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geraint

Film 'Gallipoli'

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geraint

I watched 'Gallipoli' last night, and thought that the scenes portraying the soldiers on the beach and in the cliffside trenches a little odd. It suggested a slightly perpetual carnival atmosphere, under a fairground-like stringed-light night scenes, and extremly rowdy behaviour. Other scenes, specifically at the firing step, reflected my perception of trench life as I think it was.

Do members have any comments on the accuracy of the portrayal of Aussie soldiers in the film? I'm not looking for a review of the film.

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NeilEvans

I love the ending. One of the best i've seen.

Neil

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MartinThwaite
I love the ending. One of the best i've seen.

Neil

Yep, a good film and on the subject of the Aussie troops - I think it must have been blessed relief to be in dead ground away from direct Turkish fire. They were young lads & if I know Toms the film captured the mood off the line pretty well. My great uncle was there, 16 yrs old in the LF. Good lads.

Regards,

Martin

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stevem49

Is that the film where only the aussies fought? :D

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MartinThwaite
Is that the film where only the aussies fought? :D

I think there was a bit of Pommie bashing but then we got that in Saving Private Ryan as well (remarks about Monty)!! Brits seem to be fair game in US/Aussie films - but we know the truth!!! ;)

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judy7007
Do members have any comments on the accuracy of the portrayal of Aussie soldiers in the film? I'm not looking for a review of the film.

In my opinion a wonderful portrayal of Aussie troops, as accurate as one could find. Our lads were 'different' even before they left our shores. I may have a certain bias being acquainted with some of those involved in the making of the film (not Mel Gibson!) ...

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wainfleet

A corker of a movie, flaws or not, and IMO the only modern one of any merit from the British, Anzac or Canadian standpoint. It would be very interesting to know what Aussie veterans made of it, since many of them must have seen it in and shortly after 1981.

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clive_hughes

I can remember being surprised by a teacher (one of a group I was addressing) insisting that it was common practice for WW1 soldiers about to go over the top, to leave bayonets sticking in the trench sides with their treasures hung on them, on the strength of watching this film!

It is a definitely anti-war film, but then I'm not sure I'd enjoy a pro-war movie.

LST_164

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MartinWills

It's a good film, but not a great representation of how it was, I'm afraid. Consider at the outset how quickly the key characters go from joining up to reaching the front line half-way round the world.

Parts of it are also somewhat derivative and those familiar with Chauvel's "Forty Thousand Horsemen" will know what I mean with some scenes being lifted with little change from Chauvel's film. I might add that I thought Chauvel did those bits better, albeit in B&W.

I would suggest if you want to look at Gallipoli (and the Australians elsewhere in the Middle East) that you look up "Tell England" and "Forty Thousand Horsemen" from the thirties as well as looking at Mel Gibson fighting the Turks single handed in Gallipoli. "Tell England" has some excelent battle recreations and the scenes of the landings are about as authentic as you could ever get. Well worth searching out is the recent Turkish documentary film "Gallipoli" or "Gelibolu" by Tolga Ornek which gives an excellent perspective on the campaign as a whole.

If you want a good feel for how it was on the ground at ANZAC I would suggest you acquire Peter Stanley's excellent volume "Quinn's Post". It's around £10 in paperback and gives a fine detailed view of one part of the line and how tightly it was fought.

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geraint

Thanks all. Taking it as an Australian contribution to the war, I wouldn't necessarily expect the other nations to be represented

Martin - your reference to Gelibolou by Torga Ornek sounds most interesting. Is it easily available?

General feelings 'it was a good film' is right. But it made me think of the hallucogenic scenes in Apocalypse Now (which was not a true reflection on the Vietnam War). I know that the Australians were considered boisterous and according to some 'undisciplined' - but not to the extent portrayed in Gallipoli surely?

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Staffsyeoman

It is a magnificent piece of film making, it's deeply moving, Bill Hunter's performance is stunningly good. I had an original poster with the final freeze frame on my wall at university; it captures a spirit, but it's not history, it's entertainment.

Wearying 'Pom bashing' - British officers ashore 'drinking tea'; the implicit accusation that brave soldiers of the 10 LH must assault intact Turkish MGs without support (after all the artillery fire plan ended early) because the British must be supported (implicitly 'pointless' as they are all ... see above).

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MartinWills

Geraint,

It was readily available in the UK for a while, but seems to have fallen out of currency here. It is still available in Turkey and can be found on ebay for around £12 inc postage from Turkey. It is dual language if you were worried about it all being in Turkish.

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geraint

Thanks Martin.

perhaps Mel G has made a fair living out of changing historical events for a Hollywood movie. Though I think Gallipoli was an Australian film production?

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27thBN
Thanks Martin.

perhaps Mel G has made a fair living out of changing historical events for a Hollywood movie. Though I think Gallipoli was an Australian film production?

Yes it was directed by peter weir.great film . MC

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paulgranger

I personally think it a very moving film, though it will have it's inaccuracies. A film that portrayed things with total accuracy might be unbearable to watch. As to whether the 'fairground atmosphere' is right or not, I'm sure that soldiers the world over find humour and peaceful things to do in the most trying of circumstances. There are photographs of a cricket match and soldiers swimming in the sea under fire at Gallipoli, and I recall a comment by a combatant at Arnhem (different war, same horrors) that even as German attacks came in at 2 Para, laughter could still be heard at some percieved joke.

On a slightly different part of the topic, Mel Gibson is getting a bit of stick for the tone of the film. I know he can move the historical goalposts (see The Patriot and Braveheart, passim), but he was a very young, virtually unknown, actor when Gallipoli was made, and I wouldn't have thought he had that much say in the tone of it. Oh, and his character didn't win the war singlehandedly. being a bit lacking in moral fibre.

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Hywyn
I'm sure that soldiers the world over find humour and peaceful things to do in the most trying of circumstances. ........combatant at Arnhem (different war, same horrors) that even as German attacks came in at 2 Para, laughter could still be heard at some percieved joke.

Apparent today in the tale of the British soldier in an Afghanistan explosion crying out that he had lost his leg. To which a voice replied 'No you haven't, it's over here'

Possibly an urban myth that one though.

Hywyn

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Staffsyeoman
Possibly an urban myth that one though.

Yep, I was first told that one in the autumn of 1982 by a Falklands veteran Paratrooper. It's probably older than that as well.

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stevem49

I think that one is as old a soldiering :D

A complete generation of Aussie kids grew up thinking that only Aussie troops fought on Gallipoli - so not good for real history. Although as I remember the film was watchable.

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rksimpson

Hi all

I just finished reading the book based on the movie and I found it as good as the movie, but then ending was not as graphic or poignant

regards

Robert

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Andrew P
It's a good film, but not a great representation of how it was, I'm afraid. Consider at the outset how quickly the key characters go from joining up to reaching the front line half-way round the world.

Hi Martin

There were cases of reinforcements reaching Gallipoli about 6 weeks to two months after their enlistment in Australia, several of whom were thrown straight into the August battles. I think because of the thin ranks on Anzac these reinforcements were rushed striaght to the battlefield with little or any training in Egypt.

One soldier I have researched enlisted on the 9th of June 1915 in Perth WA and was killed on the 7th August 1915.

That corresponds to the movie where they enlisted in WA after the news of the landing came through and made it to Gallipoli by August.

Regards

Andrew

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melwar
Martin - your reference to Gelibolou by Torga Ornek sounds most interesting. Is it easily available?

It's not at the IWM at the moment, but the Australian War Memorial still has plenty of copies: http://www.awm.gov.au/shop/item/1055349/

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MartinWills

Andrew P,

Thanks for the clarification - folks I have looked at seem to have taken rather longer, but it is interesting to know that there were some who got there that quickly. Training must have been rudimentary and to a considerable degree carried out on board ship. I also presume that there woud have been little if any time spent in camp at Mena or elsewhere?

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Andrew P

Hi Martin, a diary I have of a local soldier said that at Anzac in May 1915 he as a Sergeant was sent to teach some new reinforcements the basics of shooting and other areas of training they had not appeared to have received.

It seems that some reinforcement groups were barely off the ship in Egypt before they were sent on to Anzac and the training they would have received on the transport ships appears to have been very minimal.

Cheers

Andrew

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Will O'Brien
It seems that some reinforcement groups were barely off the ship in Egypt before they were sent on to Anzac and the training they would have received on the transport ships appears to have been very minimal.

This leads to an interesting question. Did the training (or lack of) influence/impact on the casualty rates suffered by these reinforcements?

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Moonraker

The film is being shown on Film4 at 1845 on Thursday, May 16.

 

Moonraker

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