Monday, 27 April 2015

Gallipoli Review (Updated)


Release Date: 13th August 1981 - Australia

Production Companies
The Australian Film Commission 
R & R Films

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: War

Rating: M

Runtime: 111 minutes

Budget: A$1,800,000

Box Office Gross: A$11,740,000

Plot Summary
Two young sprinters from
Western Australia, the
cynical larrikin Frank and
the idealistic Archy meet in
1915, during WWI. Friends
and rivals, they enlist and
are sent to fight in Turkey.
A the two men battle in the
chaotic and blood-soaked
trenches of Gallipoli, they
epitomise the sacrifice, the
mateship and the tragic
waste of the men whose
undying courage in the face
of overwhelming odds has
defined Australia's identity

Mark Lee - Archy Hamilton
Mel Gibson - Frank Rudd
Bill Kerr - Jack
Harold Hopkins - Les McCann
Bill Hunter - Major Barton
Robert Grubb - Billy
Tim McKenzie - Barney
David Argue - Snowy
Charles Lathalu Yunipingu -
Ron Graham - Wallace Hamilton
Gerda Nicolson - Rose Hamilton
John Morris - Col. Robinson

Story/Director - Peter Weir
Screenplay - David Williamson
Producers - Patricia Lovell and 
Robert Stigwood
Military Advisor - Bill Gammage
Art Director - Herbert Pinter
Director of Photography - Russell Boyd
Film Editor - William M. Anderson
Music - Brian May

In light of the celebration of Anzac Day and having most immersed myself in some of its history, I felt inspired to review GALLIPOLI as a tribute to all of those brave men who have fallen in that infamous battle which results in the birth of the annual holiday in Australia. I know the film may be historically incorrect, but it didn't stop Peter Weir from directing this Aussie war drama of 1981 which presents a portrait of the tragedy and heartbreak that has befallen in this conflict. Nevertheless, it captures the devastation and how human lives were lost on the battlefield and it exposed us to this theme of mateship which held the men together in close bond and helped them to deal with the trauma experiences of the loss, pain and suffering. To my knowledge that there was only one movie and two miniseries that were based on the battle, instead of features that were set after Gallipoli. Among these one of the features include BENEATH HILL 60 as a noted example. 

Mel Gibson before he was Hollywood's original sweetheart was a superb actor for having portrayed one of the main protagonists when this movie along with MAD MAX 2 had set him into the international borders of film stardom. I'm surprised to find out that his co-star Mark Lee never had the chance to attain this celebrity status that Mel developed in the following years after GALLIPOLI. He still has his moments of his worthwhile performance, but it's never enough to land him an opportunity in presenting himself for bigger roles in pictures.

There is much heartbreak and melancholy left to be seen through audiences after having watched the final half of GALLIPOLI. Nobody can tell that feature would be a deserving well-known classic, even in Australia where it was more popular there and become one of those movies that were in the New Wave cinema resurgence. It's quite a less-pretentious movie and evidently that many will probably get to know as a tribute to the Anzac tradition. 

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

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