Mike Walsh talks to Mel Gibson and Peter Weir about the filming of Gallipoli

BY STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN

Gallipoli was an immediate success in Australia and attracted international acclaim. It won nine AFI Awards, including Best Picture, Director (Weir) and Actor (Gibson); was a popular hit (it remains among the top 25 Australian films of all time at the local box office); competed at the Venice Film Festival and the Golden Globe Awards; and showed Gibson’s dramatic range just months before Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior) cemented his worldwide fame.

'The most expensive Australian film ever made’

Peter Weir talks with Mike Walsh about the inspiration for the film: visiting the trenches at Gallipoli in the 1970s when the site was largely unchanged from the First World War. Weir interviewed many surviving war veterans about their experiences. He also discusses having to coordinate 4,000 extras, and filming with the local community of Port Lincoln, South Australia.

Playing innocent and getting fit

Mel Gibson and David Argue talk about playing characters that might seem innocent or naive to 1981 audiences and Gibson describes the physical challenges of his Gallipoli role.

About 'The Mike Walsh Show’

There are nearly 1500 episodes of The Mike Walsh Show now preserved in the NFSA collection. The show was broadcast from 1973 to 1985 on the Ten and later Nine networks, with selected episodes screened on FOXTEL in 1995. It won 24 Logie Awards and attracted many Australian and international performers and celebrity guests. Mike Walsh AM, OBE received a Gold Logie in 1980 for the Most Popular Personality on Australian Television; in the same year, his show was recognised internationally with a Media Peace Prize from the United Nations.