A “Forlorn Hope” is when a group is in extreme danger, or even doomed but carries on. It is often a military unit that takes the risky and perilous positions in the offensive or defensive action. The term in French for an equivalent group is “Les Enfants Perdus” or “The Lost Children.” Fictional, or semi-fictional stories have often recounted the adventures of a lost group of individual who face insurmountable odds.
Zulu (1964) tells a fictional version of true events at Rorke’s Drift in January, 1879. A group of 150 British and support troops defended themselves at a mission station against almost 4,000 Zulu warriors who tried to overwhelm them. https://www.amazon.com/Zulu-Stanley-Baker/dp/B00008PC13
In Target Zero (1955), a Hollywood version of a fiction part of the Korean War is represented. A British tank crew, an American infantry squad and a stranded UN nurse band together and hold off a massive attack of North Korean troops. https://www.amazon.com/Target-Zero-Richard-Conte/dp/B00KH67BBI
In Sahara (1943), a small band of U.S., British, and allied troops hold off a large number of German soldiers in the desert near Tobruk. https://www.amazon.com/Sahara-Humphrey-Bogart/dp/B00005R23T
In 55 Days at Peking (1963), a fictionalized story is told of the military legation staff defending the foreign ambassadors in China in 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion. https://www.amazon.com/Days-Peking-All-Region-NTSC/dp/B00108FMFO
An additional list of films with similar plots includes, The 300 Spartans (1962), Apocalypse Now (1979), Battlestar Galactica (Miniseries) (2003), Forlorn Hope 1631 (2009), King Arthur (2004), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Lord Jim (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Last Valley (1971), Seven Samurai (1954), and the retelling of the story, The Magnificent Seven (1960).
More movies listed at: http://www.listal.com/list/fornlorn-hope-movies-superant
I’m obsessed with the idea of forlorn hope. Those individuals so dedicated to achieving their goals that they risk everything, and will not surrender, until the task is done. Each of my books feature forlorn hopes. In Feeling a Way, the town of Rock Springs is treed and must fight with every man, woman, and child against the guru’s fighters. In A Dangerous Way, A handful of library scouts put themselves between two warring armies. The book, In the Horde’s Way features the story of a vastly outnumbered group of fighters trying to stand off against incredible odds. Pratima’s Forbidden Book has two forlorn hope defenses. William’s group defends the compound with the atomic device against an attack, and Pratima’s group must hold the railway bridge until a rescue force can arrive. Asante’s Gullah Journey features a climax where the farmers must defend the library building against an overwhelming force. Even my short story, Pratima’s Engines ends with Pratima and a few friends holding out in the barricaded room. I can’t get away from writing about forlorn hopes.