Personal revenge or act of war? Crazed soldiers or political scapegoats? Winner of 10 Australian Academy Awards, this powerful film directed by the Oscar®-nominated Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy) continues to stir audiences with its timeless themes of wartime morality and military hypocrisy.
Based on a true story, Edward Woodward (TV's The Equalizer) unforgettably stars as the controversial folk hero and Renaissance man Lt. Harry "Breaker" Morant. As South Africa's Boer War draws to a close, Morant and two fellow Australian soldiers are court-martialed for murder. Their only hope lies in a small-town lawyer who fights passionately for their lives.
Before coming to America to make such acclaimed films as Tender Mercies
and Driving Miss Daisy
, Australian director Bruce Beresford made a lasting impression with this compelling courtroom drama, considered one the finest films of the Australian new wave of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Based on a true story about three soldiers in the Boer War who are served up as political scapegoats of the British Empire, the film uses a flashback structure to dramatize the courtroom testimony. It begins when the three Australian soldiers are railroaded for the justified killing of a German missionary and placed on trial for court-martial not as a matter of justice, but to mollify the German government for the sake of political expediency. Burdened with a competent but inexperienced and hopelessly disadvantaged lawyer, the soldiers realize that their fate has been sealed and the outcome of their trial is a fait accompli. Unfolding with urgent precision and a riveting focus on its well-drawn characters, Breaker Morant
was the all-time box-office hit in Australia at the time of its release in 1980, and it remains one of the very best historical dramas ever made. --Jeff Shannon