Gearing up for a deliciously long Anzac weekend of getting amongst it outdoors, non-stop partying or watching a few games of footy on the box? Good-o, but it’s still worth remembering that around the nation a host of events will be held to pay our respects to, not just the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, but to all Australians who have served and died in war or operational service.
But if you’re far too slack to contemplate attending a sparrow fart Dawn Service or cheering on the old diggers proudly marching in flag-waving parades across Australia, how about exhibiting a teensy bit of national pride and settling in for a quality flick immortalising the war efforts of some of our bravest Aussies.
Breaker Morant (1980)
Based on the true story of the court martialling of three lieutenants during the second Boer War, this outstanding drama brilliantly directed by Bruce Beresford, won 10 AFI Awards and stars old mates (and Aussie acting stalwarts) Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown.
One of the landmarks of Australian cinema, this little ripper was directed by Peter Weir and features a baby-faced Mel Gibson in one of his first leading roles.
An epic tale of the events surrounding the ANZAC’s experiences on the Turkish front, this one will have the toughest of testosterone-fuelled fellas sobbing into their popcorn.
The Lighthorsemen (1987)
If you’re obsessed with all things equine-like, you’ll be yahooing this nugget, which stars perennial soap star Garry Sweet and another Aussie larrikin, Peter Phelps.
Masterfully narrating the story of the light horse unit infantries in World War One, it features some breathtaking saddle-based cavalry combat scenes.
Not a fan of cinematically acclaimed 80’s war cinema? Then sink your teeth into a few Anzac bickies whilst ogling our Nicole getting it on with veritable beefcake Hugh Jackman.
Loosely based on the outbreak of World War II in Darwin, it’s a fizzy, visually stunning romp executed with directorial prowess by none other than Baz Luhrmann.
The Water Diviner (2014)
And another piece of entertaining fluff for those of you who can’t handle ‘old films’, this one heralded Russell Crowe’s directorial debut and details a father’s journey to Turkey to track down one of his soldier sons, listed as missing during the First World War. Offers a (weird) snapshot of Big Russ’s softer side (if you’re into that).
So before you prepare to tackle a truckload of tinnies and settle into a 3-day festival of fun, food and mindless frivolity, spare a thought for Australia’s fallen as well. Lest We Forget.