Gallipoli (1981) Poster


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One of the great war films
BillThierfelder7 April 2003
Once again, I've had the pleasure of showing this film to one of my College literature classes; we're studying the World War One poets of England, and this film shows my students in vivid detail what made this war so different from anything that had come before it. The world lost its innocence with "The Great War," and we are still reeling from the consequences a century later. Peter Weir's magnificent film follows the story of two best "mates" from the Australian outback and their sudden thrust into the realities of a new world order. Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, and a fine cast create the sense of brotherhood and horror that makes this film so profoundly moving. The last 20 minutes spares the audience no detail, and while more recent films like "Black Hawk Down" and "Saving Private Ryan" are perhaps more graphic, "Gallipoli" immerses us in the human loss more fully. In "Gallipoli" we get to know these friends in intimate detail, making the losses they suffer in the end truly gut wrenching. Five stars out of five stars.
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An engrossing movie with one of the best endings in cinema.
seger_now3 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
'Gallipoli' is the story of two young sprinters who join the war effort in Turkey during World War I. There have been countless war films in cinema history covering the different wars, the horrors of war, etc. What is unique about this story is its probing of two young friends and their journey into the military effort--unlike other war films, which deal directly with the war, 90% of this film follows the journey of these two young men before they transfer over to the war. The special quality of this is that the viewer gets to know these two protagonists very well and their humble lives in Australia--which makes the tragic ending all the more devastating. The last 20 or 30 minutes of the film is spent at the Gallipoli peninsula, inside the war trenches. The generals vainly send men running toward the enemy and they are swiftly slaughtered. These scenes demonstrate the horrible truth of war, that healthy young men with lives ahead of them are destroyed forever in a single, pointless instance.

The final minute of the film is truly heartbreaking, as a tragedy occurs between the two young friends. The very last shot of the film is stunning, as a horrible image is frozen on screen. Director Weir could have fallen into the sentimentality trap, but he was smart: the tragedy occurs, and the moment it does, the movie ends RIGHT THERE, leaving you with a haunting final image.

A landmark war film, highly recommended.
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Not in top 250??
SpringsNoir26 September 2006
I taught HS history and used very few commercial movies in teaching...the exceptions included GALLIPOLI and PATHS OF GLORY and the newer remake of ALL QUIET. I've never watched a film that builds plot, mood and theme any better than Gallipoli. While there are many light-hearted and humorous forays which add to character development, the ongoing drum-beat of the film is war, war, war--attack, attack, attack. I can't imagine any better musical score or musical editing:the juxtaposition of elegant Strauss waltzes the night before debarkation with the funereal Adagio as the troops cross the water is genius. I'm surprised that we haven't seen more of Marc Lee-the idealistic Archie. He does a wonderful job along with a VERY young Mel Gibson. When I showed the movie to my classes I was careful to watch THE STUDENTS as the final scenes arrived rather than the film. Now THAT was telling! I absolutely commend this film to all! (ADDED)BTW...Brits---try not to take the criticism of the military operation as criticism of YOU...I think the entire film was meant to be an indictment of war as an instrument of national policy. Your very own John Keegan observed that once wars begin, they have a way of creating their own momentum and justification. It's for this reason that Herodotus said that "all wars are popular in their inception". The film, as I viewed it, was about the futility of war, the fixation of military commanders to fix the "previous war" and the price we pay for stupidity. The lesson should not be lost on the US in Iraq either.
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Nearly flawless
Boyo-230 July 2001
There is not a lot wrong with this movie. The entire thing seems authentic - meaning you feel like you're in Australia in 1915. You are living on a farm, running in a race and ultimately in a war.

What is also very extraordinary is that there is not really a lot that happens, there is barely a plot. But it doesn't matter, because Peter Weir is a master storyteller. The actors are all superb and your heart may hurt at the climax - mine did.

Unforgettable, like all great movies.
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How fast can you run?
FrenchEddieFelson30 April 2019
Filmed in a period of cinematographic transition, between, on the first hand, the old Hollywood productions like The Longest Day (Ken Annakin and 4 others, 1962), A Bridge Too Far (Richard Attenborough, 1977) or The Great Escape (John Sturges, 1963) sometimes completely disconnected from the reality and the atrocities perpetrated on the battlefield by both sides and, on the other hand, darker and immeasurably more realistic productions from the late 70s, such as Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985), The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978), Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, 1981) and Le vieux fusil (Robert Enrico, 1975).

Indeed, if the first part of this movie is of a distressing insouciance, the two main protagonists striving to leave Australia to join the peninsula of Gallipoli, Turkey, like two children expecting their next summer camp, the second part is cold and raw, unbridled and cruel. In this respect, the film is appropriately lulled by the album Oxygène (Jean-Michel Jarre, 1976) for the sequences full of hope and carefree, camaraderie and friendship and the adagio of Albinoni (Remo Giazotto, 1945) for the poignant sequences of courage and sacrifice.

A moving film with a neat realization and an excellent cast.
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A devastating portrayal of individuals lost as many.
PlushZombie129 April 2005
All of our characters spend the entire first half of this movie developing their personalities, and letting the audience get to know them. The cast signs up for war, considering it to be just the sport that it had been in past days. Instead, all of them, with their individual phrases, look, and persona, join a cannon-fodder army which could indeed be compared to hell itself.

One of the particular themes that shows in this movie is the replacement of conventional weapons. No longer are the glory days when a man could be shot, shake hands with his foe, and call it a day. Instead, we watch many of our innocent, sporty youths run up to "fight the turks," and barely take one step before the loud rattling of a machine gun renders him mutilated beyond all recognition. Indeed, the heroes barely comprehend the concept of death, as one of the most harrowing lines states: "Barney. He's dead. He was standin' right beside me, and I- and I though' he jus' tripped and fell. Y'know, B-barney's like that. He's- He...Was always clumsy."

Another is the use of your allies and soldiers as cannon fodder. To supposedly "let the British advance into the peninsula," the Australian troops, including our youths, are forced to run directly into the no-mans' land, being shredded into kindling while their superiors question their ability as soldiers. "Why aren't we advancing?" "But sir, all of our men, they barely get out of the holes and they die!" "I don't care. We won't win until we advance. The fight must go on."

A movie that easily sheds tears (well, I cried), Gallipoli is not necessarily a film to enjoy, but instead to reveal the dark side of the "modernized" Western World.
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A great anti-war film
MovieAddict201622 September 2005
Peter Weir has long been one of my favorite directors, and he has had a career consumed by subtle, quiet, lingering films. He can make the most banal concept seem thrilling and suspenseful; a perfect example is the Harrison Ford film "Witness." It could have easily become a stupid, insulting, exploitative "thriller." The ending is, in retrospect, quite ridiculous. But Weir has a strange ability to make anything seem realistic.

"Gallipoli" is one of his older films, from 1981, and it stars a huge cast of names - most famous today, of course, Mel Gibson...whose name is now splattered across the front of the DVD case.

The story is a true one and follows a group of young Australian men who join the ANZACs in World War I. They are sent to Gallipoli, and amidst personal and emotional turmoil they must learn to band together and fight the Turkish Army.

The movie is long, as another reviewer on the site points out. But all of Weir's films are. What I didn't like about his most recent - "Master & Commander" - is that it used special effects (exteriors of ships, etc.) and action sequences (raging storms) to compensate for the slow bits... and came across (to me anyway) as quite dull and down-trodden.

"Gallipoli" is a great film - slow, subtle, low-key. It's a bit like an Australian version of "All Quiet on the Western Front." I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys slower films and can appreciate character-driven dramas. Don't go near it if your attention span was dimming during "xXx2."
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Sad but true story
fred-houpt19 January 2005
Terrific film that so succinctly sums up the passion and the innocence of the Aussie soldiers as they gave their lives up for a cause not their own, believing to the end that duty demanded that they make a good showing of themselves. This story is based in historical fact and is still discussed today as one of the most terrible follies foisted upon young men by totally incompetent military leaders. There are even worse stories that are told about the wars outcome in France and Belgium but this film captures enough of the tragedy to drive home the point of how mad all wars are.

The very young and handsome and Aussie sounding Mel Gibson is very convincing as are the entire cast. Peter Weir crafted a heart wrenching film which ends with a moment that you just can not shake from your mind. Great film and very moving.
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Why "War on Terror" is an impossible contradiction
lawofthebicycle19 January 2004
A lesson still sadly unlearned by today's great "Empire" - this film builds perfectly to show that war IS terror. In 1915, as today, it is not the ruling elites that ultimately face that terror, but everyday people full of precious dreams and yet-to-be-fulfilled promise. "Gallipoli" follows the adventure of two Australian mates fighting for the British Empire in a badly-managed attack in Turkey during WW1. The deckchairs have been somewhat rearranged these days, but the message is as relevant, as chilling and as powerful as ever. A true classic.
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The Peter Weir War Film
gavin694214 May 2015
Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Peter Weir has made some great films and has been the key contributor to Australian cinema. In fact, it is hard to imagine anyone who has done more. Nicolas Roeg may have helped, and Peter Jackson has pushed New Zealand (which probably overflows to Australia), but Weir seems to be largely the sole force.

Mel Gibson appears in the film, more or less before he went big. Definitely before he reclaimed his American status (something he is still trying to do today, actually). Not his finest role, and certainly not his most memorable, but oh well. This is also, by the way, not among Weir's best films. But even a bad Weir is a good film.
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Top Australian drama
BadWebDiver9 November 2002
The Australian classic, handling a subject that is a significant part of Australian history and culture. The characters are heart-felt and sincere, without the standard mawkishness of American movies. They reflect the underdog, larrakin nature of the traditional Aussie spirit. This is the closest most Australians get to a blatant flag-waving exercise, so let us enjoy it! It certainly helps make ANZAC Day ceremonies a lot more meaningful to the younger generations, who need full-color pictures to help visualize the events. Of course it shouldn't be taken as a documentary, but I have heard that most war veterans approved of the dramatization.
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Where Australia Became A Nation
bkoganbing18 June 2008
A stranger seeing the title Gallipoli might think one was going to view a kind of docudrama along the lines of The Longest Day. That's certainly a film waiting to be made. Instead one's going to see the friendship of two sprinters, Mark Lee and Mel Gibson, and how they join the Australian Army which sent a lot of its best and brightest to fight in a faraway war in Europe which really Australia had nothing to do with.

Australia was a nation at that point for only 14 years in 1915. The various colonies and the great unsettled middle united and achieved independence from Great Britain in 1901. It had developed no real traditions as a nation up to that point. The USA had some similar growth pangs, many historians hold that we didn't become a nation really until the end of the Civil War.

The Aussie fascination with sports is shown here. Part of the recent frontier tradition is the explanation usually given. Mark Lee is a sprinter, training to represent Australia in the Olympics to come. Mel Gibson is also a sprinter, but takes a rather more casual attitude towards it. Reference is made to Harry Lascelles who was an Australian track star of the period. In fact Lee when he enlists adopts that as a last name and lies about his age. In Australia sports stars aren't just athletes with inflated egos and paychecks like they are in America. From Harry Lascelles, to Rod Laver, to Murray Rose, right down to Ian Thorpe, these people are national icons.

Gibson and Lee's army service and the Gallipoli campaign only occupy a third of the film. In the next World War, Winston Churchill who had a big hand in conceiving this operation called the landings at Anzio a "beached whale". The difference there though was that eventually the Allied Armies did hook up with the Anzio beachhead in a few months. You had a similar beached whale at ANZAC cove on the Gallipoli peninsula with Aussie and Kiwi troops from the ANZAC countries with these troops established on a beachhead, but unable to move in any direction.

The idea behind Gallipoli was to seize it and march forward and seize control of the straights of the Dardenelles and Bosporus so supplies to Russia would get through and knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. To rescue this operation which was in trouble, the Allied commander Sir Ian Hamilton landed another army at Suvla Bay on the other side of the peninsula. Those two armies never hooked up and now there were two beached whales on Gallipoli and no other Allied Army looking to hook up with them.

It's this particular action and what happens to Gibson and Lee as two of the thousands still stuck at ANZAC cove that is the heart of the story.

Mel Gibson of course became an international star shortly. I'm surprised Mark Lee didn't though he's had a successful career in Australia. In fact I was most impressed by the touching performance he delivers here.

All the young men who died in that operation who bonded together on those beachheads and those who survived took back a national identity with them. No one was from Victoria, New South Wales, Western Territory etc. they were all Aussies now, but it was a terrible price. And in a war that really had nothing to do with Australia. That fact entered into the thinking in Australia and New Zealand come the second war when there was very much a threat to the continent/island nation's very existence. Bitter lessons from Gallipoli impressed on that generation of Australia's best and brightest.

Though a Longest Day type film about Gallipoli should be made, this one will do quite nicely. I recommend it highly, especially for us Yanks who want to know what makes a great nation tick.
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Not quite a home run
senor_spielbergo1238 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers

I was drawn in, liked the characters as well as their actor's performances (although I have to admit I didn't recognize Mel Gibson at first). It is not a bad movie by any means, but I have a few problems with it.

Historical inaccuracies. This is something that most (anti-)war movies have to balance with artistic vision. This movie was made by an Australian director and it feels like it. (From what I've heard, he regretted a few artistic decisions later on.)

The movie portrays the situation as if British officers used ANZAC troops as cannon fodder in the Gallipoli mission. This is factually wrong, as there were also numerous French and British casualties. Most soldiers in WWI were cannon fodder. But then again, the movie is told from the perspective of the Australians and it might feel like they fought in a war that was mostly Britain's thing. Talking of perspective: There is a line in the movie that says the Germans started the Great War and that they wanted to conquer the world, including Australia. Again, this is nonsense, but it makes sense in movie context, because, that's probably all the political understanding young men from Western Australia would have had at the time. (It also can be a seen as a meta commentary that the average audience member even today might lack knowledge to tell that this is distorted history.)

I like that one of our two main characters is enthusiastic about joining the war and one holds the "doesn't concern me, it's England's war" mentality until he is kind of swayed into going. There's a lot of this feelings in the movie: nationalistic pride and a sense of adventure (which also Euopean young men would have had) and a sense of pointlessness about this war.) The fact that the younger (and arguably more likable) one of them, is the one who dies in the end, because Mel Gibson's character failed against time, makes everything even more bitter.

I was positively surprised by the freeze frame ending. It gave a bit of a gut punch and a lasting bitter taste, which is fitting for the anti-war matter. But in total, the drama fell a bit short and there is a lack of epicness. The rest of the movie was also less surprising. You can't blame the movie for being cliché, because it predates many well-known war-movies that perfected the formula (Saving Private Ryan). On the other hand, it takes up some techniques that Kubrick mastered in Paths of Glory 24 years before this movie. Grand battle scenery and an eery feel of claustrophobia and doom are kind of absent here, however.

The structure: A great portion of the film is set in Australia and it takes our heroes a long way from home (running tracks in Western Australia) to being stationed in Kairo (playing rugby under pyramids and sleeping with local prositutes) to finally fighting in Turkey, where everything comes to a quick end. This symbolizes how long the feeling of adventure lasted in contrast to how abrupt a young men's life came to an end in this cruel war. (There is also a great symbolism about growing up coming from the Jungle Book reading scene in the beginning, where Mogli has reached manhood and had to leave the wolves.) The pacing is an interesting choice, but it asks for a patient audience.

Oh and: The one specific 80ies synth score hasn't really aged well.
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***1/2 out of ****
kyle_c15 August 2002
"Gallipoli" is a great little war film that is rarely mentioned, but one that can certainly stand up to the likes of "Saving Private Ryan" and movies of the big budget blockbuster kind. It tells the story of Archy (Mark Lee), a young Australian runner, and Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson), another runner. Both of them have great potential as runners, and they meet at a race where Archy beats Frank. Archy is running off to join World War I, and when it is revealed at the enlistment office that he is underage, Frank takes him to Perth to sign up there. Frank has no intention of joining the war, because he doesn't want to die for a cause that isn't really an Australian one. (An early Mel Gibson movie that takes an anti-British stance) Eventually he decides to join, and the rest of the story follows the two men in their various encounters throughout the war.

The story is well told, focusing on the development of the two main characters rather than battle sequences. The two contrast each other. Frank is worldly, and cynical, not ready to die for a foolish cause, while Archy is naive and idealistic. It is an excellent study the way the two personalities react to the war.

"Gallipoli" will rarely be mentioned in the same breath as most of the most famous war movies, but it is certainly one of the best at revealing the humanity that exists at the front lines. It is a well made film, and an extremely moving story.
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Atypical movie from Weir on war.
rmax30482321 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
A lot male bonding goes on in Australia although men don't talk about it as such. The word "mate" can mean anything from "casual acquaintance" to "close friend," and is slung about freely. That word -- and the shared interest in friendly competition, sports, and beer -- are about the only ways this bonding is expressed. And it's all done in a lighthearted way, joking and grabass, not the deadly serious way it shows up in some male groups -- "Women have no place in this business," that sort of thing. How male solidarity develops, nobody knows, but in the case of Australia it may have something to do with the founder effect. The continent was after all settled by outcasts who had nothing in common except their marginal status. And aboriginal Australia was always a bastion of male solidarity, with lots of secret societies from whose rituals women and kids were excluded.

That male bonding is basically what this movie is about, not war. We get to know two mates -- Mark Lee and Mel Gibson -- and through them, a number of others. There's hardly a woman in the picture, even before the men join the army. If it's a war picture, it's a mighty odd one. It's an odd movie for Peter Weir too. His specialty is the projection of a mood of ominous languor, and this is his most raucous work. Not that he's lost his taste for portents of doom. The men play a rough game of football and then Weir gives us a long look at the broken face of the Sphynx and has one of the men say that the Egyptians were the first people to try to beat death.

Gibson and Lee are speedy runners, and Gibson is given the job of beating death by human effort and he fails. The Australians launch wave after wave of bayonet attacks against a well-fortified Turkish position and are mowed down uselessly. (Their attack was supposed to be a diversion and turns out to have been unnecessary.) What a waste. Winston Churchill was partly responsible and the failure of his plan may have influenced the caution he showed during World War II. His attitude towards the Americans' eagerness to attack quickly and directly could be summed up as, "You don't know what it's like."

The acting is good. When I first saw this I thought Mark Lee might become a bankable star because he seemed the more handsome of the two. On an additional viewing, he comes across as, not effeminate, but pretty, and his voice is high which seems to sap him of strength. Gibson is darker and more of a wisecracking opportunist, and the better actor of the two.

Everything leads up to the climactic charge. There isn't really very much action. What there is, is violent and quick. The most gripping scene in the film is the final one, just before the third useless wave goes over the top to its death, the wave that Lee is part of. And we see soldiers stripping themselves of their wedding rings and other sentimental objects, writing final notes to loved ones, hanging their pitiful effects from bayonets stuck into the sandbags. The scene isn't wrung for artificial tears. It doesn't have to be.

Of all the wars of the last century, World War I, which used to be called "The Great War", was probably the most mismanaged. The aristocratic officer corps was out of touch with its men and often treated them as expendable material. Sometimes it was okay to lose 10,000 of your troops if it meant the enemy would lose 11,000 of his.

It ought to be mentioned that the use of Albinoni and other composers is apt but there is an underscore of electronic pops and ricochets that doesn't fit at all.

This is an atypical movie, one well worth watching.
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Not a war film
Perelandra25 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING: Possible spoilers!!

Gallipoli is not a war film. It is a film about two boys. And because of this, Peter Weir takes the time to develop their characters, forming the solid friendship theme which is absolutely beautiful, and doesn't sacrifice this for hours and hours of explosions and special effects. Not that Gallipoli is slow and boring- the ending had me writhing in suspense- but the point isn't the war, it's the characters. That being said, Gallipoli certainly highlights the stupidity and accidents of war. I put Gallipoli in my top twenty film list (not that I HAVE a top twenty film list, but if I did it would be in there!), and it also has the dubious distinction as being the only R16 movie I've ever seen-- I think. The rating is way off, though, it wasn't that graphic except for at the very end, which was one of the best movie moments I've ever cried at. And the Australian accents were refreshingly good.
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Another Minor Aussie Classic
mick_smyth8 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is up there with "Breaker Morant" and other Australian movies which tell such a good story on a shoestring budget. The character definition by Weir is superb and the story unfolds beautfiully.

This is a seminal part of Australian, (and New Zealand, and Irish and Welsh), history and is told in a slightly sentimental way, but without histrionics. That's what makes it so good. It captures the Australian way of life at the time and how the young men from that country lost their innocence.

Some excellent comedy set-pieces set against the butality of war. 10 out of 10, absolute must see, if you haven't seen it before.
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Had a tear in my eye when I was 14 and still do watching it at 48... makes you re examine life
fascistbully30 April 2018
First saw this movie when I was 14. I remember being angry and upset at the ending. Re-discovered the movie in 2003 as a World History teacher. Starting showing my classes this movie and always interested to see the students reactions at the final scene. I have read numerous books dealing with Gallipoli as well as conversing with members of the Australian Light Horse Association regarding the film and the Gallipoli Campaign itself. Learned a great deal about the event and have a profound respect for those men and what they stood for. Its sad that the mentality and character that those men had are no longer found today...Lest We Forget
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Should Check This Out On Widescreen
ccthemovieman-16 June 2006
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this film, if you have never seen it, is to see Mel Gibson at such a young age. He was still pretty unknown - at least outside Australia - at the time this movie was released.

Actually, Mark Lee, not Gibson, is the star of this anti-war film about a maniacal Australian officer sending his troops off to a needless death. Lee and Gibson are "runners" who become friends in this World War I battle in Turkey.

The photography is decent in here, with an excellent director at the helm in Peter Weir, and I wouldn't mind seeing it on a 2.35 widescreen DVD format, since that is now available. I saw it on tape a number of years ago.
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Not bad, but incredibly conventional
PenOutOfTime31 October 2009
By now, most film-goers know what constitutes a war movie, and this film could be complemented, or criticized as being, really the 'Mother' of all of them. Mingling patriotism and tragedy, this film can make a case for every archetype and trope that we groan over in other films, and for that reason, is a really fine movie.

There is nothing more however, no plot element or characterization that would make the viewer even blink twice. The performances are basically excellent, for what they are, and unlike many a conventional film, the actors do not fall into self parody, but these performances are not really captivating either.

If there is a flaw, it is in the pacing. Rather than a beginning, middle and end,there seems to be a beginning and a middle cut short, but this might also be considered the strongest creative choice in the film, in demonstrating the tragedy of war through life cut short. It just depends on how you want to take it.

The reason that I do not give it kudos, for what it is, is that this film is significantly historically incorrect, relying on faux British mistakes to avoid implying too strongly that the war was an inherent tragedy, and to enhance the Australian sacrifice, without implying additional Australian responsibility, at British expense. You could still draw that conclusion (that the war was simply a tragedy) from this film, and there was plenty of callous wastage of life, and plenty of mistakes, and errors of judgment in the real war to be sure, but this film prefers to fictionalize the story, and so I rank it as no better, and no worse than most films. People who really like war movies should like it, and people that don't, should be forewarned.
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Good anti-war film that's a little too anti-British
DjSmitty2019 July 2002
Gallipoli is a great anti-war film. Not so much that it is against wars in general, but it portrays the brutality that occurred in the Great War. Officers did relentlessly order their men to charge at machine guns and Gallipoli was a prime example of throwing lives away in the First World War.

However, there is an anti-British sentiment in this movie that is a little too obvious for my likes. The movie makes the battle at Gallipoli out to be Australians being used as cannon fodder at the whim of British officers. That is totally untrue. There were more British soldiers who fought and died at Gallipoli than ANZACs. Australia had one great massacre in the Great War which was Gallipoli. The Brits had dozens, so Peter Weir becomes a little too self-indulgent in portraying the "Australian sacrifice". Every Commonwealth nation, including Canada I might add, suffered grievous casualties in WW1, along with Britain. There is a line in the movie where one Aussie asks what the Brits are doing during the battle. Another Aussie replys "they're on the beach drinking tea". That is just an insult to the British soldiers who fought and died there. As I have said, the British dead outnumbered the ANZAC dead by several thousands...look it up. Not to mention the British and French forces were suffereing heavy casualties EVERY DAY on the Western Front. My great Grandfather's brother in law was a British leftenant and he died at Gallipoli on the second day. So much for "drinking tea on the beach" eh? The whole incident was Winston Churchill's fault anyway, but the officers on both sides of the war were all responsible for the unnecessary deaths. Aussies who say WW1 was the British high class throwing "the lower Aussie class" at the machine guns are right, but remember that the British working classes went up against them too, even moreso.

I encourage Australia to promote their independence. They've had it for almost a 100 years and nobody is trying to take it away from them, but they shouldn't bite off the hand that fed them so to speak. Australia and New Zealand WERE BRITISH COLONIES after all.

Regardless of the political statements, however, Gallipoli is a good tale of sacrifice and war. The acting is excellent all around, including Mel Gibson, who, despite his very strange affinity with appearing in movies that are decisively anti-English (Braveheart, Patriot), always turns in a great performance.

7.5/10 (slow beginning, often boring until midway through)
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Heart wrenching Movie of a Heart wrenching event in Australian history
MartynGryphon5 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Peter Weir's Gallipoli, is a breathtaking story of friendship that culminates with the ANZACS ill-fated offensive against the turks in the Dardinelles in 1915 and has an ending that makes All Quiet On The Western Front look like a Nuremberg Rally.

Archie Hamilton (Mark Lee), is a young, idealistic farm boy from Western Australia. Archie dreams of adventure and has no intention of remaining a cattle herder on his fathers farm.

Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson), is an un-skilled labourer on the railways. unlike Archie he doesn't exactly dream of adventure, but he too has no intention of remaining in his current vocation.

Both these men are accomplished sprinters and the two first meet at a race meeting in which they both compete. Archie wins, Frank comes a close second. Archie has already made his mind up not to return home and instead, enlist in The Light Horse and get into the so called 'Great' War that the newspapers have been glorifying. Archie's hopes are dashed when he is rejected for service as he is under the minimum age requirement of 21. Alone and miles from home, Archie strikes up a friendship with Dunne, who looking for a travelling partner convinces Archie to travel to Perth and try to enlist again using a false name and a false birth certificate.

During their long journey the relationship between the two is defined, Archie is the brave if not childish dreamer and can't wait to get the big 'adventure', while Dunne in contrast is the more worldy-wise of the two who sees the war for what it really is, and at first intends to stay as far away from it as possible. It is only when he sees the respect Archie's bravery earns him that he relents and agrees to join up too.

One problem Dunne faces is that he doesn't know one end of a horse from the other and is promptly rejected. Archie passes his horse trial with flying colours and the two are destined to part company. Dunne then meets up with three of his mates from his railroad days and they agree to join the infantry.

What must be a few months later, we are now at the Australian Military Camp in Egypt and the only battle Dunne and his fellow ANZACS have to face, is how to fill in the time when awaiting combat orders.

During one particular war game, The infantry are to face Light Horse on a combat exercise and during the mêlée, Archie and Dunne are re-united.

As the intended destination for all the troops is the Gallipoli peninsula the Light Horse have as much need for a horse as they have snow boots and Dunne successfully gains a transfer from the Infantry to his friends regiment.

Once at Gallipoli, the realities of war are right before their eyes, the bodies, the gunfire and the claustrophobic atmosphere of a 100 degree trench. The image of War that Frank had is embodied, yet you get the impression that Archie still doesn't really comprehend the enormity of what he has committed himself to.

Frank is no hurry to go over the top convinced of his impending doom and on the morning of the fateful day, he is called as a 'runner' in case the communications fail. Wave upon wave of Australian soldiers go over the top of the trench and barely get two paces before falling like wheat to the sythe in a rain of Turkish gatling fire. Frank manages to convince his superiors of the pointless slaughter enfolding and the officers agree to halt the attack. As Frank frantically rushes back to the trench with the news that will save many lives, the Light Horse (including Archie) are preparing to go into the frey. and time is not on Dunne's side.

The final scene of this fantastic movie is as emotionally agonising as any other I could name and doesn't soften with repeated watchings either. "All right men!, We're going" With this the men sombrely write final hurried letters to their wives and look at crumpled pictures of the children they will never see again. Archie at this point, has finally realised that war is only a glorious adventure to those who are lucky enough never to have experienced it first hand. and this is a war to which he is about to become a statistic. If you then add the haunting Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni as background music then you have enough to reduce even the hardest of men to tears.

To Australians everywhere Gallipoli is a scar that will never heal. We British too must share that sorrow but thanks to Peter Weir, however, it is tragedy that the world now shares and a lesser director could not have created such a spectacle. Credit too to Mel Gibson and Mark Lee for making the world forget that they were Mel Gibson and Mark Lee as the performances are so electrifying that for 107 minutes they WERE Archie Hamilton and Frank Dunne of the Tenth Light Horse, Men from Western Australia.

Advance Australia Fair.
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Awesome Australian film describing historic events and a marvelous friendship with outstanding acting by the entire cast
ma-cortes10 April 2012
A lush retelling of the parallel chronicles of two athletics racers who competed in Aussie competitions . It's a remake of a lesser 1931 effort titled 'Battle of Gallipoli' in which history blends with the destiny of two friends in the legendary confrontation between the German-allied Turks and Australia . An idealist sprinter named Archy (Mark Lee) wishes enlist the army , while Frank Dune (Mel Gibson) is a pragmatic Bon Vivant , both of whom meet at an Australian race . They draft Outback army until Egypt and after that , Gallipoli , and they don't know where find the Turk peninsula . One was compelled by honor the other by friendship each other and both become part of the bloody battle . Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I .

Much acclaimed story about the doomed Anzac WWI campaign , it's turns out to be a touching and powerful film , nonetheless includes a predictable but riveting final . This exciting picture contains epic friendship , mythic races , a wonderful relationship and a gripping commentary on the wastes of WWI . Some of the movie's best moments come its humorous lines and being fashionable made . It shows much of the conditions and events that soldiers endured in the Gallipoli theater of war , Archy Hamilton's athlete character was inspired by a line from C.E.W. Bean's Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 describing Private Wilfred Harper of the 10th Light Horse . The flick has its touching moments found primarily in the superb supporting performances by Mark Lee and then-unknown Mel Gibson as two champion runners who join forces on a countrywide trek and enlist the Australian Light Horse and battle in Gallipoli . With a budget of $2.6 million dollars, Gallipoli received heavy international promotion and distribution and helped to elevate the worldwide reputation of the Australian film industry and of later Australian New Wave films . The film also helped to launch the international career of actor Mel Gibson . Moving and intimate musical score though composed by synthesizer by Brian Tyler , nevertheless , the most striking feature of the soundtrack was the use of excerpts from Oxygène by French electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre , Maurice Jarre's son , during running scenes . And of course , including the classic Adagio by Albinoni . Atmospheric and haunting cinematography that adequate as a mood-piece by Russell Boyd supported by John Seale . It was filmed primarily in South Australia , the cattle station scenes were shot in Beltana, the salt lake at Lake Torrens, the station at Adelaide Railway Station, and the coastline near Port Lincoln was transformed into the Gallipoli Peninsula , the pyramid and bazaar scenes were filmed on location in Egypt.

The motion picture is stunningly directed by Australian director Peter Weir who resulted to be the passport to Hollywood for this magnificent filmmaker . He realized numerous interesting stories superbly filmed , with brooding and thought-provoking issues and in his prestigious career deserves special attention this excellent film titled ¨Gallipoli¨ . Weir achieved several hits as ¨The way back¨, ¨Master and Commnader¨, ¨Witness¨, ¨The Truman show¨ , ¨Dead poets society¨ , ¨Gallipoli¨, ¨The last wave¨ and some flop as ¨Mosquito coast¨ , ¨The plumber¨ . Rating : Better than average , Well worth seeing .
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One of the best films about the reality of warfare
mOVIemAN5610 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Gallipoli is one of a select few of films that let's the war come to us. A film of awesome power, intelligence, and design, Gallipoli proves to be one of the best films on the human spirit during war time. With a cast of no names and a story focusing around a battle nearly forgotten to history, it looked as if Gallipoli would either be a major flop or a film that would inspire those who saw it to remember the Great War and also to realize the futility of war.

Gallipoli is the focal point of the film. The landing at Gallipoli by joint British-Australian forces is announced early in the film. We then meet the two main characters Archy and Frank, two young Australians, both trying to reach Perth to enlist in the AIF (Australian Imperial Force). The film is split into pretty much three sections: 1. Traveling to Perth, 2. Army Training, and 3. The Battle of Gallipoli. All three acts as you may call them are smart, well written, and well acted.

The Battle of Gallipoli is hauntingly realistic and unsettling. Peter Weir held nothing back in filming his battle sequences. The battles are filled blood, gore, and violence. What makes the battle scenes work is not the realistic action but the acting and the musical score playing during the whole sequence. The last 10 minutes is some of the most intense battle scenes I've ever seen and it actually brought a tear to my eye watching the charges.

Mel Gibson is quite young in this one. He was barely 25 in this and along with Mad Max, this helped propel him into the public spotlight and made him the star he is today. The first half of the film he seems like a dry character but we are all misunderstanding him. He never wanted to be on the front, he never wanted to go to war, and that is all revealed during the battle as the characters lose their innocence about the reality of war.

Mark Lee is the other lead actor playing Archy. I hadn't seen him before this film and haven't seen him since but his performance is tremendous. He is the character who thinks war is just one big game and until the last sequence, he still believes this to be true. His happy-go-lucky personality is quite likable and makes him a character enjoyable to watch on screen. I wish he would have been in more well known films after this though I assume the other works he has been in are also good.

What made this film for me was the last battle in the film. The battle presented is the Assualt at the Nek. It is entirely based on fact when Australian Troops were ordered to charge against the Ottoman Turkish forces in the opposite trench. Just before the last charge emotions overcome you as you see the results of the previous charges and just how terrible world war one was. You see the futility of it. How so many young men go off to war believing it to be a game and never return home.

Gallipoli is a terrific film. Its power and awe is unmatched by any other war film. Peter Weir created a masterpiece when he made the film Gallipoli. This film is a triumph and one of the greatest war films I have ever seen. We need more war films like this.

5/5 Stars
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Aussie Film
Feeze15 July 2003
I have been reading through the reviews and I am very pleased with the amount of international praise for this Aussie classic. As many people know we aussies hold this event very dear and it is a very important part of our history. But there was a few thing I was shocked at. First of all for those people who said that it was too Australian or too much Aussie accent, might I remind you that this is because it is an AUSTRALIAN FILMED SET IN AUSTRALIA BASED ON AN MAJOR AUSTRALIAN EVENT. Secondly I also found that there was comments about it being anti-British and it was mentioned about the reference to the Brittish drinking tea on the beach. I am not sure if they actually were drinking tea on the beach but it is true that they were safely on the beach. as for the film being anti -British, well what peope must remeber is that many Australaians have a resentment towards the British due to there actions War. The Gallipoli campaign was one monumental blunder in British organisatoin. The Turks knew the ANZACS were coming, when the ANZACS were assembling before the initial landing, the Turks were flying planes overhead counting numbers. It has also now been revealed that the landing poit at Gallipoli was not the actual place they were meant to land. But I think the largest amount of resentment came from the apparent let down during WWII. When the Japenese where at Australia's door step and we turned to England for help, we recieved the coud shoulder. (In all fairnss England did have its own troubles) but at the time many people were outraged as our solidiers were of fighting war for our motherland and when we were in time of crisis the mother land abondened us. Fortunatly the USA came to our aid and helped us fight off the Japenese. It's because of this Australaia now has a strong alliance with the US instead of the UK.
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