7.1/10
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29 user 10 critic

Guns at Batasi (1964)

An anachronistic strict Regimental Sergeant Major, on a remote Colonial African Army caught in a local coup d'etat, must use his experience to defend those in his care.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Robert Holles (screenplay), Robert Holles (novel) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Attenborough ... Regimental Sgt. Major Lauderdale
Jack Hawkins ... Colonel Deal
Flora Robson ... Miss Barker-Wise
John Leyton ... Private Wilkes
Mia Farrow ... Karen Eriksson
Cecil Parker ... Fletcher
Errol John Errol John ... Lieut. Boniface
Graham Stark ... Sgt. 'Dodger' Brown
Earl Cameron ... Captain Abraham
Percy Herbert ... Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin
David Lodge ... Sgt. 'Muscles' Dunn
Bernard Horsfall ... Sgt. 'Schoolie' Prideaux
John Meillon ... Sgt. 'Aussie' Drake
Horace James Horace James ... Corporal Abou
Patrick Holt ... Captain
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Storyline

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 (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

These were the last of the great adventurers - suddenly besieged in a jungle powderkeg half way between heaven and hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Les canons de Batasi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite what is posted above, the portrait of the Queen on horseback is seen several times throughout the movie above the bar in the Sergeants' mess. See more »

Goofs

At regimental dinners in the Sgts Mess, the Loyal Toast is always proposed by Mr Vice, the junior member of the mess, and not by the RSM. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: [singing as he drives a truck] She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes. She'll be comin'
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Can't you sing in tune?
Sgt. Dodger Brown: round the mountain when she comes!
[pause as truck bumps over rough road]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Hey, Ben, you know I was just thinkin'. Back home they wouldn't let me drive a scooter without taking a test.
[chuckles]
Sgt. Dodger Brown: Marvelous, isn't it?
[thud as truck jolts]
Colour Sgt. Ben Parkin: Marvelous
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pestilent City (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Little-Seen Excellent Motion Picture
26 August 2006 | by mphilipmSee all my reviews

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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