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
When notice of their leave is posted, the PA mentions Newcombe and Orantes. These are two tennis players: John Newcombe of Australia and Manuel Orantes of Spain. Newcombe and Orantes only played each other once - in 1973 (which was after the Australians had withdrawn from Vietnam and long after the SAS had withdrawn - October 1971). During their careers, Newcombe won 7 grand slams, whilst Orantes won one. See more »
One of the most realistic war films made. A favorite in my old unit.
A few Australians have already written on this site praising the film for its portrayal of the Australian SAS in Vietnam and commented at length about the scope of the film. I would like to comment about the accurate way the military operations are portrayed. I served in the US Army in the 101st Airborne Division's elite LRSD (Long Range Surveillance Detatchment)where this film was one of our favorites. It was, and still is, the only film we had ever seen that realisticly showed what long range recon patrols are like; slow, concealed, quiet, and sometimes fruitless small team patrols made up of professional soldiers. We were also impressed that the film showed the part of all patrols that movies never show, the planning phase where the operation order is given and reviewed, mission essential equipment is meted out, maps are studied, radio frequencies and callsigns are memorized, and all questions are asked. The film shows the unglamorous and sometimes dull side of special warfare, but is still a must for anyone interested in special operations units that wants to see what it's all about.
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