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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.05%
Worth A Look42.11%
Average: 31.58%
Pretty Bad: 5.26%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 13 user ratings

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Odd Angry Shot, The
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Living room war"
3 stars

The Odd Angry Shot is a modest film, not large enough to match its ambition. Australiaís first film set during the Vietnam War (made in 1979), it tries to be a traditional war genre movie - with jungle sorties, rec. leave in Saigon, choppers and tragic deaths. But at its best, itís a character study - a portrait of Australian masculinity under pressure.

It traces a yearlong tour of duty of a SAS patrol in 1969. Although based on William Nagleís award-winning autobiographical novel, it widens the perspective from author surrogate Bill (John Jarratt) to that of the whole ensemble, played with believable camaraderie by Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, Graeme Blundell, Bryan Brown and Richard Moir.

A key theme is that the menís presence in Vietnam was futile. All they see is ďthe odd angry shotĒ, though often with devastating consequences. The final scene is set in Sydney. Kennedy and Jarratt meet for a drink but, after denying to the bartender they were in the war and commenting how Sydney looks the same, have nothing to say to each other. Itís an ending for a smaller film and it introduces the wider political context of public attitude to the war too late.

Unfortunately, the film is also episodic and suffers a fatal lack of focus and narrative drive. Perhaps director-adaptor Tom Jeffrey should have stuck with Billís perspective - the smaller scale of the film is more acceptable as one manís view of the war and would have seemed less of an attempt at a representative view of Australian involvement.

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originally posted: 07/25/03 16:36:05
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User Comments

10/28/05 samantha all right for an aussie film! 4 stars
5/25/05 Johnno I loved it being ex Army myself it shows how useless war actually is. 5 stars
10/28/04 Chris realistic enough 4 stars
8/21/04 Scott Carpenter This film is a good antidote to the Hollywood war films we see so often now. 5 stars
6/13/04 Terence Taylor Good film, a few slow moments and hard to find for sale. 4 stars
5/09/04 S.Eldridge it was alright, a bit slow 2 stars
12/28/03 Les Thompson This film is more about mates than it is about war 4 stars
12/13/03 Tony A classic story that captures the relationship that still exists with Australian soldiers. 4 stars
11/09/03 KRISTY It is a great movie ani want to download it but cant find it 5 stars
11/07/03 Grant It was light hearted and at times comical, it balanced the serious side of the war nicely. 4 stars
9/17/03 Dana If you experianced Vietnam you can enjoy this movie very much, especially the ending scene 5 stars
9/06/03 Mark I love for its characterisation of the SAS patrol as social group 4 stars
8/18/03 Daniel Tawse I love this film 4 stars
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Directed by
  Tom Jeffrey

Written by
  Tom Jeffrey

  Graham Kennedy
  John Hargreaves
  John Jarratt
  Bryan Brown
  Graeme Blundell
  Richard Moir

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