Written by: Peter Yeldham, based on the novel by Roger McDonald
Directed by: Chris Thomson and Di Drew
Starring: Scott Burgess, Scott McGregor, and Sigrid Thornton
Released by: BFS Entertainment
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Don’t Bother
Billy Mackenzie and Walter Gilchrist are best friends out in the Australian Outback. Billy is the typical bad boy: screwing around, getting into fights, and being James Dean about 40 years early. Walter is the good son: going to college, listening to his parents, and nervous around girls. Of course, both of them are attracted to the same girl, a spirited lass named Frances (Thornton). Both men feel trapped in their lives: Billy by his reputation as the baby boy and Walter by being the dutiful son. When war breaks out in Europe, both see it as an opportunity to escape and become part of something bigger. But both will find much more than they bargained for in the tranches of Gallipoli.
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I will say that while the story spends too little time in the field of battle, what is there is quite accurate. You get to see the blasted heath of No Man’s Land, littered with so many bodies that a truce was negotiated just to clear them out. The chance that you could die in an instant from a grenade or a artillery shell or a sniper. How the pressure from constant shelling, poor provisions, and the primitive facilities could cause anyone’s mind to snap like a twig. And in the end, you ask the same question again and again, “What was all this for?” However, there are better DVDs out there for those interested in World War I. So don’t bother with 1915.