The Odd Angry Shot [Blu-Ray] [Import]
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Tom Jeffrey�s classic Australian film, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT, is set in the late 1960s during the brutal war Australians shared with the United States: the struggle for Vietnam. Harry (Graham Kennedy), a hard-edged Special Air Service Corporal, meets a new company of soldiers during his second tour in Vietnam. There�s the na�ve Bill (John Jarratt), the easy-going Bung (John Hargreaves), the blunt Rogers (Bryan Brown), the pragmatic Dawson (Graeme Blundell), and the youthful and innocent Scott (Ian Gilmour). Because of their training as professional soldiers from Australia�s toughest Army unit, these men believe they can deal with any situation. They pass the time playing practical jokes, getting into drunken brawls and humoring themselves to keep their minds off the war. But, when the first �odd angry shot� rings out, and an enemy mortar barrage hits their camp causing many casualties, the men realize their protective shield of humor is no defense at all against the harsh realities of armed combat.
Original Theatrical Trailer � Audio Commentary with Director and Producer � Buddy Joe Hooker Featurette
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Early on a young soldier is warned that he will be well sought after for his stories when he returns home, but forgotten when people are tired of hearing them, the stories he see's unfolding are funny, sad, somber, and grotesque, but they are part of who he will become. Don't view this movie expecting an Oliver Stone-esque movie, just don't be suprised if you become part of it. It is a great movie, long overlooked.
It treated the political issues around the Vietnam War in Australia with some sensitity. The two diggers who return realize that it is unlikely they will be treated like heroes, given the unpopularity of the war.
Great to see that the tactital fighting stuff was done realistically - they actually bothered to speak to the forces about how ground patrol and combat is carried out. So we had the hand signs, the command to 'break contact', and the withdrawing from the skirmish in correct formation. So many movies never bother to do these kinds of things properly - so you have police turning in to do searches without showing any ID (and not beiong challenged), masseurs who have bad manners and don't know what pettrisage is (eg in the Suite Life).
This movie at least bothered with these kinds of details, so full marks for that.
On the other hand, the 'Vietnam Jungle' looked like Australian rain forest!
Add to all that, some of the priceless humour - the chaplain was portrayed as a normal human being, and the soldier's gift to him, the wanking device, was priceless!
All in all, a most enjoyable movie which was well-balanced between the serious issues around war, and the male humour which helped the soldiers cope with the situation!
Finally, really well-cast; it was not just Graham Kennedy and a whole lot of other people that happen to get into a movie.
Not a masterpiece, but certainly above average.
It centers on base camp life, with its boredom, disappointments, card games, ribbing, and tale-telling. Details are distinctive, like the cigarette lighter hanging from the ceiling by a string, reminding us that disposable lighters remained in the future.
Patrols happen. Friends die, or are wounded and disappear in a helicopter.
Letters from home delight, or bring terrible news.
The nearby Americans propose a ridiculous bet, and an enormous brawl ensues. All are invigorated.
In the film's quiet center, the corporal is asked why he joined up. His painstaking explanation of how he came to know his wife did not love him is received in a hush.
Upon return to Australia, two, still in uniform, visit a drinking spot with a spacious view of the ocean. The barkeep asks, "Back from Vietnam?" The corporal replies with flat finality, "No." But the drinks are free anyway.