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Gallipoli is the tragic tale of two Australian men, Frank Dunne and Archie Hamilton, who both enlisted to join the Gallipoli campaign overseas. The film follows the two men from their time as competitors in a sprint races to Perth for enlistment the light horse. The film itself isn't so much a 'war' film as it is a film dealing with attitudes of Australians through particular individuals towards war in 1915.

The story is told through the continued themes within the film such as competitiveness, mateship and sporting spirit. Gallipoli uses creative and experienced cinematography to effectively send a visual message to the viewer without overstating its intent. This filmic device makes the director a successful yet subtle storyteller. This is especially obvious in the scene where Archie and Frank are crossing the dried up lake bed in an effort to reach Perth. The director uses this landscape to highlight Australia's isolation from the rest of the world and supports it with the two male leads arguing whether or not it is in their best interests to fight for the Mother Country, England.

The screenplay itself accomplishes gaining the audience's interest and attention by using humour to capture the essence of Australian character letting viewers relate and later sympathise with all characters as well as highlighting Australian spirit. Combined with breathtaking visual imagery, this is a remarkable combination.

After fives years of organization, Gallipoli had a budget of a $2.6 million and took 4-5 months to film. The locations were mainly found in South Australia (Town of Beltana, Lake Torrens and the coastline near Port Lincoln was transformed into Gallipoli) but also a small town near Cairo. It had been Mel Gibson's impressive performance in Mad Max that was enough to convince Weir and Lovell into inviting Gibson to an audition for the role of Frank Dunne. Gibson was successful in the audition and got along well with his fellow co-star, Mark Lee, who had been cast as Archie Hamilton. Despite not having been in a feature film before, Weir thought Lee had the right qualities to portray the character of Archie Hamilton on screen.

Gallipoli, as part of a national cinema, can be construed as being made to effectively compete with the dominant international cinema especially Hollywood. It is part of the national cinema ideal



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