Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


May 25, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1979 film “Zulu Dawn,” with Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole,  Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport, Michael Jayston, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner, Christopher Cazenove, Simon Sabela, Dai Bradley, Bob Hoskins, Anna Calder-Marshall, Freddie Jones, Nicholas Clay, Ronald Lacey, Phil Daniels, Donald Pickering, Paul Copley, Ken Gampu, Ronald Pickup, Denholm Elliott, John Mills.

Photography by Ousama Rawi, edited by Malcolm Cooke,  production design by John Rosewarne, costume design by John Buckley, associate producer Dieter Nobbe, co-produced by James Faulkner, music by Elmer Bernstein. Original story and scenario by Cy Endfield, screenplay by Cy Endfield and Anthony Storey, executive producer Barrie Saint Clair, produced by Nate Kohn, directed by Douglas Hickox.

“Zulu Dawn” is available on DVD from TCM.


Dec. 13, 1979, Los Angeles Times
Oh, look. It’s Russ Meyer’s “Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens.” Also “Zulu Dawn.”

Kevin Thomas, writing in the Los Angeles Times (Sept. 19, 1980), said:

“Zulu Dawn” is one of those sweeping historical spectacles involving some elaborately staged battle waged by the British imperialists against the natives and invariably featuring an array of stalwart English actors.

… We’ve met O’Toole’s and Mills’ kind many times before — perhaps too many times — as we have Burt Lancaster’s Irish colonel, the only officer who perceives the folly of O’Toole’s actions, Simon Ward’s cool young aristocrat, the newest man in the regiment, and the intrepid, critical reporter (Ronald Lacey) who tells O’Toole that the English people are going to want answers.

…Director Douglas Hickox, working from Endfield’s and Anthony Storey’s screenplay, handles his cast capably and builds the film steadily to its bravura, 20-minute climactic battle sequence. Yet “Zulu Dawn” leaves you wondering if despite its avoidance of gratuitous gore and for all the righteousness of the point it makes there’s sufficient here for yet another depiction of war and bloodshed.

Writing in the New York Times (July 11, 1982), Janet Maslin said:

“Zulu Dawn” … is another sweeping battle film, one that’s less exciting but certainly more evenhanded [than “Zulu.”]

… Peter O’Toole, with only a faint echo of his imperious “Lawrence of Arabia” glamour …

… The war maneuvers are depicted painstakingly and slowly, with much attention to the heavy casualties on both sides. There is a great deal of movie-actorish dying to be seen. Warriors on both sides gasp, slump and shudder as they breathe their last…

… Douglas Hickox, who also directed a screen version of “Entertaining Mr. Sloan,” makes “Zulu Dawn” picturesque and proper, if a little dull. For all the mayhem in the movie, there isn’t much emotion, even when the fighters are dropping like flies. But the scenery, the top-flight cast and the thousands of African extras make this an eye-catching film even if it isn’t a particularly dramatic one.


May 20, 2019, Mystery Photo

Monday’s mystery guest does not approve of such goings-on. The mysterious goings-on of which he does not approve will be revealed over the course of the week.

Update: After consulting the script, I can confirm that this is Gilbert Tjabane.

May 21, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent. All goings-on must get his approval.

Update: This is Simon Sabela.

Brain Trust roll call: I’m giving half-credit to people who guessed a certain film that preceded our mystery movie: Floyd Thursby, Michael Lott and Thom and Megan.

May 22, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have a mystery chap.

Update: This is Bob Hoskins.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and I’ll take Monday’s mystery guest under advisement), Mike Hawks (mystery movie), Benito (half-credit for mystery movie), Chrisbo (mystery movie), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Thom and Megan (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest).

Note to Michael Lott: You were closer the first time. 🙂

May 23, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Anna Calder-Marshall.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Earl Boebert (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Gary (half credit on the mystery sequel/prequel), Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery gent and Monday’s mystery gent), Anne Papineau (half credit on mystery prequel/sequel), Thom and Megan (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Mary Mallory (mystery movie) and Diane Ely (half credit on mystery sequel/prequel).

May 24, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Friday…. No one approves of such goings-on.

Update: This is Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott, Peter O’Toole, and (after much tedious replaying of the movie and consulting the script) Michael Jayston.

May 24, 2019, Mystery Photo

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery woman), Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery woman), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery woman), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery woman), Thom and Megan (Thursday’s woman) and Anne Papineau (mystery movie).

Update: This is Simon Ward and Burt Lancaster.

Note to Sylvia: Not a red coat in the bunch today!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1979, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Floyd Thursby says:

    The 1964 “Zulu’ because of the widescreen and costumes.


  2. Michael Lott says:

    “Zulu” starring Michael Caine?


  3. Thom and Megan says:

    We’re going to make a guess and say today’s movie is Zulu.


  4. tucsonbarbara says:

    “Zulu Dawn”

    Tuesday – Simon Sabela


  5. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Paul Mafela in ZULU DAWN
    Tuesday: Muntu Ndebele


  6. MIKE HAWKS says:



  7. Benito says:



  8. Chrisbo says:

    I’ll guess Shaka Zulu, with a half-credit for Zulu Dawn


  9. Don Danard says:

    A wild guess…..”The Naked Prey” with Cornel Wilde”?


  10. Mary Mallory says:

    King Solomon’s Mines (1985).


  11. Michael Lott says:

    If it’s not the Michael Caine film, then it’s “Shaka Zulu,” the South African mini series.


  12. Sylvia E. says:

    I think the movie is Zulu Dawn 1979
    Working on Monday’s actor
    Tues – Simon Sabela


  13. Thom and Megan says:

    Ok, so it’s Zulu Dawn with Simon Sabela for today.


  14. tucsonbarbara says:

    Bob Hoskins


  15. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Bob Hoskins.


  16. Earl Boebert says:

    Wednesday we have the late and much missed Bob Hoskins in “Zulu Dawn.”


  17. Jenny M says:

    Bob Hoskins in Zulu Dawn.


  18. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Bob Hoskins.


  19. Gary says:

    Since Monday morning it has been my hunch that this is Zulu. And every day that hunch becomes more a certainty. Please let me know if I am wrong. (Tuesday would be Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.)


  20. Sylvia E. says:

    Wednesday is Bob Hoskins
    My guess for Monday is Gilbert Tjabane. Only reverse analyzing, because I found an image of the ‘Bayele’ character (played by Tjabane) inside the tent with the ‘Pulleine’ character (played by Denholm Elliot,) just before the latter’s death. I’m hoping you’ll know who the actor is for sure. Your note to Howard was very mysterious.


  21. Anne Papineau says:

    “Zulu” with Michael Caine??


  22. Thom and Megan says:

    Bob Hoskins for today.


  23. Mary Mallory says:

    ZULU DAWN. Ken Gampu Monday and Sydney Chama Tuesday.


  24. Diane Ely says:



  25. Sarah says:

    Mountains of the Moon.


  26. tucsonbarbara says:

    Anna Calder-Marshall


  27. Mary Mallory says:

    Muntu Ndebele Monday, Simon Sabela Tuesday, and Anna Calder-Marshall today. You’re saving all the big guns for Friday.


  28. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Anna Calder-Marshall.


  29. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Anna Calder-Marshall


  30. Sylvia E. says:

    Thurs. – Anna Calder-Marshall

    I imagine that Friday will be filled with ‘red coated’ star actors. Looking forward to the Saturday breakdown.


  31. Thom and Megan says:

    Anna Calder-Marshall for today, and Abe Temba for Monday, we think.


  32. Anne Papineau says:

    Oh, wow, I need to watch “Zulu Dawn.”


  33. Gary says:

    How about another half point for Dingaka.Stanley Baker being the link.


  34. tucsonbarbara says:

    Simon Ward, John Mills, Peter O’Toole, Michael Jayston, Burt Lancaster


  35. Mary Mallory says:

    Denholm Elliott, Simon Ward, and Peter O’Toole, and then Simon Ward and Burt Lancaster.


  36. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott, Peter O’Toole, Donald Pickering;
    Simon Ward, Burt Lancaster.


  37. Gary says:

    Alright, Zulu DAWN…with Burt, Simon Ward, Bob Hoskins,Simon Sabela, and Ann Calder Marshall among many many others. The film was directed by Douglas Hickok who has an interesting history and is the honoree of the Douglas Hickok Award given by the BIFA….and whose children are very active in British film. Otherwise I discovered that the film was a disaster and it seems no one got paid for their work.


  38. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott, Peter O’Toole and Burt Lancaster.


  39. Mary Mallory says:

    Bob Hoskins Wednesday.


  40. Sylvia E. says:

    Darn on the ‘red coats’ miss.

    Friday – Simon Ward, Denholm Elliot, Peter O’Toole and Michael Jayston (I think)
    The close up image shows the back of Simon Ward’s head and the wonderful face of Burt Lancaster.

    In IMdB there’s a great quote from Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who got a “Thanks” credit. He’s very eloquent about the local people who performed their roles and the fact that this film (from 1979) and Zulu (from 1964) were filmed during a time when apartheid was still in place in South Africa. I found it very moving.

    Thanks. I didn’t know much about this movie before or the circumstances of its production. Looking forward to Saturday.


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