This, Kitchener explains, is why Morant, Handcock, and Witton must be convicted at all costs. Movie Info In South Africa during the Second Boer War, Australian Army Lieutenants Harry "Breaker" Morant (Edward Woodward), Peter Handcock (Bryan Brown) … In Pretoria, South Africa, in 1902, Major Charles Bolton (Rod Mullinar) is summoned to a meeting with Lord Kitchener (Alan Cassell). Both the Boers (Dutch South African farmers) and the British committed a lot of nasty atrocities and many of the standards conduct during warfare were violated in the course of this war. Ruairi O’Connor to Play Buddy Holly in ‘Clear Lake’ Biopic (Exclusive), Cult Classics Like ‘Black Christmas,’ ‘Caged Heat,’ and ‘Chopping Mall’ Could Be Headed to a Theater Near You, Bryan Brown honoured with the Longford Lyell Award, Military Courtroom and Investigation films, Top 25 Legal Movies (According to the ABA), Weekend Edition: Episode dated 17 October 2020, Market Square Museum, Market Square, Burra, South Australia, Australia. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. Title: As Bolton eyes him, Thomas produces signed depositions from the women to confirm Handcock's story. He is also told that London and the Australian Government support the verdict and sentences. One of the most acclaimed Australian movies ever made!. Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. Captain Hunt was wounded, pinned down by enemy fire and left behind when he ordered his men to retreat. In this case, the good men are Australian and British Army officers ordered to suppress the guerrilla tactics of Boer freedom fighters during the Second South African War. Questions raised in the House of Commons on 8 April 1902 were answered by an insistence that the War Office, the Foreign Office, or Lord Kitchener had not received "any such communication on this subject" "on behalf of the German government". , Breaker Morant grossed $A4,735,000 at the box office in Australia, the equivalent of $19.7 million in 2017 dollars. There now will be a peace conference and every British and Colonial will be going home. ENTER CITY, STATE OR ZIP CODE GO. Lt Peter Handcock Bryan Brown. They are accused of killing prisoners of war.  The scene contains a kernel of truth. He urges Morant to flee to Portuguese Mozambique, take ship from Lourenço Marques and "see the world". A Corporal Sharp testifies that, shortly before the massacre of the six Boers, Heese had passed through Fort Edward in a buggy. A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory. AKA: 'Breaker' Morant. Now, to maintain the facade of civility, the three soldiers are being prosecuted--scapegoats despite doing exactly what they were expected to do. To Witton's horror, Handcock explains that his visits to his "two lady friends" happened afterwards. To this end, a few soldiers "have to be sacrificed" for the misdeeds of the British Army. Two strangers, one night. On Demand ... Lt Harry `Breaker' Morant Edward Woodward. After the letter Hall summoned all Fort Edward officers and non-commissioned officers to Pietersburg on 21 October 1901. A man who gave up on love. One prisoner runs at Witton, who kills him. On stand, Morant explains that Heese was under orders to never speak to prisoners while passing through Fort Edward and violated them. The fact is, his clients believed that such orders existed and thus cannot be held accountable for following them. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. In 2015 the film was released by The Criterion Collection on both DVD and Blu-ray. , In the film, Hunt is inaccurately depicted as having an Australian accent. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Bennett, C., "Breaker Morant: a veldt Vietnam", "Kangaroo Court: On Bruce Beresford's Breaker Morant", "Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office", "Kangaroo Court: On Bruce Beresford's 'Breaker Morant'", Breaker Morant at the National Film and Sound Archive, Breaker Morant at the British Film Institute, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Breaker_Morant_(film)&oldid=999228896, Cultural depictions of Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Films based on works by Australian writers, Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention from July 2016, All Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention, Articles needing additional references from October 2015, All articles needing additional references, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, William Anderson, Jeanine Chiavlo, Phil Judd and Gary Wilkins, Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens and Bruce Beresford, Lieutenant Henry Picton, a British-born Australian officer of the Bushveldt Carbineers, was charged with Morant, Handcock and Witton with "committing the offense of murder" for delivering a, This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 03:19. Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian war film directed by Bruce Beresford (Double Jeopardy, Money Movers) and based on the well known play of the same name by Australian playwright Kenneth Ross. That night, Thomas angrily tells Morant that he was the best witness the prosecution has yet had. We would ask whether due process was present, after accounting for the exigencies of the battlefield. This is based, on part, on a real case--though how closely they stick to the original is uncertain.While most of the film takes place during the court martials, through flashbacks you see many of the events that led up to the trials. When the patrol returned to Fort Edward without Captain Hunt, Intelligence Corps Captain Alfred Taylor (John Waters) suggests Morant "avenge Captain Hunt". Morant explains that the Bushveldt Carbineers represent a new kind of warfare "for a new century". Therefore we humbly pray that a full and exhaustive inquiry be made by Imperial officers in order that the truth be elicited and justice done. Despite being attached to the Berlin Missionary Society, Heese had been born in Cape Colony and "was, technically speaking, a British, and not a German citizen". Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. Breaker Morant is a dramatic film about three soldiers who undergo a court-martial after being accused of a murder during the Second Boer War in South Africa. , In the film, the British military is determined to kill the defendants. Saying, "The gentlemen's war is over", Hunt had had the prisoners all shot while Morant watched. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom. After capturing a Boer named Visser who was wearing Captain Hunt's jacket, an enraged Morant ordered his men to line up into a firing squad and shoot him. Bolton begins by calling witnesses who describe a lack of discipline, drunkenness, widespread looting and corruption among the Carbineers at Fort Edward. Hall the officer commanding at Pietersburg is depicted as fully aware and even complicit in the total war tactics of the Fort Edward garrison. Shortly after his departure, Handcock had ridden up to Morant, spoken briefly to him and then ridden off, looking "agitated", in the same direction as Heese, with a rifle. The mating rituals of two teenage surf chicks from the southern suburbs of Sydney. Capt Simon Hunt Terence Donovan. According to the South African historian Andries Pretorius, the trial of Alfred Taylor was almost certainly saved for the last because "The prosecution must have been hoping", in vain for the accused officers, "to implicate Taylor". Heese then left the Fort and was later found, shot dead, along the road. After returning to the farm and finding Captain Hunt's body mutilated with knives, Morant gave chase, ambushed Viljoen's men, and forced them to retreat with many losses. The following day, testimony turns to the shooting of the six Boers. Synopsis In South Africa during the Second Boer War, Australian Army Lieutenants Harry "Breaker" Morant (Edward Woodward), Peter Handcock (Bryan Brown) and George Witton (Lewis Fitz-Gerald) stand accused of the murders of six Boer prisoners and the assassination of … In conversation with Bolton, Lord Kitchener states that Kaiser Wilhelm II has formally protested about the murder of Heese, whom he describes as a German citizen. Full Review | Original Score: A+ Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) The film is notable for its exploration of the Nuremberg Defence, the politics of the death penalty and the human cost of total war. It's the pressures that are put to bear on people in war time... Look at all the things that happen in these countries committed by people who appear to be quite normal. We cannot return home with the stigma of these crimes attached to our names. "Breaker Morant" is an anti-war film that takes no prisoners. , After listing numerous murders and attempted murders of unarmed Boer prisoners, local civilians and BVC personnel who disapproved, the letter concluded, "Sir, many of us are Australians who have fought throughout nearly the whole war while others are Africaners who have fought from Colenso till now. , Rotten Tomatoes gave Breaker Morant a 100% approval rating, based on 23 reviews, with an average score of 8.39/10. Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) crafts a tender coming-of-age tale that introduces one of Australian literature's most beloved characters to ... See full summary ». Concentration camps, a scorched earth policy and the like were used to subdue the Boers.In this film, three Commonwealth soldiers from Australia are up on charges for war crimes--they are charged with executing prisoners and the like. At last, Handcock opens up about his whereabouts. Yet, its overriding theme is that "war is evil". It was also nominated for the 1980 Academy Award for the Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium). During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Captain Taylor testifies that Morant had continued to bring prisoners in until after Captain Hunt had been killed. He vainly urges Thomas not to insist. He adds, "I don't mind waiting". Equally contemptuous of the idea, Bolton privately tells Thomas that, if Kitchener testifies and denies giving the orders, the defendants' lives will be doomed. That was what I was interested in examining. Was this review helpful to you? Breaker Morant Subtitles During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. The tale of Harry Harbord Morant — gone down in legend as Breaker Morant — is one of the most maddening and controversial in the annals of the Frontier Partisans. On the night of the 1969 federal election he invites a small group of friends to celebrate a predicted ... See full summary ». The film concerns the 1902 court martial of lieutenants Harry Morant, Peter Handcock and George Witton—one of the first war crime prosecutions in British military history. He argues that, as his clients only followed orders, all charges must be dropped. Although only Morant, Handcock, and Witton are shown as being on trial, there were three other defendants: The soldiers from the Fort Edward garrison who testify against Morant, Handcock and Witton are depicted as motivated by grudges against their former officers. Morant and Handcock are charged with the murder of the Reverend Daniel Heese. Now he is trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afrikaner people and arrange a peace conference. Surviving documents tell that the arrest of the six defendants was ordered by Hall after a letter from the other ranks at Fort Edward. On arrival, the Carbineers found the farm swarming with far more armed men than expected. And in London, I remember it had four days in the West End. Australians serving in the British Army during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Morant, Handcock, and Witton stood accused of murdering captured enemy combatants and an unarmed civilian in the Northern Transvaal. The 1983 film earned him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Director to date, even though Driving Miss Daisy (1989) which he directed, won Best Picture. The letter, dated 4 October 1901, was written by BVC Trooper Robert Mitchell Cochrane, a former Justice of the Peace from Western Australia and signed by 15 members of the Fort Edward garrison. Like the Boer War, soldiers had no idea who was and was not the enemy and vague or politically motivated rules of engagement made fighting very difficult. Denny recoils at the suggestion that Kitchener, a man revered throughout the British Empire, would be capable of giving such criminal orders. Explaining ominously that the German Emperor—Wilhelm II—has protested diplomatically about the latter killing, Kitchener asks Major Bolton to appear for the prosecution. Bruce Beresford claimed the film is often misunderstood as the story of men railroaded by the British, But that's not what it's about at all. Thomas manages to damage their credibility during cross examination. Enter your location to see which movie theaters are playing Breaker Morant near you. before being shot dead. This, the excellent writing and acting make for a very good film--one well worth seeing--even if it is a bit stagy (belying its roots as a play). View production, box office, & company info. After a powerful summing up speech from Thomas, the defendants are acquitted of murdering Heese. , The film also stirred debate on the legacy of the trial with its pacifist theme. They obey his order. In private Kitchener tells Hamilton that, when he had issued orders to take no prisoners, he was trying to break the Boer guerrillas by waging total war. And shot him about a band of Australian soldiers in South Africa to serve the! Including Tender Mercies, which he later directed 's a film that people talk to. Protested diplomatically about the latter killing, Kitchener asks Major Bolton to appear for the Academy... India to prevent him from giving testimony favourable to the shooting of Visser which! London, I remember it had four days in the film, is. 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