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Gallipoli Actor Bill Hunter RIP

#1
One of Australia's favourite actors, Bill Hunter, has died of cancer, aged 71, in Melbourne.

He was known for his roles in classic Australian films like Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Strictly Ballroom.

He played an Australian officer in the World War I film Gallipoli.

His career spanned more
ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13488200
 
#5
Bill Hunter.

Top Man, Rosemary's Wedding.

The one about formation dancing.

No Australian Film was complete without Bill Hunter.

Forget that Mel Gibson Shite.
 
#6
Bill Hunter.

Top Man, Rosemary's Wedding.

The one about formation dancing.

No Australian Film was complete without Bill Hunter.

Forget that Mel Gibson Shite.
It was 'Muriel's wedding' actually.
He was great in it. Especially when he walked Muriel up the aisle and said to the groom "She's all yours now mate". Brilliant line.
 
#8
Saw him in The Square the other night. Good movie.

He was a good actor. Specialised in playing blowhard bosses and fathers in law towards the end.
 
#12
Bill Hunter was one of the Australian Labor Party’s favourite son’s.

You also need to know that the script for 'Gallipoli' was scripted by David Williamson, the ALP's head of 'modern myth manufacture'



Forget for a minute , the automatic ARSSE bigotry against any film that Mel Gibson appears in. It is pretty irrelevant in this instance.

Hunter was very good in Davidson's construction of 'Gallipoli'. Mel really had nothing to do with any of the aspects of that movie that raises the ire of most poms.

It was one of Mel Gibson's best films. It was also Hunter's second best portrayal of an Officer on film. (His effort alongside Jack Thompson in 'Spyforce' was far superior IMHO.)

Russell Boyd the Cinematographer managed to make the South Australian coastline look exactly like the way George Lambert painted the cliffs and crags of the Turkish coast.

There are plenty of hat tips to the contemporary British cinema renaissance of the early 1980’s too. One of the themes of Gallipoli is the comparison between sport and war. The theme music in Gallipoli in the all the running sequences is from Jean Michael Jarre’s ‘Oxygene’. For mine this is either a direct borrow or happy accident from the same use that was put to Vangelis for ‘Chariots of Fire’. (the Albioni was good as well)



I doubt that most Pomgolian’s who bitch about ‘Gallipoli’ have either seen it or understand it.

Make no mistake, ‘Gallipoli’ IS historically flawed. Compared to more recent efforts from elsewhere, like U-571 however, it holds up as a beacon of accuracy. It beats ANY of the UK film treatments of the Gallipoli campaign by a country mile.

‘Gallipoli’ was a good film and even though Hunter was a ‘luvvy’, he was good in it and just about everything else he was in.

Vale Captain Pollock
 
#14
It beats ANY of the UK film treatments of the Gallipoli campaign by a country mile.
Like what? I don't recall any British film treatments of the Gallipoli campaign - apart of course from the incredibly exact for a faction-movie "All The Kings Men" or the more contemporaneous but schmaltzy "Tell England".
 
#15
Im a "pomgolian" who,s seen Gallipoli enough times to have a walk on part in it.

Historically flawed undoubtedly, but i think the thing thing that grips us pomgolian,s more than anything else is the tacit suggestion that the Brits were bloody mindedly sending wave after wave of Anzacs to a futile death whilst we did sweet fa. Quote "The British must be allowed to get ashore at Suvla". In fact throughout the Dardanelles campaign British casualties totalled over 200,000 including 43,000 killed.



The music is very good though, but Mark Lee comes across as a bit of a gayer.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
(snip)


I doubt that most Pomgolian’s who bitch about ‘Gallipoli’ have either seen it or understand it.

Make no mistake, ‘Gallipoli’ IS historically flawed. Compared to more recent efforts from elsewhere, like U-571 however, it holds up as a beacon of accuracy. It beats ANY of the UK film treatments of the Gallipoli campaign by a country mile.

‘Gallipoli’ was a good film and even though Hunter was a ‘luvvy’, he was good in it and just about everything else he was in.

Vale Captain Pollock
What absolute b0llocks. The minute you said it was better than U 571 you lost all credibility - that film even makes 'Escape to Victory' and 'Von Ryan's Express' look good, being better than it is no defence at all. 'Gallipoli' played to the worst sort of 'pom-bashing' instincts as sadly, at points, did the far better Anzacs mini-series, though that managed a better balance across the whole and remains a little gem - it certainly covered Gallipoli better.

In my view, if you make a film about historical events, particularly if some of the participants are still alive, you have a responsibility to fairly represent those involved, even if individuals are combined to make the story work. If you don't, you are open to legitimate criticism. The portrayal of the British in Gallipoli is straight out of pantomime central casting and is on a par with the rubbish produced by the Americans during World War Two where the Japanese all had bad eyesight and the Germans spent their time doing Erich Von Stroheim impressions.

The tragedy of Gallipoli, as with much of World War One, is that of commanders coming to terms with the unprecedented scale of operations and the lethality of the weapons systems they confronted. That affected everybody, including the much vaunted German General Staff. You'll struggle to extract that from Gallipoli which peddles the usual tripe, recently recycled by some clown of a New Zealand general, about diggers simply being sacrificed by callous fox-hunters. The characters are two-dimensional and it's a Cook's Tour of World War One cliches that were hackneyed when Remarque was writing, let alone fifty years later. It's a shame the Turks couldn't shoot Lee (and Gibson come to that) in the first reel and save everyone a lot of time.
 
#17
Well forgive me.

There I was thinking I was doing a service and putting a film in its proper national and political context.

It counted for naught because it always degenerates into the knee jerk anti Mel rants and accusations of pom bashing.

I’ll say it again. The film ‘Gallipoli’ was a film treatment of an historic event viewed through an Australian nationalist perspective. Not only that, it never tried to hide its ‘lefty’ agenda. It has to be remembered that when it was made thirty years ago Australian republicanism was a real priority for the Australian Labor movement. Ironic really when you consider that thirty years later republicanism is a slain beast and that recent Anglo/Oz film co-operation was the biggest boost to the Monarchy this side of young Bill and Kate’s wedding.

In the thirty years since the film came out a great deal of ‘revisionism’ has occurred as far as Australian WW1 history is concerned. ‘Gallipoli’ was just one shot fired in the ‘Culture War’ that was eventually won by John Howard.

The conservative Howard regime committed serious money to making Australian history accessible. Howard personally intervened to ensure that Les Carlyon the author of ‘The Great War’ was the joint inaugural winner of the Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History in 2006.

Carlyon’s earlier work ‘Gallipoli’ goes a long way towards addressing many Australian martial myths associated with that campaign. If you have seen the thirty year old film ‘Gallipoli’ and you haven’t read Carlyon’s Australian number 1 best seller, you are not qualified to comment on contemporary Australian attitudes towards the Gallipoli campaign.

In 2011, Australian’s are far better informed about what really occurred on the peninsular because they have the world’s best access to primary source material via the net.

Australian’s are not characteristically insular. They are an exceptionally well travelled bunch. Along with Earls Court ANZAC day at Gallipoli is now part of the Pilgrimage trail. It is massive.

Alternative narratives and better (politically) balanced accounts of the campaign have emerged since the David Williamson script was made into a film in 1981.

I don’t agree with Williamson’s reading of the battle of the Nek. I know for example that that the person most culpable for the slaughter of the Light Horsemen was probably the Australian Colonel Anthill. I know too that the Royal Welch Fusiliers suffered terribly in their support of the attack of the Australian Light Horse. I know that the sacrifice of the Light Horse at the Nek was probably surpassed by that of the Irish Fusiliers on the SS River Clyde. I know that the attack on the Nek was in support of the Kiwi effort at Chunuk Bair rather than as a diversion for the pommy landing at Suvla Bay.

However, I’ve got no idea whether or not Godley or Stopford were part of the foxhunting set. Were they? Is Williamson allowed just a wee bit of dramatic licence here?



The proposition that dramatisation of historic military events has no validity, is quite simply ridiculous. FF, best you dig up Bill Shakespeare and let him know that his take on the battle of Agincourt, needs another look.

Ironic too, that the actor who played the role of ‘Jack’ in ‘Gallipoli, also played ‘Harold Brownlow Martin’ in the British movie ‘The Dambusters’

I believe that the movie is about to be remade.

Given that Operation Chastise had little or no military value and mostly served to raise British morale at a time when it was suffering big licks from the Luftwaffe, this is a wee bit perplexing. Especially when you consider, that the KMT’s contemporary dam busting efforts in China made Chastise look like someone taking a wee in the ocean.

Never mind.

Rather than remaking 'The Dambusters' perhaps it is time for the British Gallipoli movie?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Put the film in whatever context you like it was rubbish - it belongs in the same skip as 'Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Oh What a Lovely War' and 'How I won the War'.

If you want to use an historical event to make a point, fine. If you end up being criticised for one-eyed distortion, as a result of your polemic, that's fine too.

No-one's arguing about the dramatisation of historical events but, the further you stray from the reality, the more criticism you can reasonably expect. You mention Shakespeare, but his portrayal of the French is not disrespectful and it accords with what we know from the historical record.

As far as the Dambusters is concerned, the script has speculation about what the raid might achieve, which is historically accurate, but, at the end, the focus is on the human element and the letters Gibson has to write. There's no impact assessment beyond historical footage of the floods (don't hold your breath for the re-make either - the codeword for success makes it unlikely).

I don't know why you used either example to make your point as they're both cr@p for the purpose.

My argument was that a gang of chippy wasters took an historical episode and twisted it to their own purposes in a way that was historically inaccurate and intellectually dishonest. It used a thin historical veneer to achieve a credibility it didn't deserve and, in doing so, it cheapened the sacrifices made, whether they were by French, British or Commonwealth soldiers. I don't care about the political context or whether it made Australians feel better about themselves and I couldn't care less about being qualified to talk about contemporary Australian attitudes to the Gallipoli campaign - they're beside the point.

As you say, Gallipoli is what it set out to be, a toxic piece of pom-bashing propaganda, and as such it is best handled with a pair of tongs.
 
#19
He also played an unsavory petty criminal character in The Hit (a Brit/Spanish production) The Hit (1984) - IMDbwith Terrance Stamp, a very young Tim Roth and John Hurt. The latter 2 were hit men fetching the grouse Terrance from Spain. Bill Hunter was summarily killed by Hurt as well were both characters played by Terrance and Tim.
 
#20
He also played an unsavory petty criminal character in The Hit (a Brit/Spanish production) The Hit (1984) - IMDbwith Terrance Stamp, a very young Tim Roth and John Hurt. The latter 2 were hit men fetching the grouse Terrance from Spain. Bill Hunter was summarily killed by Hurt as well were both characters played by Terrance and Tim.
I quite enjoyed it. Actually should try and track it down again...
 

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