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The story of a group of young Australian men who leave their various backgrounds behind and sign up to join the ANZACs in World War I. They are sent to Gallipoli, where they encounter the resolute Turkish army. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Introducing his song "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (which is about Gallipoli - look it up on YouTube) Australian singer/songwriter Eric Bogle mentioned that while the battle was at its worst, Australia was considering adopting conscription to meet manpower needs. There was a vote, and the plan was rejected. Soldiers were allowed to vote, and, although it would possibly have reduced their own load and risks, the soldiers at Gallipoli rejected the plan by double the margin of the civilian vote. See more »
The movie opens with young Archy Hamilton running a 100-yard practice sprint at dawn, with his uncle keeping time with a stopwatch. After Archy finishes the race, his uncle shows him the watch and Archy's time is just under 10 seconds (9.58 seconds). If one times Archy's sprint, however, it actually consumes about 15 seconds of screen time. See more »
"Gallipoli" is a great little war film that is rarely mentioned, but one that can certainly stand up to the likes of "Saving Private Ryan" and movies of the big budget blockbuster kind. It tells the story of Archy (Mark Lee), a young Australian runner, and Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson), another runner. Both of them have great potential as runners, and they meet at a race where Archy beats Frank. Archy is running off to join World War I, and when it is revealed at the enlistment office that he is underage, Frank takes him to Perth to sign up there. Frank has no intention of joining the war, because he doesn't want to die for a cause that isn't really an Australian one. (An early Mel Gibson movie that takes an anti-British stance) Eventually he decides to join, and the rest of the story follows the two men in their various encounters throughout the war.
The story is well told, focusing on the development of the two main characters rather than battle sequences. The two contrast each other. Frank is worldly, and cynical, not ready to die for a foolish cause, while Archy is naive and idealistic. It is an excellent study the way the two personalities react to the war.
"Gallipoli" will rarely be mentioned in the same breath as most of the most famous war movies, but it is certainly one of the best at revealing the humanity that exists at the front lines. It is a well made film, and an extremely moving story.
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