Zulu Dawn is a 1979 American adventure war film about the historical Battle of Isandlwana between British and Zulu forces in 1879 in South Africa. The screenplay was by Cy Endfield, from his book, and Anthony Storey. The film was directed by Douglas Hickox. The score was composed by Elmer Bernstein.


In the Cape Colony in January 1879, British Army officer Lord Chelmsford plots with diplomat Sir Henry Bartle Frere to annex the neighbouring Zulu Empire, which they perceive as a threat to the Cape Colony's emerging industrial economy. Frere issues an ultimatum to the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, demanding that he dissolve the Zulu military; an indignant Cetshwayo rebuffs the demand, providing Lord Chelmsford and Frere with a casus belli against the Zulus. Despite objections from prominent individuals in the Cape Colony and Great Britain, Frere authorises Lord Chelmsford to command a British expeditionary force to invade the Zulu Empire.