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Gallipoli (1981)

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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


David Williamson (screenplay), Peter Weir (story)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Lee ... Archy Hamilton
Bill Kerr ... Jack
Harold Hopkins ... Les McCann
Charles Lathalu Yunipingu Charles Lathalu Yunipingu ... Zac (as Charles Yunupingu)
Heath Harris ... Stockman
Ron Graham Ron Graham ... Wallace Hamilton
Gerda Nicolson Gerda Nicolson ... Rose Hamilton
Mel Gibson ... Frank Dunne
Robert Grubb ... Billy
Tim McKenzie Tim McKenzie ... Barney
David Argue ... Snowy
Brian Anderson Brian Anderson ... Railway Foreman
Reg Evans ... Athletics Official 1
Jack Giddy Jack Giddy ... Athletics Official 2
Dane Peterson Dane Peterson ... Announcer


The story of a group of young Australian men who leave their various backgrounds behind and sign up to join the ANZACs in World War I. They are sent to Gallipoli, where they encounter the resolute Turkish army. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From a legend we'll always remember comes a story you'll never forget. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

28 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Galipolje See more »


Box Office


AUD 2,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,757, 30 August 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The music Major Barton is playing the night before the attack, is the famous duet from The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet, in which two men swear to remain friends, and be united until death. See more »


The fourth wave in the attack at The Nek did not start at the the insistence of senior officers. The attack was called off after the third wave, but about half the 150 men in the fourth wave attacked without orders. See more »


[first lines]
Jack: What are your legs?
Archy Hamilton: Springs. Steel springs.
Jack: What are they going to do?
Archy Hamilton: Hurl me down the track.
Jack: How fast can you run?
Archy Hamilton: As fast as a leopard.
Jack: How fast are you going to run?
Archy Hamilton: As fast as a leopard!
Jack: Then let's see you do it!
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Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »


Music by Niccolò Paganini (as Paganini)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Awesome Australian film describing historic events and a marvelous friendship with outstanding acting by the entire cast
10 April 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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