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Has anyone seen this mini-series besides me? I taped this program from public TV 20 something years ago, put it aside for a wet weekend, and watched it for the first time last night. Seeing as we are once again embroiled in a war, it should be brought back for a repeat viewing. PBS take note.
I don't it is a spoiler when I say that the story is very similar to "The Deer Hunter" and is the usual sad tale of a group of young friends living an idyllic life in pre WWI Australia, with few worries other than finding the right person to settle down with. Billy is the local mischievous scamp, son of a hard drinking failure, who attracts trouble like a lightning rod and who is like catnip to the local women, married or not. Walter is the educated son of a more successful grazier. They meet and both fall for Frances whose father runs a hotel while her mother teaches music in Sydney. War comes and everyone celebrates the "big adventure", bands play, the young men rush off to join up, but little do they realize what they are in for. By the end, as in all such films, lives are changed forever.
The beautiful and nostalgic scenery alone is worth watching, the old pubs, trains, railway stations, farms and gracious old homesteads in New South Wales, Australia. Life moves along at a slow pace - letters to loved ones are written, the girls walk down to the mail box to post their letters kissing them before they drop them in the box. Evenings are spent around the piano. Australians paid a terrible price in the first world war, especially when you consider that it was a European war and they lived on the other side of the world.
I really hope some day it will be available on DVD, or re-shown on TV as I would love to see a good clear copy.
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