In 1879, the British suffer a great loss at the Battle of Isandlwana due to incompetent leadership. Cy Endfield co-wrote the epic prequel Zulu Dawn 15 years after his enormously popular Zulu. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered 16-to-1 by the Zulu tribesmen. The film’s opinion of events is made immediately clear in its title sequence: ebullient African village life presided over by King Cetshwayo is contrasted with aristocratic artifice under the arrogant eye of General Lord Chelmsford (Peter O’Toole). Chelmsford is at the heart of all that goes wrong, initiating the catastrophic battle with an ultimatum made seemingly for the sake of giving his troops something to do. His detached manner leads to one mistake after another.
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Page Eight is lovingly turned, with elegant writing, a flawless cast and a heartfelt message from writer/director David Hare about the danger zone where spies and politicians meet. The tension builds gently as we follow the fortunes of Johnny Worricker, a jazz-loving charmer who works high up at MI5 as an intelligence analyst. It’s a part made for Bill Nighy and he purrs out bon mots with a weary panache that women 20 years younger find irresistible. One such is his neighbour, Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz), in a Battersea mansion block. The question for Johnny is whether her interest in him is genuine or hides something darker. As his boss (Michael Gambon) puts it: “Distrust is a terrible habit.” Questions of trust, honour and friendship rumble through the play. The characters exchange oblique repartee as a plot about a damning dossier unwinds. It’s not to be missed.
Raven Shaddock and his gang of merciless biker friends kidnap rock singer Ellen Aim. Ellen’s former lover, soldier-for-hire Tom Cody, happens to be passing through town on a visit. In an attempt to save his star act, Ellen’s manager hires Tom to rescue her. Along with a former soldier, they battle through dangerous cityscapes, determined to get Ellen back.
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Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
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