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The Lighthorsemen (1987)

PG | | War, Drama | 8 April 1988 (USA)
In 1917 when the British forces are bogged down in front of the Turkish and German lines in Palestine they rely on the Australian light horse regiment to break the deadlock.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Phelps ...
Dave Mitchell
Nick Waters ...
Lighthorse Sergeant
John Larking ...
Station Master
John Heywood ...
Dave's Dad
Di O'Connor ...
Dave's Mum
...
Reichert
Ralph Cotterill ...
Gen. Friedrich von Kressenstein
Bill Kerr ...
Grant Piro ...
Charlie
...
Col. Murray Bourchier
Serge Lazareff ...
Rankin
...
Frank
John Walton ...
Tas
Tim McKenzie ...
Chiller
Jon Blake ...
Scotty
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Storyline

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 David Stanko

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story of war, love and courage. See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jinetes de leyenda  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 10,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Bonner bears a remarkable likeness to the real Col. Murray Bourchier. He played Bourchier again in '"The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' Palestine, October 1917 (1993)'. See more »

Quotes

Dave: Hey, Scotty, you're not Scotch, are you?
Scotty: No.
Dave: Then, why do they call you Scotty?
[Scotty thinks]
Scotty: Cause I'm Irish.
See more »


Soundtracks

AUSTRALIA WILL BE THERE
Music and lyrics by W.W. 'Skipper' Francis
By Arrangement with Allans Music (Australia) Pty. Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spectacular Australian film about the men of a World War I light horse unit involved in the 1917 Battle of Beersheeba.
11 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

This impressive flick is based on a true story and most of the characters in the film were based on real people and dealing with the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers . The film follows Four Australians, Frank (Gary Sweet), Scotty (Jon Blake who was injured in a car accident and he suffered permanent paralysis and brain damage until his recent death) an Irish-Australian, Chiller (Tim McKenzie) and Tas (John Walton) in Palestine in 1917, part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade of the British and Commonwealth Dominion forces. When Frank is wounded and dies of his wounds, he is replaced by Dave (Peter Phelps). Dave finds himself unable to fire his weapon in combat and is transferred to the Medical Corps, where he will not need to carry a weapon, but where he will still be exposed to the fighting . After the Second Battle of Gaza ended in complete failure, General Archibald Murray (Tony Bonner) , the commander in chief of the British forces in Egypt and Palestine, was replaced by the distinguished cavalry commander, General Edmund Allenby (Anthony Hawkins) , formerly the commander of the British Third Army on the Western Front to carry out the British plan the capture of Beersheba. During an attack by Turkish cavalry, Major Richard Meinertzhagen (Anthony Andrews) deliberately leaves behind documents indicating that the attack on Beersheba will only be a diversion. At the ending there takes place the Battle of Beersheba (Turkish: Birüssebi Savaşı) that was one critical element of a wider British offensive, known as the Third Battle of Gaza, aimed at breaking the Ottoman defensive line that stretched from Gaza on the Mediterranean shore to Beersheba ; it took place on 31 October 1917, as part of the Sinai and Palestine campaign during World War I . Notable was the charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, which covered some 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) to overrun and capture the last remaining Ottoman trenches, and secure the surviving wells at Birüssebi . The total losses incurred by the Desert Mounted Corps was 53 men killed and 144 wounded. The heaviest Allied losses were suffered by the British infantry of XX Corps, which lost 116 killed in action, although the total number of men killed during the battle from the British force was far greater, totalling 171 men.

It follows in the wake of other Australian New Wave war movies such as Breaker Morant (1980), Gallipoli (1981), and the 5-part TV series Anzacs (1985). Recurring issues of these films include the Australian identity , such as mateship and friendship , ANZAC spirit , the loss of innocence in war, and breathtaking battles spectacularly filmed . Acceptable acting from main and support cast including prestigious Aussie/English actors such as Anthony Andrews , Shane Bryant , Sigrid Thornton , Tony Bonner , Gary Tweed , Bill Kerr , though none of the performances are really bad, but none are very good . Gorgeous outdoors are well photographed by cameraman Dan Cundey . Despite being set in Palestine and Egypt, the film was shot entirely on location in Victoria and Hawker, South Australia . Rousing and emotive musical score was composed by Mario Millo. It was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography and won an Australian Film Institute award in 1988 for Best Original Music Score and another for Best Achievement in Sound. It grossed a lot of money at the box office in Australia . Sensational directorial by the notorious filmmaker Simon Wincer, a Western expert, as he emigrated Hollywood and subsequently directed to Tom Selleck in ¨Monte Walsh¨ , ¨Crossfire trail¨ and ¨Quigley Down Under¨ to Paul Hogan in ¨Relampago Jack¨ and ¨Cocodrile Dundee in L.A.¨ and usually directs episodes for TV mini-series, such as ¨Into the West¨, ¨The Ponderosa¨ , ¨Lonesome Dove¨ and ¨The adventures of young Indiana Jones¨ , among others . Rating: good for the sensitive direction and proficient film-making ; the result is a sort of pacifist-aggressive war adventure . Worthwhile watching .


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