Breaker Morant

Breaker MorantBBBBB

(out of 5)


Riveting drama based on the play by Kenneth Ross, about three Australian soldiers on trial in a military court for the execution of Boer prisoners. The dead men had been captured in a raid that was committed as revenge for the murder of a superior officer, but now the Australian army wants to end the war and uses the accused as scapegoats to avoid the revelation of more important war crimes further up the food chain. Although the soldiers’ lawyer (a wonderfully energetic ) puts on a terrific case, the outcome of what is basically a show trial is so obviously decided before it has even begun that one wonders why they bother with the formality of it all:  the formality, as it turns out, is the basis of everything. You’ll be at the edge of your seat thanks to all the terrific performances, the screenplay executed perfectly and the outcome appropriately heartstopping. Definitely up there among the best courtroom dramas ever filmed.


The South Australian Film Corporation, The Australian Film Commission, 7 Network, Pact Productions

Australia, 1980

Directed by

Screenplay by , , Bruce Beresford, based on the play by , additional material from The Breaker by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1980

Cannes Film Festival 1980

Golden Globe Awards 1980

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One thought on “Breaker Morant

  1. Based on a true story. Because of what happened it was a condition of entry into WW1 that Australian troops could NOT be tried or executed for cowardice by British tribunals. No Australian soldier was shot as a punishment as a result.

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