A group of Australian SAS regiment soldiers are deployed to Vietnam around 1967/8 and encounter the realities of war, from the numbing boredom of camp life and long range patrols, raids and ambushes where nothing happens, to the the terror of enduring mortar barrages from an unseen enemy. Men die and are crippled in combat by firefights and booby traps, soldiers kill and capture the enemy, gather intelligence and retake ground only to cede it again whilst battling against the bureaucracy and obstinacy of the conventional military hierarchy. In the end they return to civilization, forever changed by their experiences but glad to return to the life they once knew.Written by
This movie was filmed during July and August 1978. See more »
During the first skirmish when Scott gets shot, the lieutenant shouts for the 203 (grenade launcher), someone answers that Mick has it and Mick is behind him. However Bill in the forward position doing the firing clearly has the 203 attached to his rifle. See more »
On recent viewing, I have been surprised by how well the film reflected upon individual Australians' involvement in The Vietnam War. It also, through a couple of monologues from old hand, Graham Kennedy, dispassionately reflected upon the ultimate futility of Australia's involvement. Perhaps its greatest strength was documenting the Australian male character of the times without reverting to a "lovable larrikins" approach. The battle scenes are done without heroics or dramatics. There is a matter of factness about the activities and reactions of the unit that makes them seem all the more realistic.The boredom, routines and irritations of jungle warfare are there as well as the odd angry shot that punctuates guerilla warfare. Loved the low-key ending which resisted taking aim at the unjust treatment of the returning vets but did reflect their estrangement as a presentiment of their future problems in readjusting.
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