Gallipoli (1981)

This movie is about the famous failed World War One military operation to attack Gallipoli as told from the prospective of the Australian army.   The movie started off life as a 2 part mini-series that was later edited into a feature length.

The first half of the movie is the back story of all the characters who find themselves signing up to the war effort.  It is by’n’large seen as a noble effort to go and fight for their country, even though the distance here is literally half way around the world.  Of course not everyone is so keen to go and be killed, with a very young Mel Gibson, Frank, as competitive runner who has plans to open his own bike shop and not get killed.

He falls in with Archy (Mark Lee), another competitive runner, who is the polar opposite in terms of his views to go and fight.  They become good friends and Mel helps him get to the next recruitment station that will turn a blind eye to the fact he isn’t 18 yet.

Archy gets his dreams and is accepted into the Light Brigade, after Frank failed due to not able to ride a horse.  They part ways and Frank attempts to go after his dream, but he’s broke.  He bumps into his old train worker mates who are all wanting to sign up and he eventually throws his luck in with them and they all go together.

The second half of the movie see’s the boys in Gallipoli and them coping with life on the front line.

The story does have a huge slant towards the Australian view of the war, making it look like the British were the bad guys here.  The director, 

Peter Weir, has since regretted this bias given it was an Australian officer that demanded the boys go over the top to their assured death.

Other than that huge historical blunder, there is a distinct made-for-TV feel about it, but doesn’t detract too much away from an excellent story.


Viewing Date
Friday, 2nd October 2015


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Author: Alan Williamson

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