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Danger Close: the Despertaferres pick of the week

“Simply the best film I have seen in decades…….”

Why don’t we know enough of our own history? Why do we bemoan our fate when we don’t make films and books that get the adrenaline pumping. For the generation brought up on El Cid and the Alamo, Harry Potter and the Crock of Frogspawn are just insulting. In just two hours of action packed filming, Bob Grandin and the director Kriv Shedlers take us back to the  field of Long Tan with the Australian and New Zealand forces. These are the men who didn’t find urgent business in Canada, nor sail with the US coastguard off Florida. Major Harry Smith is the hard bitten Major who turns round a probable defeat to a near miraculous bloody nose for the communist drones.

I have not been so moved by a group of actors for literally years. Travis Fimmmel is wholly believeable as the frustrated leader of the Free World forces, battling hopeless odds with a grim determination to hold on and not let his mates down. Credit must also go to Luke Bracey and Richard Roxbury for such amazing portrayals of courage. Truly the casting and acting are of the highest quality.

The CGI is not intrusive, but rather adds magnificently to the realism of the film. Echoes of that other classic Zulu are to be seen in the closing assault and the tragic roll-call in the denouement.The film works so well and I really cannot find fault with it. I vividly remember my Uncle Ely’s tales of how the Korean communists treated him in prison. It is a great pity that he was not able to see this portrayal of a later, equally vital struggle with Evil. My uncle’s captors never did break him. The Korean officer asked my uncle for the model ship he had whittled during captivity. He had tried and failed to break the young officer’s spirit. Uncle Gwyn dropped the model, fruit of three years work, and stamped on it…..

Courage is rare in this world. But, this film makes for uplifting viewing. Recommended! Available to watch on Netflix.

Thanks for reading



  1. steventhomasnz

    Thanks for mentioning this. I’ve just started collecting Anzacs for Vietnam. So Long Tan is high on the to do list.

    Liked by 2 people

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