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The Lighthorsemen (1987)

PG | | Drama, War | 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
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


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


Drama | War


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?


Australia's first film about World War I since Gallipoli (1981) about six years earlier. 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

RKO Pictures presents a new 1987 movie!
17 January 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This colossal 1987 production - believe it or not - from RKO PICTURES is an Australian film closely resembling LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in its intent and rightly compared to ZULU. With a huge cast of Oz actors and directed by PHAR LAP (look it up) warhorse Simon Wincer it is basically about the last massive charge in the Middle East desert during World War One....an event still on the yearly Australian military forces roster of "Anzac" celebrations. Many other comments on this site will give you details of the history of the event and rightly applaud this lavish spectacular film. RKO Pictures had reformed with some co financing in the 80s and this is one of their few productions. BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE and THE BORDER are two others that spring to mind produced with Universal Pictures. With a $7 million budget and all of it on screen THE LIGHTHORSE became the last of the truly international films from Australia in the 80s. Others of this time are GALLIPOLI and CAREFUL HE MIGHT HEAR YOU and THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER and WE OF THE NEVER NEVER...each are films made with a lavish widescreen cinema release in mind and each huge Oz successes. THE LIGHTHORSEMEN is well worth the 140 minutes or so of carefully paced storytelling, all laced with Aussie humor and superb design and photography. The charge in the last two reels is truly breathtaking and on a cinema screen was particularly overwhelming, rivaling the battle charge in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA for sheer thrilling visuals. No CGI in this film... it is all real and scary and played and filmed for keeps. One thrill for cinema owners of the day was to have the film commence with the original cinema scope RKO logo...beeping away from the tower on top of the world. Wonderful!

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