Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian feature film about the court martial of Breaker Morant, directed by Bruce Beresford and starring British actor Edward Woodward as Harry "Breaker" Morant. The all-Australian supporting cast features Bryan Brown, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and Jack Thompson. Beresford co-wrote the screenplay with the 1978 play Breaker Morant: A Play in Two Acts, written by Kenneth G. Ross, being the source material for the screen story.
Breaker Morant is one of the most acclaimed Australian films, telling a powerful tale of wartime betrayal and injustice. Henry "Breaker" Morant (Edward Woodward) is an Englishman living in Australia at the end of the 19th century. When war breaks out in 1899 between Britain and the Boers (descendants of Dutch colonists), Morant and a number of Australians volunteer for duty and are absorbed into the non-regular units of the British army. Acting under orders from his commanders, Morant oversees the execution of several Boer prisoners; it turns out that one of them was German, and in order to keep the peace with Germany, Britain agrees to courtmartial Morant and two other soldiers, sentencing two to death and one to life imprisonment. Based on a play by Kenneth Ross, Bruce Beresford's film is powerfully filmed and acted and has become a classic anti-war movie since its 1980 release; the script (co-written by Beresford) was nominated for an Academy Award. The final execution scene is nearly overpowering in its sense of tragedy and futility. ~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide