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- DescriptionOne of a crop of impressive films to arrive from Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s, BREAKER MORANT marked Bruce Beresford as a director to watch. Based on a play by Kenneth G. Ross, the film is a tersely dramatic account of the true story of the court-martial of three soldiers attached to the Bushveld Carbineers, a guerrilla warfare unit of the British army that operated during the Boer War (1899-1902). Edward Woodward stars as Lt. Harry "Breaker" Morant, the primus inter pares of this trio that includes Lt. Peter Handcock (Bryan Brown) and Lt. George Witton (Lewis Fitzgerald). Attorney Major J.F. Thomas (Jack Thompson) is given only one day to mount a defense of the officers, who have been charged with the death of Boer prisoners and a German minister. Weaving flashbacks into the trial proceedings, Beresford tells the story of the controversial killing, an act of revenge against the Boers for having killed and mutilated a close friend of Morant's. While the young Witton fears for his life, Morant and Handcock display only a caustically witty stoicism as they await the trial's outcome. Superbly executed in every area, the film is a memorable evocation of the hypocrisy of empire.
- Leading Role 1Edward Woodward
- Director 1Bruce Beresford
- Leading Role 2Jack Thompson
- Leading Role 3Bryan Brown
- Additional Roles byJohn Waters,Charles Tingwell,Terence Donovan,Vincent Ball
- ScreenwriterDavid Stevens
- Release FormatDVD
- Release Year2001
- Additional GenreGeneral
- Running Time120 minutes
Most relevant reviews
- thecraftytrader...17 Mar, 2016by
great watch it soon!
I can recommend this film as it seems as fresh today as when it was made ,what helps is there is no music which often dates a film in a bad way. The casting and location are are brilliant. enough said I think....
- 145064080@delet...01 Jan, 2009by
Based on a true story that puts the British during the Boer War in a rather sad light. It calls into account the question regarding "The Rules of engagement" and how Political Expediency may be brought into play despite the honesty or code that the lower ranks and junior squaddies may be led to believe protects them. Some may see a parallel between this and the way the war in Iraq is being fought. Sadly their is a certain ammount of validity in this assessment. Sympathetically portrayed by Edward Woodward as Breaker Morant, a guerilla soldier, fighting under a set of rules approved of by senior command. It then shows how these Senior Officers (Field Marshall Kitchener included)effectively murder these soldiers for political appeasement. Bearing in mind particularly this is 13 years before WWI it shows the then British Government definitely not at their finest hour. A Good Film that should be watched as a matter of instruction for young officer cadets at Sandhurst. Read full review
- 42634594@delete...10 Dec, 2006by
If you're not an Australian historian or militaria collector you may not know this true Boer War story which has had a MAJOR impact on the Australian military. The acting is superb and it makes you feel as if you're there. Children viewing this DVD (2001 edition)will be exposed to war scenes and sets of ethical questions they may not be prepared to cope with but with adult supervision, there should be no problem. An absolutely outstanding movie!!!
- fallschirmwombl...04 Mar, 2007by
Scapegoats Of The Empire
This review's in two parts: 1) The DVD: I suspect that this DVD is the earlier release of the two available. What you get is the film, the chapter options, an interview with Edward Woodwardward as well as character information. There is no trailer. One drawback that I've noticed is that, if you use the chapter option, you're unable to jump back or forward to other chapters. The picture is a little more "bitty" (pixelated) than other films I have. If my DVD is not damaged, then the other release (EAN 5055019500077) might be a better option. 2) The Film: The Australian film industry made some of the very best, most realistic and endearing films about war. This is one of them. The plot is about the factual trial of three Australian soldiers serving in a non-conventional unit under the British Army. In a bid to end the Boer War, a show trial was conducted. The purpose was to appease countries that politically supported the Boers and so create an atmosphere better suited to arranging a peace settlement. The British High Command, believing this to be an easy, open-and-shut case, appointed a token legal counsel to defend the three defendants. Although the defendants' counsel was inexperienced in criminal law, rushed in, and despite the extreme prejudice of the court and the insurmountable obstacles that were put in his way, he ran rings around the prosecution's case. Far from being a courtroom only film, the events were portrayed in frequent "flashbacks" - this really makes the film work very well. Intelligent and dull alike can follow the plot. There's enough of everything less a love interest. A love interest component would only detract from the story. This is Edward Woodward at his VERY best. Bryan Brown, before his time as a Hollywood actor, is natural and convincing. As a "Supporting Actor", Jack Thompson really took the reigns and his performance was outstanding. He won "Best Supporting Actor" for his portrayal of the defence lawyer yet, as the courtroom drama unfolds, it's he who is very much a lead character, calling the shots. FallschirmWomble Read full review
- greenplonk8710 Jun, 2006by
i was pleased to find this film on ebay, this film challenges the stupidity of the General officers and of the ruling society during the late victorian era, along with other classic war films set in or around the same period. first of all we see a unit of soldiers recruited under government orders to carry out the more unpleasant side of soldiering,using the same tactics where possible as the Boer commando's,but in the end being court- martialed and in two cases shot at dawn (firing squad)because the political climate changed due to bad press, although one of the executed men did in fact commit a murder (which was never proved).
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