Guns at Batasi (1964)

Feature Film | Military Drama | UK | English | 1h43m
Dir: John Guillermin | Scr: Robert Holles | Novel: Robert Holles | Ph: Douglas Slocombe | Prod: George H. Brown | Mus: John Addison | Ed: Max Benedict | AD: Maurice Carter | Snd: Don Deacon | Cast: Richard Attenborough, Jack Hawkins, Flora Robson, John Leyton, Mia Farrow, Cecil Parker, Errol John, Graham Stark, Earl Cameron, Percy Herbert, David Lodge, Bernard Horsfall, John Meillon

With the final death knell of colonialism about to ring, an RSM, four sergeants, a private, an MP, and a stranded UN typist find themselves forced to hold up together in the sergeants’ mess when the African country in which they are posted – a former British colony – undergoes a violent regime change. However, when it becomes apparent that they are sheltering a wounded African captain – an alleged opponent of the incoming government – the potential for a war-provoking diplomatic incident becomes distinctly possible, in this enjoyably light-hearted military drama. Solidly crafted, with a number of strongly drawn characters (brought pleasingly to life by the well-assembled cast), and featuring at its heart a seldom better Richard Attenborough as a no-nonsense regimental sergeant major, Guns at Batasi proves an entertaining romp.