Picks and Pans Review: Anzacs: the War Down Under
It will never compete with those World War I classics, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paths of Glory, Grand Illusion or Gallipoli, which like this film was made in Australia. It is a sturdy war film, however, and does feature Paul Hogan. While the Croc gets top billing in the videotape package, he has a supporting role behind the dashing Andrew Clarke. Clarke plays an aristocrat's son and Hogan is an Outback vagabond; both end up in the same platoon of volunteers when the war starts. (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.) The film, directed by George (The Road Warrior) Miller, follows the platoon through the disastrous battle of Gallipoli and the horror of trench warfare in Europe into victory over the German army. At 165 minutes—this was an Australian TV mini-series in 1985—the movie is long. But Hogan gets to do a lot of joking about "Sheilas" and wisecracking—"Slip up and tell the bloody Turks it's a mistake," he suggests when the Aussies land on the wrong beach at Gallipoli. Clarke has a strong silent appeal that might generate some competition for Tom Selleck and Mel Gibson should he ever try his luck Up Over. (Unrated) (Celebrity, $79.95)
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