In between drinking cans of Fosters beer, Australian soldiers tread on a few landmines, and generally experience the war in Vietnam.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (adapted from the novel by: "The Odd Angry Shot") (as William Nagle)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Kennedy ...
Harry
John Hargreaves ...
Bung
...
Bill
...
Rogers
Graeme Blundell ...
'Dawson' / Dawson
Richard Moir ...
Medic
...
Scott
Graham Rouse ...
The Cook
John Allen ...
Lieut. Golonka
Tony Barry ...
Black Ronnie
Brandon Burke ...
Isaacs
John Fitzgerald ...
Intelligence Corporal
Mike Harris ...
Sergent Major
Johnny Garfield ...
Padre
Ray Meagher ...
Range Corporal
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Storyline

A group of Australian SAS regiment soldiers are deployed to Vietnam around 1967/8 and encounter the realities of war, from the numbing boredom of camp life and long range patrols, raids and ambushes where nothing happens, to the the terror of enduring mortar barrages from an unseen enemy. Men die and are crippled in combat by firefights and booby traps, soldiers kill and capture the enemy, gather intelligence and retake ground only to cede it again whilst battling against the bureaucracy and obstinacy of the conventional military hierarchy. In the end they return to civilization, forever changed by their experiences but glad to return to the life they once knew. Written by saturn5

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Durch die Hölle Vietnams  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's producer Sue Milliken has said of this movie: '[The novel] was written by a wild Vietnam veteran called Bill Nagle [William L. Nagle] whom we assumed had been in the SAS but eventually it turned out he had been an army cook. Nevertheless, a cook with an ear for the vernacular. The story was told from the soldiers' point of view and was sardonically anti-war. We made this film in 1978, which was only four years after the end of the war, so feelings were still very strong. The book said everything you needed to know about the misery and alienation of fighting a war which should never have been fought in the first place. It was also acerbic and funny, and it was this aspect of the piece, which we emphasized to wary investors as making the story accessible to an audience. After months of perseverance, we got the cooperation of the army, although the army hierarchy was very nervous about anything to do with Vietnam. The soldiers, on the other hand, couldn't have been more helpful. We shot for six weeks at the Land Warfare Centre at Canungra, in the hills behind the Gold Coast. The film is recognized by soldiers in all sorts of places around the world as one of the best films ever made about how a war is fought." See more »

Goofs

During the first skirmish when Scott gets shot, the lieutenant shouts for the 203 (grenade launcher), someone answers that Mick has it and Mick is behind him. However Bill in the forward position doing the firing clearly has the 203 attached to his rifle. See more »

Quotes

Rogers: Hey Harry, we'll stir up the indigenous population when we get there, eh?
Harry: Remember what the man said Rogers. You are the Special Air Service, you are visitors to South Vietnam.
Scott: Better it's over there and not here.
Medic: What do ya mean?
Scott: That we're visitors.
Dawson: Yeah, I can just see my mums face now if old missus Wilson from next door came over for a bit of a natter and sprayed up the place with a seven-point-six-two tracer.
Harry: Scare the Christ out of your flying ducks, wouldn't it?
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Connections

Featured in 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Cares, Anyway
Sung by Normie Rowe
© Leeds Music Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

One of the best of the Viet Nam films
16 March 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Terribly underrated, and generally unknown in the US. Although the film deals with Australian troops in Viet Nam, this could very easily have been any of the US units. Any of us who served on the ground there will recognize these men as buddies we knew. The combat sequences in this film are among the best ever filmed, and until "Platoon" came along, it was one of the few films that portrayed the combat experience in Viet Nam as it really was. Like "84 Charlie MoPic", it's a small film that tells a large story without beating you over the head with its message. When people ask me which are the best films about that endless mess in Viet Nam, this is one of the first films I refer them to (along with "MoPic"). My VHS copy is just about worn out; I never tire of its grim humor and honest story. (USMC, Viet Nam 67-69)


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