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The Lighthorsemen (1987)

PG  |   |  War, Drama  |  8 April 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,066 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 13 critic

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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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
Ralph Cotterill ...
Gen. Friedrich von Kressenstein
Bill Kerr ...
Grant Piro ...
Col. Murray Bourchier
Serge Lazareff ...
John Walton ...
Tim McKenzie ...
Jon Blake ...


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


The fall of an empire... The birth of a legend... See more »


War | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jinetes de leyenda  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


AUD 10,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was made and released approximately seventy years after the events depicted in the film took place during the Great War in 1917. See more »


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 »


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

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User Reviews

Worth every cent just to see the final battle.
12 January 2005 | by (Raleigh, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

I have watched this movie at least five times. Initially, I was a little disappointed by the tedium of the first half of the movie. I began to realize, however, that the first half of the movie is a pretty good reflection of military life prior to the second half of the 20th century: long periods of boredom and routine punctuated by major confrontations.

I've noticed that a few reviewers have remarked on the final "cavalry charge," which suggests to me that they really weren't paying much attention to the movie. The final charge on the Turkish positions is so much more awe-inspiring given the usual tactics of the Lighthorsemen. One of the most thrilling moments is when the Aussies prepare to meet the enemy on horseback and, instead of pulling out the classic cavalrymen's sabers, draw their bayonets for the charge. You almost want to laugh at the sight of 16" knives against the well-emplaced Turks.

This is one of the few war movies based on actual events that is fairly accurate, too. Take a look at some of the sites dedicated to the 4th Light Horse Briagde and you will see what I mean. A letter from one of the actual participants to his brother is an almost perfect description of the events as shown in the movie.

**** out of ***** if only for the charge

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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