After World War II, a Highland Regiment's acting Commanding Officer, who rose from the ranks, is replaced by a peace-time Oxford-educated Commanding Officer, leading to a dramatic conflict between the two.
Regimental Sergeant Major Lauderdale is a spit-and-polish, by-the-book strict disciplinarian, who seems like a nineteenth century anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British Commonwealth. He is ridiculed behind his back by his subordinate N.C.O.s, and must play host to a liberal female M.P. making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protege of the M.P., initiates a coup d'etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful Regimental Sergeant Major uses all of his military training to arm his men, despite being under house arrest, and rescue the wounded commandant from a certain firing squad. When Lieutenant Boniface, the leader of the mutiny, surrounds the Sergeants' mess with two Bofors guns, it looks like Lauderdale will have to surrender, unless he again disobeys orders and takes the initiative.Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
Richard Attenborough gave a performance in this film worthy of an Oscar and everyone in the movie shone. The writing, the direction, the experience are what movies are all about and time has not dimmed the significance of the content. It seemed to be a lost film for many years but has come out on DVD with the usual--and in this case--entertaining extras. It is billed as a "war film" but it is much more than that, an action film in the way in which Master and Commander is an action film, exciting but significant as well, since it illustrates a point of view with which you may agree or disagree but which you will see distinctly after a viewing, comparisons and contrasts being inherent to the vehicle itself. Mia Farrow debuted in this but it is an English movie with a fine supporting cast including Jack Hawkins in a final speaking role.
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