Apologies to the makers of Saving Private Ryan, Das Boot, Cross of Iron and countless other great war films but this one is for the Brits only. Stiff upper lips, gritty realism and tally ho’s all round.
Regimental Sergeant-Major Lauderdale is a spit-and-polish, by-the-book disciplinarian, who seems like a 19th Century anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British Commonwealth. He is ridiculed behind his back by his subordinate NCO’s and must play host to a liberal female MP making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protege of the MP’s, initiates a coup d’etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful RSM uses all his military training to arm his men despite being under house arrest and rescue the wounded commandant from a certain firing squad. When Lt. 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
Without doubt the best portrayal of an RSM ever seen on screen (although perhaps a bit hammed up), a fantastic performance by Richard Attenborough
Mr. Boniface! I’ve been a member of this Mess for 23 years, Sir. In all that time I’ve never seen anybody, man, woman or child, Sergeant, Warrant Officer, Field Marshal or Prime Minister walk into this mess with his hat upon his head. I do not see you now, Sir.
See the clip here, at about 3 minutes 40, RSM Lauderdale tears Mr Boniface a new one!
Some more gems from the RSM
Mutiny? It’s like the Loch Ness Monster. Heard of it but never actually ran across it!
Give it another pull through and take a chance
and if it wasn’t for people like us you wouldn’t be able to walk around spouting your smarmy silly half baked ideas
Finally, in a scene that will be familiar to anyone who has ever dared not to salute and officer whilst in the presence of an RSM.
Go out and buy this film, its a gem