ANZAC day this year marks the 99th Anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, Australia’s first campaign that led to major casualties during the World War I. Nowadays we commemorate ANZAC day more broadly, remembering all Australians who fought in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions.
We’ve put together a series of films based on true stories and documentaries on DVD that tell the stories of World War I.
A classic Australian period drama, 1915 takes us inside a bustling rural community and captures the dreams and heartaches of two young men as they grow up and ultimately embark on the greatest and worst adventure of their lives.
2. The African Queen
Starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, The African Queen tells the timeless tale of two mismatched strangers joining forces in a common cause – and finding love along the way. Meticulously restored from the original film elements, the story chronicles the burgeoning romance between Bogie’s river rat Charlie Allnut and Hepburn’s missionary Rose Sayer, as they reluctantly join forces to torpedo a German gunboat in war-torn East Africa. Directed by John Huston, and filmed on location in the Belgian Congo, The African Queen is arguably one of the finest films ever made – with one of the most legendary star pairings ever to appear on the screen!
The epic six hour drama follows a group of World War 1 Australian soldiers from the Gallipoli landing in 1915 to Armistice Day, 1918. Starring Paul Hogan (‘Crocodile Dundee’), Jon Blake (‘The Lighthorseman’), Andrew Clarke (TV’s ‘The Man from Snowy River’), Tony Bonner, Bill Kerr, Noel Trevarthen, Jonathan Sweet, Shane Briant, Patric Ward. Anzac was a huge rating success for the Nine Network when it aired on television in 1985. Over 7 hours of viewing on DVD. Produced by Geoff Burrowes and directed by John Dixon; Pino Amenta; and The Man From Snowy River’s George Miller.
4. Doomsday: World War
The First World War – carnage on a scale never-before seen. But how did it all start? And how did some key figures of WWII fare in the earlier war? In three episodes we trace their careers back to the battlefields of WWI, including Adolf Hitler, Bernard L. Montgomery, Hermann Goering, Charles de Gaulle, George S. Patton and Walter Model. Their personal stories are set against the backdrop of a bigger political and strategic reality.
Carefully restored and colourised archive combined with re-enactments and personal testimonies portray individual fates, providing the detail behind the bigger picture.
5. Enough Rope – Gallipoli: Brothers in Arms
Each year, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders of all ages make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli to commemorate Anzac Day. For most, it is a profoundly emotional experience in a place where many believe our national identity was forged. The Gallipoli Peninsula is equally revered as a site of remembrance by our allies (Britain, France and India) and by the Turkish people who suffered a quarter of a million casualties in defending their homeland against this Allied invasion. A record crowd of more than 20,000 made a pilgrimage to Anzac Cove last year and a similar number is expected in 2006. Why do Australians come so far to remember this? Why are their numbers only growing every year? Andrew Denton and his team at Enough Rope journey to Gallipoli to meet Australian pilgrims to Gallipoli and discover its haunting significance on our country and its people.
6. Gallipoli: Frontline Experience
The Gallipoli campaign of World War I was so controversial and devastating it changed the face of battle forever. This is the first time the campaign has been viewed through the eyes of those soldiers who fought it – from both sides of the conflict. Using their diaries, letters, photographs and memoirs, director Tolga Ornek traces the personal journeys of Australian, New Zealand, British and Turkish soldiers, from innocence and patriotism to hardship and heartbreak.
7. National Geographic: Gallipoli’s Deep Secrets
On his latest underwater quest the discoverer of the Titanic, Dr Robert Ballard, examines one of the greatest turning points of the 20th century. In what was to become one of the bloodiest and most futile battles of the modern era, Ballard wants to examine how it went so horribly wrong. The answers lie not only on the battlefields but beneath the waves. Ballard reveals the story of Gallipoli as it has never been told before, through its wrecks. Diving into ancient waters off Turkey, Ballard uncovers the wrecks where the might of the British Navy was outwitted by a weakened Ottoman Empire, unleashing a terrible carnage where hundreds of thousands of young lives would be wasted. But amongst the tragedy Ballard discovers heroes including a one Australian submarine that achieved what no submarine had ever done before. On this extraordinary and poignant journey, Ballard unlocks Gallipoli’s deep secrets.
8. The Great War: 1914-1918
The Great War ushered in the 20th Century. It was “the war to end all wars”, – a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history.
It was a war between what was and what was to be. The “old world” was dying and the new world had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw it as some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men had died in the mud of the battlefields.
Pozieres is a tiny village in Northern France. In 1916, during the Great War, Pozieres became the centre of one of the bloodiest battles and the key to the success of the Battle for the Somme. The village was stormed and captured by Australians. In less than seven weeks they suffered twenty three thousand casualties for this tiny patch of earth.
10. The Red Baron
Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I. To him and his companions, air combats are events of sporty nature, technical challenge and honourable acting, ignoring the terrible extent of war. But after falling in love with the nurse Käte, Manfred realises he is only used for propaganda means. Caught between his disgust for the war, and the responsibility for his fighter wing, von Richthofen sets out to fly again.