Critics Consensus: Peter Weir's devastating anti-war film features a low-key but emotionally wrenching performance from Mel Gibson as a young soldier fighting in one of World War I's most deadly and horrifying battles.
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The first of two consecutive films to see director Peter Weir team with Mel Gibson (the other being The Year of Living Dangerously), Gallipoli follows two idealistic young friends, Frank (Gibson) and Archy (Mark Lee), who join the Australian army during World War I and fight the doomed Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey. The first half of the film documents the lives of the young men in Australia, detailing their personalities and beliefs. The second half of the movie chronicles the ill-fated and ill-planned battle, where the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps is hopelessly outmatched by the enemy forces. Gallipoli was the recipient of eight prizes at the 1981 Australian Film Institute Awards. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Gallipoli
Well acted and, within its limited terms, well made, Gallipoli represents a failure of nerve as well as design.
The central section devoted to training in Egypt sags badly through its crass buddy antics and its crude caricatures of wogs and pommies.
Weir's work has a delicacy, gentleness, even wispiness that would seem not well suited to the subject. And yet his film has an uncommon beauty, warmth, and immediacy, and a touch of the mysterious, too.
Set in 1915, Weir's excellent anti-war film centers on the disastrous battle of Gallipoli, featuring an excellent performance by Mel Gibson as a young fleet-footed soldier
... deflated the romantic notions of glory under fire to show the reality of Gallipoli and mourn the men who gave up their lives for a war they had no stake in.
Gallipoli is Australia's quintessential war movie that works as a stirring tribute to the ANZAC's and a condemnation of the travesty which is war.
Both a fitting testimony to the courage of the thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who died fighting for their country and one of the most powerful cinematic examinations of the futility and tragic cost of war.
The friendship between town and country boys Lee and Gibson is real and personal, and the final shot transcends cliche.
Weir goes so far in humanizing Archy and Frank before they head off to the dehumanizing crucible of combat that he commits the greatest sin of all... he's boring
haunting and powerful
Gallipoli is a powerful World War I drama about some Australian soldiers fighting in Turkey that depicts the horror and tragedy of war.
Regarded as one of the very best Australian film's ever made (with Mad Max and Picnic at Hanging Rock). Mel Gibson in one of first roles, and a touching but ultimately tragic tale of war.
A portrait of WWI that's both personal and epic.
...a moving and memorable experience.
Audience Reviews for Gallipoli
A strong, character-building exercise amongst the backdrop of WWI and the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey, and how two young men (Mark Lee, Mel Gibson), both sprinters, become good friends in their journey to help serve in the Australian army. A buddy film for most its entirety, when it makes the hard shift over to the difficult decisions and circumstances these two characters face, we care about them and if they will survive it all. Both Lee and Gibson are excellent in their respected roles, and the film's cinematography makes for quite a different setting for war to take place in. The last scene of the movie is utterly heart-wrenching, complete with a lasting image of anti-war imagery that will stick in your mind for a long time.More
Gallipoli is a superbly crafted war drama from director Peter Weir. Weir assembles a fine cast of talented actors who all give stunning performances. Gallipoli shows the chaos of the war and tells a compelling and engaging story. This is quite a different war film, and in many ways it succeeds at delivering an experience that we've never seen in the genre. The film is very well done, but lacks in accuracy. I feel that they should have done research a bit more while they were writing the script, as the accuracy of this failed campaign would surely have made this one of the definitive WWI films. As it stands this is a brilliant piece of work that could have been improved upon, but is nonetheless a well structured picture that shows the price of war. Mel Gibson is great here and you can clearly see his craft as an actor developing further with Gallipoli. The film focuses more on the cost of war than on effective action, and it pulls it off very well. Although not the definitive classic of WWI, it is one of the few films that are actually worth seeing on the subject. The acting is wonderful, and the plot is engaging from beginning to end. What makes this film stand out is the fact that is fairly subtle, yet convincing in showing the costs and chaos of war. The film will surely delight history buffs and war film buffs alike. If you want a terrific drama war film, then give this one a shot. The accuracy like I said is questionable, but it may spark an interest in the subject, which I believe is always a good thing. This is a strong effort from director Peter Weir and it is a powerful picture despite its imperfections.More
Fantastic Australian story of two champion runners who volunteer as soldiers in 1915 to see the worlds.
The result is thrilling and amusing, thanks to the script from playwright David Williamson. Themes of mateship, sports and class warfare cleverly thread the glorious landscape shots.
Really sad for losing one of soldiers through the shoot-out war at the ending.
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