ZULU (1964) is an epic, true story about the battle between an undermanned British mission defending themselves against hordes of attacking Zulu warriors. Set on January 22, 1879 in Natal, this film tells of the brave defense by overwhelmed British troops at the small outpost of Rorke's Drift. In the end, 150 British soldiers fought 4000 Zulus.
Having been warned that a British army contingent has been recently been killed by Zulu warriors that are now moving on Rorke's Drift, Lt. John Chard (Stanley Baker, who also produced the film) orders his troops to remain and defend the site. Despite the pleas of second-in-command Lt. Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine, in his first major motion picture), the British troops begin preparations for battle and attempt to withstand a seemingly never-ending series of attacks.
This amazing film manages to be very accurate in its depiction of the Rorke's Drift attack. Additionally, it contains some of the greatest battle scenes ever committed to film. The acting is brilliant and the script is wonderful -- after a slow start that sets up the situation and clarifies the characters, the action picks up and the movie never looks back. You definitely should not be bored watching this excellent film.
The source prints used for the Diamond and GoodTimes editions are identical (or very, very similar). However, colors on the GoodTimes are much more vibrant than the drab, washed-out Diamond DVD -- it's noticeably more lush and colorful. There is some minor damage to the print, but nothing distracting. I didn't notice any major compression issues either.
The picture quality is not perfect and doesn't compare to major studio releases. It is not 16x9 enhanced and, at 138 minutes, really pushes the limits of a single layer DVD. Increasing the bit rate and putting the film on a DVD-9 would probably have helped improve the quality even more. But for the seven or eight bucks this DVD will cost, you won't have any major complaints.
NOTE: The GoodTimes version runs about 20 seconds shorter than the Diamond. The only difference between the two is right at the beginning. Diamond opens with a title card that says "An Embassy Pictures Release", then the music starts and the credits begin with Joseph L. Levine Presents. The GoodTimes version omits the Embassy credit and starts right up with the music and Joe Levine title.