep and slink through grass, or run headlong at the British, in tactical maneuvers that eventually result in hand-to-hand combat. When Zulus breach the garrison chanting war cries, sick and injured soldiers shoot and stab their way to safety. A surgeon operating on a soldier spies a Zulu entering a window and says, "Would somebody please shoot that chap?" Gripping from start to finish, Zulu has earned status among some critics as one of the finest war films ever made.
A dusty courtyard in Cuernavaca, Mexico, packed with stunt men dressed as nineteenth-century Mexican soldiers and local extras dressed as peons, seems an unlikely place to track down James Booth. "I'd been a rich man in England. I had a company which bought flats, renovated them and sold them. In 1974, when the property boom collapsed, I was wiped out overnight. I went from leading a push-button life with chauffeurs, secretaries, everything done for me, two a situation where men in bowler hats were coming out of the woodwork demanding money. I'd lost all my capital and I owed a fortune to the banks. I was in my mid-forties, I had a wife and four kids, two of them at Millfield, and I had to think about how I was going to support them. I was very bitter. I decided the last thing I wanted to be was a middle-aged actor in London, hanging round the pubs, waiting for work." Booth began his career with Joan Littlewood's company at Stratford East. Once described (by the Evening Standard) as one of the 10 most handsome men in London, he was, by his own admission, "never a leading man". He came from the wrong class to be a natural British hero and he was too rebellious to transcend his origins as did an Albert Finney or a Tom Courtenay. Besides, there was always something wolfish, essentially untrustworthy about Booth's stage and screen persona--an asset he exploited in a succession of roles a a smooth, fast-talking confidence trickster, a Cockney hustler, whether of women or wages. He was in Fings Ain't Wot They Used Ter Be and the film Sparrows Can't Sing, for Miss Lockwood, then in Zulu, Robbery, The Man Who Had Power Over Women, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom and a score of other British pictures and television plays. "I was lazy about being an actor," he says. "The parts came too easily and so did the money. By the time I left the country, I reckon I was functioning on about 10 per cent of my talent. As a young actor, one of my problems was that I could never decide what I really was. I did a film with Shirley MacLaine once and the New York Times described me as "a cross between Jack Lemmon and W.C. Fields." If you think about it, most British comedy is very broad, very anal. Unless you fit into the Carry On series, there isn't too much scope. There are the upper-class parts, played by a Nicholas Parsons or a Leslie Philips, and the lower classes, the late Sid James or Kenneth Connor, who take the mickey out of them. I didn't fit into either of those categories." "In 1974, when I lost everything, I was a terrified man. I underwent a sort of spiritual metamorphosis. I'd been known as a roustabout, a drinker. I had to take a look at myself and I didn't like what I saw. I hadn't done the things I should have done. I should have helped Joan more, carried on her work. I arrived in Los Angeles with my family. I paid the first and last month's rent on a small apartment, I rented some furniture, and after I'd done all that, I had exactly 1000 dollars left. I had a few contacts and I'd written with Joan, and I started to get work rewriting other people's scripts." He has been a rewrite man ever since. Among his efforts was Sunburn, the second of Farrah Fawcett Major's (as she was then) attempts to switch from being a television star to a film star. I was the one who turned that film into a comedy. The script I wrote attracted Art Carney and Chuck Grodin to the project but it was a very troubled production. The director, Dick Sarafian, rewrote extensively, then the producer got in on the act. I refused to go down to the location, the situation as so bad." Has he done much acting in the last five years? "Virtually none, although I did have a small part in The Jazz Singer. I don't even have an American accent. It's very difficult for British actors over here. If they need a British actor, they'll usually import one. Then the bulk of the acting work is television and most American television is ethnic--I can hardly play a California sheriff or an Italian from the Bronx." However, Booth did appear on the Los Angeles stage in a musical he wrote himself. Called The Al Chemist Show (after Ben Jonson's The Alchemist) it featured Booth, Georgia Brown and Al Mancini. "We did it for nothing at a small theatre. We made around 10 dollars a week, which covered our petrol. It went well enough so that we're getting the music rewritten now and hoping to mount it in London next year." The "we" refers in part to Booth's close ties to Hemdale, the British stage and film production company. Then there was Booth's reason for being in that Mexican courtyard. He was appearing in Zorro and the Gay Blade [sic], a comic version of the old Douglas Fairbanks/Errol Flynn swashbucklers. The film stars George Hamilton and is a follow-up to Hamilton's highly successful Dracula spoof, Love at First Bite. "I play Velasquez, the assistant villain. He's a cross between Long John Silver and Captain Hook, with a sword and a gold eyepatch. He's a terrible bully and a terrible coward. It was pure chance I got the part. I was down in Cuernavaca doing some rewrites on a Hemdale Film, Big Bucks, and one day there was a knock on the door of my hotel room. It was the director Peter Medak, who's doing Zorro. He'd heard the typing and came to see what was what. He'd an idea it was me. He offered me the role and here I am. It's a strange feeling. Nobody here knows who I am; I feel the way I did when I made my first film, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, 18 years ago. I can see their faces when I do a bit of business that's good. They look at me in surprise, as if to say, "Who is this guy? And where did he learn that stuff?" "But this is a film full of second chances. Peter [Medak] had a rough time for a while getting any films. And George [Hamilton][ is a wonderful actor who's never been used properly in pictures." Although he has paid off 90 per cent of his debts ("I've no wish to be a bankrupt"), Booth has no plans to return to England. He has not been back since 1975 and says he is depressed by what he hears from visiting friends. "My wife misses it very badly. The only thing I miss is the theatre, even if the actors are paid almost nothing. Theatre in Los Angeles tends to be run by small groups of friends and frankly the standard is poor. They have excellent actors, but there don't seem to be any competent directors. I went to see Travesties when it was done in LA by a local outfit, and it really was a travesty." --Joan Goodman
Post by Bromhead24 on Aug 25, 2006 20:18:56 GMT -5
Mo, Where can i get the full Kit of a soldier of the 24th, ie; "Cork" foreign service helmet, Tunic with the correct grass green facings, trousers with the thin red stripe. I have since traded of my old kit and cant seem to find a dealer here, well that doesn't charge an arm and leg.
I have a source for the 1871 valise equipment and gaitors but not of the tunic and helmet. although i do have several helmets, but my old supplier has upped his price by 250%.
Last Edit: Aug 25, 2006 20:19:38 GMT -5 by Bromhead24
I read that there is talk of remaking "Zulu" If so, i hope Hollywood keeps their grubby hands off of the production. I also hope that if they do do a remake, they make it "Accurate"
if hollywood were to make an epic movie like zulu they definately wont use english gentlemen in the lead roles but just big actors where people wont be able to see past the names and it wont be accurate, they'll just want big battle scenes with thousands of computer generated zulu warriors and go for tons of gore. it would be best to leave this alone.
"I'll leave this rule for when I'm dead-- be always sure you're right, then go ahead."-David Crockett
Post by Bromhead24 on Dec 22, 2006 11:21:43 GMT -5
I just hope that if they do do a remake, it will be more historical accurate. They should also use the same technicolor they used on the original film to bring out the bright scarlet tunics and the lush landscape.
Post by Bromhead24 on Dec 22, 2006 11:23:21 GMT -5
I also think that Michael Caine could do a cameo of Col Richard Glynn, the commander of the 2nd battalion 24th who was with Chelmsford when the camp at Isandhlwana was attacked. He is of the right age.
Last Edit: Dec 22, 2006 11:24:00 GMT -5 by Bromhead24