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Anzacs (named for members of the all volunteer ANZAC army formations) was a 1985 5-part Australian mini series set in World War I. The series follows the lives of a group of young Australian men who enlist in the Australian army in 1914, fighting first at Gallipoli in 1915, and then on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.

It follows in the wake of Australian New Wave war films such as Breaker Morant (1980), Gallipoli (1981), and precedes The Lighthorsemen (1987). Recurring themes of these films include the Australian identity, such as mateship and larrikinism, the loss of innocence in war, and also the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers (the ANZAC spirit).



The mini-series is very much an ensemble-acting affair with some very well known faces in the line-up including Paul Hogan, of "Crocodile" Dundee fame as Pat Cleary. Other members include:


Episodes directed by: Pino Amenta, John Dixon, or George Miller. Original TV screening aspect ratio 1.33:1.


Total running Time 480:27.

  • Episode 1: [96:43] Australia in 1914… Outbreak of war… Recruitment… Training… Gallipoli: Landing/stalemate/withdrawal.
  • Episode 2: [96:36] Arrival in France (1916)… Nursery Sector… The Battle of the Somme… Pozieres.
  • Episode 3: [97:08] The Somme Winter (1916-17)… The Hindenburg Line… Bullecourt… Blighty Leave… Third Battle of Ypres begins (July 1917)… Menin Road… Broodseinde Ridge
  • Episode 4: [94:52] Third Battle of Ypres bogs down (November 1917)… The German Offensive (March 1918)… The Battle of Amiens… Hazebrouk… Battle of Nieppe Forest.
  • Episode 5: [95:08] The Yanks are coming… "Peaceful Penetration"… Monash appointed Commander of the 5 Australian Divisions… Battle of Hamel… The "Jack ups" Monash's Big Push (August 8, 1918)… Armistice (November 11, 1918)… Back Home.


Australian composer Bruce Rowland composed the original music for the series which also popularised many old marching songs of the period for example:

(Tune: John Brown's Body)

One staff officer jumped right over another staff officer's back.
And another staff officer jumped right over that other staff officer's back,
A third staff officer jumped right over two other staff officers' backs,
And a fourth staff officer jumped right over all the other staff officers' backs. They were only playing leapfrog,
They were only playing leapfrog,
They were only playing leapfrog,
When one staff officer jumped right over another staff officer's back.


Well noted for its humour and historical accuracy, the series was hugely successful worldwide.

External links



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