Gallipoli

GallipoliBBBB

(out of 5)

Mel Gibson adorns all the cover art for this film’s video and DVD releases, but he’s actually second banana to Mark Lee in this excellent war film. He and Lee play sprinters whose athletic careers are stopped short when they are drafted into the first World War after Australia joins the effort. The two of them are sent to Turkey where they find themselves overwhelmed by their army’s inability to hold off the strength of the Turkish military, and their friendship is affected by it. Going off young and idealistic, their spirits are broken by the reality of war. Peter Weir has made a film that nearly reaches the level of Breaker Morant, a passionate and melancholy war story that tells of a very famous cultural event in Australian history (it’s been called the Aussie Alamo). The performances are superb, the sadness palpable.

Australian Film Commission, R & R Films

Australia, 1981

Directed by Peter Weir

Story by Peter Weir, Screenplay by David Williamson, based on the novel Tell England by Ernest Raymond

Cinematography by Russell Boyd

Film Festivals:  Venice 1981

Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film (Australia)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

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