A common thread that weaves its way through most films dealing with the British Empire is the exciting, Boy’s Own spirit of martial bravado. Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The Four Feathers and Gunga Din all embody this spirt in their own way. The flip side, portrayed far less frequently on screen, are the frequent compromises needed to maintain the Empire itself.
While Bruce Beresford’s sublime Breaker Morant does feature at least one enthralling fight scene (a rather fantastic example of fish shooting OUT of a barrel) the bulk of the film takes place within the courtroom.
It’s in this setting that Jack Thompson delivers perhaps his greatest performance as he lays out his closing argument in defence of Morant, Witton and Handcock.
Breaker Morant – directed by Bruce Beresford (1980)
Up against impossible odds during a courts martial he knows to be rigged, defence lawyer Major Thomas presents his devastating argument.