Richard Attenborough stars as a stalwart sergeant-major, stationed in British colony in Africa. When the colony declares its independence, Attenborough is assigned to keep the peace during the governmental transition. Trouble begins when an insurgent African officer (Errol John) attempts to overthrow the new, British-approved rulers. As the political situation becomes more and complex, Attenborough finds that his deeply entrenched values and beliefs are no longer valid. Based on a novel by Robert Holles, Guns at Batasi is what used to be called a "thinking man's adventure film."