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ANZACS

1 9 8 5 (Australia)
5 x 100 minute episodes

This 1985 miniseries followed the lives of a dozen volunteer Australian soldiers who served in the 8th battalion of the 1st Australian Imperial Force, part of the Australia & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served during World War I.

The series moved from the 1915 battle of Gallipoli to the brutal trenches of France during the 1916 Somme battles, the 1917 Arias and Vimy Ridge battles to the 1918 German offensives and the final victory drive.

At close to nine hours, it was a lengthy buddy movie told across five episodes with a large ensemble cast, among them a pre-Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan, displaying credible dramatic acting skills, away from the comedy he was well known for in Australia.

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Between the battle sequences, there was an emphasis on the interpersonal relationships of the men making up the battalion, with themes of kinship and larrikinism – from an Australian term for a young hoodlum or hooligan – pushed to the fore.

The historical accuracy and period detail were to be lauded, and the hefty budget spent by the Nine Network was very much in evidence on-screen. Punctuating the character drama, there was a momentum and energy to the battle sequences that could be held up against the best Hollywood had to offer.

Anzacs remains one of the most popular and fondly remembered miniseries ever broadcast in Australia.

Capt. Martin Barrington
Andrew Clarke
Cpl. Pat Cleary
Paul Hogan
Capt. Flanagan
Jon Blake
Sister Kate Baker
Megan Williams
Pte. Roly Collins
Christopher Cummins
Pte. Bill Harris
Jonathan Sweet
Lady Thea Barrington
Ilona Rodgers
Keith Murdoch
David Bradshaw
Rev. George Lonsdale
Robert Coleby
Lt. Harold Armstrong
Tony Bonner
Sgt. ‘Kaiser’ Schmidt
Shane Briant
Pte. ‘Pudden’ Parsons
Alec Wilson
Bluey
Peter Finlay
Madame
Elaine Lee
Marie
Leah Steventon
Mrs Baker
Sheila Kennelly
Sgt. Tom McArthur
Patrick Ward
Pte. ‘Dingo’ Gordon
Jim Holt
David Lloyd George
Rhys McConnochie
Max Earnshaw
David Lynch
Field Marshall Haig
Noel Trevarthen
Sir Rupert Barrington
Vincent Ball
Gen. Kiggell
Michael Adams
Hon. Cyril Earnshaw
Howard Bell
Mrs Collins
Diana Greentree
Gen. Monash
Bill Kerr
Dick Baker
Mark Hembrow
Pte. ‘Huddo’ Hudson
Nick Waters
Capt. Young
Edmund Pegge
Sir Maurice Hankey
Peter Stratford
‘Pompey’ Elliott
Francis Bell
Nurse Purvis
Meradith Rodgers