Gallipoli [VHS] 
Includes new, never-before-seen interview with director Peter Weir.
An outstanding drama, Gallipoli resonates with sadness long after you have seen it. Set during World War I, this brutally honest antiwar movie was cowritten by director Peter Weir. Mark Lee and a sinfully handsome Mel Gibson are young, idealistic best friends who put aside their hopes and dreams when they join the war effort. This character study follows them as they enlist and are sent to Gallipoli to fight the Turks. The first half of the film is devoted to their lives and their strong friendship. The second half details the doomed war efforts of the Aussies, who are no match for the powerful and aggressive Turkish army. Because the script pulls us into their lives and forces us to care for these young men, we are devastated by their fate. --Rochelle O'Gorman.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
"Gallipoli" made in 1981 is an Australian film directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee, all natives of that country. The film is set during the First World War and the title refers to the peninsula of the same name located on the Aegean coast of The Dardenelles in Turkey. It was in this area that between the 25th April 1915 when it was captured, to the 19th December 1915 when it was evacuated, that many ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers fought and died. The climax to this film is at the brutal battle of "The Nek", which was a terrible killing field for the ANZACs.
The film concerns two young men from rural Western Australia who become close friends whilst competing against each other in a sprint at an athletics meeting. Mel Gibson, looking strangely youthful plays the cynical Frank Dunne whilst Mark Lee portrays the innocent and idealistic Archy Hamilton. Swayed by propaganda which was rife at the time they enlist to fight for their Countrys cause, although many recruits had never heard of the places involved in the conflict. Archy is considerably more enthusiastic about the idea than Frank.
They are then shipped out for training in Egypt where the soldiers indulge in a bit of good natured "Pommy bashing". Well it is an Australian film, so that is "Fair Dinkum". Thrashing us at cricket with monotonous regularity does not seem to appease their appetite for this genial sport! In all too short a time they are transported to the harsh realities of trench warfare in Gallipoli. Having trained with the Light Horse this bloody stalemate is not what they expected and they see the senseless slaughter first hand as their ranks are decimated.Read more ›
Like most of the other rookie volunteers, the geographically isolated Archy is incredibly naïve about the war, seeing it as little more than a foreign adventure. After clearly inadequate training in Egypt, the two friends and their comrades land amidst spectacular gunfire in Turkey and are soon disgracefully ordered forward with sudden catastrophic results.
Made by renowned Australian director Peter Weir, the pointless waste of these young lives packs a very powerful punch. Less impressive is the film's development towards this climax with Archy and Frank's burgeoning friendship being under-developed on-screen. Gallipoli's lack of cohesiveness is also not helped by it already feeling dated, not least due to its horrible early 80s music interludes. Still it's a very powerful indictment of a terrible episode of army incompetence and despite its flaws, is well worth seeing.
From a sheer entertainment point of view it's 99.9% on my scale, but historically it's only about 80%. Still a magnificent war drama made better by some humerous sections of the film.
The script is wonderful - written by one of Australia's greatest playwrites, David Williamson. The acting is fabulous - I think this is Mel at his best and poor old Mark Lee, well he never really shook of this role to move on to others it's so powerfully iconic. The cinematography is gorgeous and say what you will regarding the rather jarring 80s synth theme - if you grew up with this film you can't imagine it with any other soundtrack. All pulled together by Peter Weir. Brilliant.
This is NOT a documentary in any way shape or form. If you want to learn about the Gallipoli campaign then I suggest you read a book about it. This is powerful storytelling with deep anti-war undertones. Tracking the journey of two under-age sprinters as they meet, con their way to signing up and travelling 1/2 way round the world in the search for adventure and find instead the shocking reality of war.
Can't recommend it enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not got round to watching it yet but I know it will be good.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great film true story. Offensive to the Aussies though which is understandable.Published 4 months ago by Safety conscious
Worth a look, many Brits may think its sentiments are are anti Pom, it isnt that, it just reflects the attitude of many WW1 diggers who pathologically mistrusted the British staff... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alex Lanning
A thought provoking movie that I had not seen when it was first released. I would certainly recommend it.Published 7 months ago by witchygirl