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Gallipoli is Australian director Peter Weir's (The Truman Show, Witness) story of how the irresistible lure of adventure and the unknown, combined with national pride, bring two young men (Mel Gibson and Mark Lee) together in the Australian army in 1915. They cross continents and great oceans, climb pyramids and walk through the ancient sands of Egypt to join their regiment at the fateful battle of Gallipoli. The echoes of history blend with the friends' compelling destiny as they become part of a legendary World War 1 confrontation between Australia and the German allied Turks- a battle that is to Australians what the Alamo is to Americans.
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Paramount offers another nice retrospective of a Peter Weir film. This excellent film is about a war that was very important to Australians (the country had just formed a decade before), and the documentary sets up the context of the battle including historical pictures and footage of the current battleground. Stars Mel Gibson and Mark Lee offer their impressions of the filmmaking experience (inexperienced Lee thought he was in over his head). The most interesting aspect not pursued is the odd pairing of producers Rupert Murdoch and Robert Stigwood. But anyone who is seeing this expertly transferred film for the first time will get most of their questions answered from these extra features. --Doug Thomas
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