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Breaker Morant (1980)

'Breaker' Morant (original title)
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Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.

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Writers:

(play), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Capt. Alfred Taylor
...
...
Lt. Col. Denny (as Charles Tingwell)
Terence Donovan ...
Capt. Simon Hunt
Vincent Ball ...
Col. Ian 'Johnny' Hamilton
Ray Meagher ...
Sgt. Maj. Drummond
...
Cpl. Sharp
Russell Kiefel ...
Christiaan Botha
...
Lt. George Ramsdale Witton
Rod Mullinar ...
Maj. Charles Bolton
Alan Cassell ...
Rob Steele ...
Capt. Robertson
Chris Smith ...
Sgt. Cameron
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Storyline

During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom. Written by Kasper Sevaj <kaspsev@dorit.ihi.ku.dk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When they speak of heroes - of villains - of men who look for action, who choose between honor and revenge - they tell the story of Breaker Morant See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 July 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Breaker Morant  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 650,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The meaning and relevance of this film's 'Breaker Morant' title is that it refers to a nickname of the central character. The word Breaker refers to the breaker of horses (as in breaking horses) whilst Morant refers to the character's surname. The actual complete full name of this film's protagonist was Henry Harbord Morant. Morant was also known by the nickname Harry as in Harry Morant or Harry Harbord Morant. Apparently, it has been alleged that Morant's actual name at birth was Edwin Murrant. See more »

Goofs

In the closeup of a soldier's finger pulling the trigger of his Enfield rifle during Lt Morant's explanation of "Rule 303" to the court, the rifle stays absolutely still when the shot goes off. In actuality, a high-powered rifle like the .303-caliber Enfield would "jump" noticeably at the instant of firing. See more »

Quotes

Peter Handcock: [after helping repel a Boer attack on the prison where he and Morant are being held] Well that broke the monotony.
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Crazy Credits

Introducing Lewis Fitz-Gerald as George Witton See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Bryan Brown in Conversation (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Minstrel Boy
Traditional - Irish
Written by Thomas Moore
Arranged by Eric Cook and his Orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A powerful movie, compelling story, beautifully acted
2 November 2004 | by (Walden, NY) – See all my reviews

"Breaker Morant" is a powerful indictment of colonialism and the extremes to which a government will go to cover its rear end. The characters are brilliantly portrayed, the movie is superbly filmed and the story of the Aussie military unit is a compelling one. The relationships among the soldiers are especially well-presented, and the trial that constitutes the center of the film is not only absorbing but chilling. There are echoes of America's experience in Vietnam, and of the shortcomings of empires other than the British as shown here. In short, it's riveting and well-paced. And the ending, although foreshadowed, isn't given away. It has lessons for our modern world. It's one of my top 10 movies.


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