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  1. #1
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    My favorite Film of all time "Guns at Batasi"

    A British Classic with Richard Attenborough, Jack Hawkins, Flora Robson, John Leyton, Mia Farrow, Cecil Parker, Errol John, Graham Stark, Earl Cameron.

    Must have been made on a shoestring budget.

    The acting of Richard Attenborough in this movie as, Regimental Sereant Major Lauderdale, was surely deserving of an Oscar or at the very least an Oscar Nomination . He actually won Bafta Award for Best Actor for this role in 1965 but got no mention in the Acadamy Awards.

    Attenborough came close again for his acting again in "10 Rillington Place" another British Classic

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    I think Guns at Batasi was shown on TV recently. Excellent film

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England earlb's Avatar
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    Anyone who went through 'National Service' would've recognised Dickies character portrayal with trembling knees - frightening but reliable.

  4. #4
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    It's a film that really nails the end of the colonial era. Attenboroughs obstinate dinosaur finally rising to heroic proportions - never fails to move me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    I think it's Dickie's best screen performance.

  6. #6
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    seen it a few times yeap its a good one

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    Not as much "action" as the title would suggest but it is still a very good film.



    Dave.

  8. #8
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    A masterpiece!



    Having spent very many years in colonial Africa I can authenticate and commend this pseudo-docudrama!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Canada
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    I saw BATASI on TV when I was a kid. Though broken up by car-dealer ads, I was surprised by its restrained, realistic story.



    I saw it that one time over 40 years ago, and never forget it. Thank goodness, the Fox 2006 DVD is in print, though not easy to find. It is NTSC R1 and there doesn't seem to be a UK release. No problem in Canada, of course. Brit viewers with compatible players can get it from Amazon.



    A very courageous movie, made when de-colonization was still an optimistic endeavour ... but it foreshadowed some problems that came true in the decades after. Even-handed and non-racist, this little drama allowed no one to escape unblemished.



    Flora Robson is magnificent as the Labour MP. She is a brave no-nonsense believer in the African leadership she has supported -- until it falls into chaos. Attenborough's RSM is her opposite, a rigid Imperial soldier.



    The brilliance of the movie is how they work together in crisis. In the end, neither is absolutely right or wrong, and the story ends with no clear resolution. The local coup is suppressed, lives are saved, the new country's flag is raised and the Brits leave with dignity.



    It is not an action movie, despite a couple of firefights and a lot of suspense.



    It is a character-driven drama, one of Britain's best, I think.



    PS: The Fox DVD has an insightful commentary by actor John Leyton, adding much value to the movie.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I know I write this every time this film is mentioned, but the Higgins character in the TV series Magnum was specifically based on the Richard Attenborough character in Guns at Batasi.

  11. #11
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    Is it just me or does anyone else think that maybe Sir Dickie based the "funny" elements of his wonderful and towering performance ( such as the scene at the end with John Leyton and Mia Farrow in the truck,where he advises Wilkes about nocturnal boot-shedding) on Nigel Green's Colur Sgt. Bourne from ZULU?? Zulu was released in the UK in January 64, before GUNS.. was filmed (certainly, GUNS... doesn't appear to have been released until September 64 at the earliest), so given the status of ZULU and the reception it received, it hardly seems likely that Attenborough wouldn't have seen the film prior to bringing Lauderdale to life. .Perhaps it was actually a deliberate "nod" to Nigel Green, but every time I watch these movies I'm reminded of the similarities.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England phil's Avatar
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    Found this little taster on Youtube,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=qzKTOUkroU0

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    I'm sorry. Everytime I watch, I'm distracted by the studio-sauna-induced sweat on the actors' foreheads.

  14. #14
    Member Country: England Sangster09's Avatar
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    I wonder has anyone noticed the whole base is situated in the backlot of Pinewood Studios.You can see the famous Water Tower in the background on a number of shots.
    The Film is also on DVD with Amazon,as I'm sure you are all aware.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Yes, the saluting scene... gives proof that Warrant Officers Class One (all Regimental Sergeant Majors are WO1s, not all WO1s are RSMs) do indeed have eyes in the back of their head. Never assume that just because he's gone past, the RSM can't see/hasn't seen you... Brilliant timing from Dickie.

  16. #16
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    Watched this last year at 30,000 really enjoyed it, it passed time on the flight well.

  17. #17
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    Difficult to buy on DVD at a reasonable price, GUNS AT BATASI was shown on Film4 this week (July 12). It may well be on again in the near future.

    I have recorded it and will be watching it soon. From a quick glance, the print quality looks good and it was shown in Scope. Good.

  18. #18
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    I am sure that Attenborough based his performance on the famous Sgt Major Brittain who appeared as himself in a number of films.
    I seem to recall that ' is Darrow replaced Britt Eckland.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England cassidy's Avatar
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    Recorded it yesterday and watched it last night. Terrific film with a superb performance from Attenborough.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Mentioned this to another formerly green clad friend recently who said it revived the singing of "Glorious, Victorious" in his unit. Apparently the words vary, in detail and levels of rudeness... the film version "one bottle of beer" is at the mild end...

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