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Palestine, 1917. The British advance has been stopped by the Turkish line running from Gaza to Beersheba. The latest attack on Gaza has failed. The attacking forces included a regiment of Australian mounted infantry, the Light Horse... Lighthorseman Frank is wounded in a skirmish with Bedouin. He is replaced by a young soldier, Dave, who proves to be a crack shot, but reluctant to fire at the enemy. Dave proves himself during a German biplane attack. Recuperating in hospital, he meets a sympathetic nurse, Anne... The regiment is called upon for a bold flanking attack on Beersheba. But how do you convince the Turks the main attack will come at Gaza? And how do you attack across a desert without water? Written by
Despite the ubiquitous appearance by Sigrid Thorton, and my having to eat crow over my previous comments on Anthony Andrew's acting ability (no scenery chewing or hamming it up here), I very much enjoyed this outstanding Aussie film.
Simon Wincer has directed a wide variety of films, some bad (like the Cheryl Ladd waste of celluloid "Bluegrass" and the turkey "Pharlap") and some very good (like the intense "Harlequin" and the great A&E mini "PT Barnum"). I find this one to be particularly special due to it containing one of the best war sequences on film.
Wincer and his crew have excellently interwoven a beautifully done drama with incredible special effects. The battle sequence at the end if the film is so powerful that even seen on video on an average size home TV it is astounding. Not only is the Lighthorsemen's assault wonderfully choreographed, but the reaction shots of the cast are well performed. You can see the private struggles going on in the face of the big one.
This is not a movie for the faint of heart nor should it be dismissed as just another war movie by those a little leery of the genre.
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