Nicki Juarez

Written by Nicki Juarez

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Breaker Morant is a riveting Australian war film that delves into the harrowing true story of three Australian soldiers who were court-martialed during the Boer War in South Africa. Released in 1980, the movie is captivating, emotional, and politically charged, shedding light on the controversial circumstances surrounding the trial of these soldiers for war crimes.

Directed by Bruce Beresford and based on Kenneth G. Ross’s play, Breaker Morant has captivated audiences worldwide with its powerful performances and gripping storyline. The film takes a critical look at the harsh realities of war and the ethical dilemmas faced by soldiers in combat.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the world of Breaker Morant and uncover 49 fascinating facts about the film that will help you appreciate its historical significance, cinematic brilliance, and impact on the world of cinema.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Breaker Morant” is a gripping Australian war drama that explores themes of justice, loyalty, and the complexities of wartime decision-making. Its powerful storytelling and strong performances continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.
  • The film’s historical significance and universal themes of war, justice, and loyalty make it a timeless classic that continues to captivate and provoke meaningful discussions.
Table of Contents

Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian war drama film directed by Bruce Beresford.

The film is based on a play of the same name written by Kenneth Ross, which is in turn based on the true story of Australian soldiers during the Second Boer War.

It stars Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, and Bryan Brown in lead roles.

Woodward’s portrayal of Lieutenand Morant earned him critical acclaim and a Best Actor nomination at the Australian Film Institute Awards.

Breaker Morant received international recognition and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

It went on to win several awards, including ten Australian Film Institute Awards.

The film explores themes of war crimes, justice, and loyalty.

It raises questions about the ethics of military operations, especially during times of conflict.

Breaker Morant was shot on location in South Australia.

The rugged landscapes and historical buildings add a sense of authenticity to the film.

The screenplay was written by Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, and Bruce Beresford.

They successfully adapted the original play to create a compelling and thought-provoking film.

The title character, Breaker Morant, is based on the real-life soldier Harry “Breaker” Morant.

Morant was a famous Australian folk hero known for his skills as a horse breaker and his involvement in the Boer War.

The film uses flashbacks and testimonies to piece together the events leading up to the trial of Morant and his fellow soldiers.

This narrative structure adds suspense and keeps the audience engaged throughout the film.

The trial scenes in the movie are particularly powerful.

They showcase the tensions between British military officers and Australian soldiers, highlighting the cultural divide between the two.

Breaker Morant is known for its strong performances and captivating dialogue.

The actors bring depth and humanity to their roles, making the characters feel real and relatable.

The cinematography in the film is stunning.

The wide shots of the Australian landscape and the close-ups of the characters’ faces add visual richness to the storytelling.

The score for Breaker Morant was composed by Phil Cuneen.

The music enhances the emotional impact of the film, heightening the tension and drama of the story.

Breaker Morant was a critical and commercial success.

It was praised for its powerful storytelling, strong performances, and relevant themes.

The film sparked a renewed interest in the Boer War and the history of Australian soldiers’ involvement.

It shed light on a lesser-known aspect of Australian history and opened up conversations about war crimes and military justice.

Breaker Morant has gained a cult following over the years.

Its themes and characters resonate with audiences and continue to be relevant in today’s world.

The movie’s release coincided with increased Australian nationalism and a desire to redefine national identity.

Breaker Morant became a symbol of Australian resilience and the fight for justice.

The Australian government pardoned Morant and his fellow soldiers in 2010, almost 110 years after their execution.

This move was influenced in part by the film’s portrayal of their trial and the subsequent public outcry.

Breaker Morant is often cited as one of the best Australian films ever made.

It is a testament to the country’s filmmaking talent and its ability to tell compelling stories.

The film captures the raw emotions and complex moral dilemmas faced by soldiers in times of war.

It raises important questions about the nature of justice and the cost of loyalty.

Breaker Morant has been praised for its realistic portrayal of military life.

The attention to detail in the costumes, set design, and historical accuracy adds depth and authenticity to the story.

The movie’s success helped launch the careers of many of its cast and crew.

Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, and Bruce Beresford went on to have successful careers in the film industry.

Breaker Morant is an important part of Australian film history.

It paved the way for future Australian filmmakers to tell their own stories on the international stage.

The film’s themes of injustice and the effects of war continue to resonate with audiences of all ages.

It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers and the need for accountability in times of conflict.

Breaker Morant remains a favorite among cinephiles and war film enthusiasts.

Its powerful storytelling and memorable performances make it a must-watch for anyone interested in Australian cinema.

The film’s impact extends beyond the borders of Australia.

It has been praised by international audiences for its universal themes and gripping narrative.

Breaker Morant is considered a classic of Australian cinema.

It is often included in lists of the best films from the country and has been studied in film schools around the world.

The success of Breaker Morant helped to establish the reputation of Australian cinema on the global stage.

It proved that Australian filmmakers had the talent and storytelling ability to compete with Hollywood.

The film’s success also led to increased funding and support for the Australian film industry.

It encouraged the production of more quality films and helped to cultivate a strong and vibrant film culture in the country.

Breaker Morant is a powerful reminder of the impact that film can have on society.

It has the ability to shine a light on important issues and provoke meaningful discussions.

The movie’s historical setting and narrative structure make it a unique and compelling viewing experience.

It combines elements of war, courtroom drama, and personal struggle to create a truly unforgettable film.

Breaker Morant is a timeless film that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Its exploration of morality and the consequences of war are themes that are relevant in any era.

The film’s legacy extends beyond the silver screen.

It has inspired books, documentaries, and even stage adaptations, further cementing its place in popular culture.

Breaker Morant stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the ability of film to educate and entertain.

It is a true cinematic masterpiece that deserves to be celebrated and remembered.

The movie was praised for its realistic depiction of the harsh conditions faced by soldiers during the Boer War.

It accurately portrays the grit and resilience of the Australian soldiers as they navigate through the challenges of war.

Breaker Morant is a thought-provoking film that raises important questions about justice and morality.

It challenges the audience to consider the complexities of wartime decision-making and the consequences of one’s actions.

The film’s success led to a resurgence of interest in Australian war films.

It paved the way for future films that explored the country’s military history and the experiences of its soldiers.

Breaker Morant was praised for its accurate portrayal of the Boer War.

The filmmakers conducted extensive research to ensure historical authenticity, resulting in a film that feels true to the time period.

The performances in Breaker Morant are top-notch.

The actors bring depth and nuance to their characters, making them feel like real people with their own motivations and struggles.

The film’s themes of injustice and the abuse of power resonate strongly with audiences.

It serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

Breaker Morant showcases the complexities of war and the toll it takes on those involved.

It humanizes the soldiers and highlights the psychological and emotional impact of war.

The movie’s courtroom scenes are particularly riveting.

The tension and drama of the trial keep the audience on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the verdict.

Breaker Morant received widespread critical acclaim upon its release.

It was praised for its powerful storytelling, compelling performances, and relevant social commentary.

The film’s historical significance cannot be understated.

It sheds light on an important chapter in Australian history and brings to light the experiences of its soldiers in the Boer War.

Breaker Morant continues to be studied and analyzed by film scholars and historians.

Its impact on Australian cinema and its contribution to the understanding of war and justice cannot be overlooked.

The movie’s success helped to establish Bruce Beresford as one of Australia’s leading directors.

He went on to direct many successful films both in Australia and internationally.

Breaker Morant showcases the camaraderie and loyalty between soldiers.

It highlights the bonds formed in times of war and the lengths that people will go to protect their comrades.

The film’s script is a masterclass in storytelling.

The dialogue is sharp, the pacing is excellent, and the narrative keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

Breaker Morant is not just a war film; it’s a powerful examination of the human condition.

It raises important questions about ethics, justice, and the nature of war itself.

The enduring popularity of Breaker Morant is a testament to its timeless themes and compelling storytelling.

It is a film that continues to captivate audiences and spark important conversations about war, justice, and loyalty.


Breaker Morant is a remarkable film that tells a compelling story about injustice, loyalty, and the brutality of war. With its powerful performances, gripping screenplay, and thought-provoking themes, it has become a classic in Australian cinema. The movie sheds light on a dark chapter in history and raises important questions about the laws of war and the accountability of those in power.

As viewers, we are forced to confront the moral ambiguity of the characters and the devastating consequences of their actions. The film’s exploration of loyalty and sacrifice also resonates deeply, leaving us with a sense of empathy for these soldiers who were placed in impossible situations.

Breaker Morant is a must-watch for any film lover, offering a poignant and thought-provoking experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll.


Q: Is Breaker Morant based on a true story?

A: Yes, Breaker Morant is based on the true story of three Australian soldiers on trial for war crimes during the Boer War in South Africa.

Q: Who directed Breaker Morant?

A: Breaker Morant was directed by Bruce Beresford, an acclaimed Australian filmmaker known for his diverse range of films.

Q: When was Breaker Morant released?

A: Breaker Morant was released in 1980 and quickly gained international recognition and critical acclaim.

Q: Did Breaker Morant win any awards?

A: Yes, Breaker Morant was nominated for several awards and won multiple accolades, including the Best Supporting Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Q: Is Breaker Morant a war movie?

A: Yes, Breaker Morant is categorized as a war movie, as it focuses on the experiences of soldiers during the Boer War and the legal proceedings that followed.

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