Breaker Morant

Breaker Morant
Breaker Morant

Recommended by Ralph Mellon

Possibly one of the top dozen movies ever made, this fact-based period courtroom drama is from the golden decade of Australian cinema.

Lts Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant (Edward Woodward), Peter Handcock (Bryan Brown) and George Witton (Lewis Fitz-Gerald) are officers with the Australian army’s Bushveldt Carbineers in South Africa during the 1899-1902 Boer War.

They are court-martialled for war crimes, including murder – but behind this are some putrid dirty tricks by their British superiors, who want to end the conflict and are determined to convict them.

They are hauled up for departing from the so-called ‘rules of war’, despite following orders and combating a particularly vicious enemy – ‘a new war for a new century’, as Morant observes.

Their defence counsel (a superb Jack Thompson) argues that active-serving men cannot be judged as murderers in acts of war.

A truly brilliant film, you’ll find it hard not be stirred by the story and its outcome.