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The movie about the Australian experience in The Vietnam War. What Gallipoli is to World War I, this film is to Vietnam

The Odd Angry Shot is an Australian 1979 war and action film with elements of comedy, which was written, directed and produced by Tom Jeffrey. It is based on the novel of the same name by William Nagel, and stars Graeme Kennedy, Bryan Brown, John Hargreaves, John Jarratt, Graeme Blundell, Ian Gilmour, and Richard Moir.

A group of Australian SAS regiment soldiers are deployed to Vietnam around 1967/8 and encounter the realities of war, from the numbing boredom of camp life and long range patrols, raids and ambushes where nothing happens, to the the terror of enduring mortar barrages from an unseen enemy. Men die and are crippled in combat by firefights and booby traps, soldiers kill and capture the enemy, gather intelligence and retake ground only to cede it again whilst battling against the bureaucracy and obstinacy of the conventional military hierarchy. In the end they return to civilization, forever changed by their experiences but glad to return to the life they once knew.

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  • Agony of the Feet: Due to constant rain,damp and humidity, everyone in the camp is afflicted with tinea.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Rogers steps on a mine whilst on patrol that blows off both his feet and destroys his jaw. Later his mates visit him in hospital before he is sent home. Rogers asks Harry to check if his testicles are still present (they are).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Bung tells the boys he is joining Patrol 22, Rogers responds with:
    Welcome to Patrol Two-Two. Specialists in arson, murder and drinking.
  • The Artful Dodger: One of these pulls a money changing scam on a pair of marines in Saigon, but gets caught by Bung. The Aussies and the Yanks shake the punk down for everything he has and split it between them.
  • Asian Hooker Stereotype: The boys from Patrol 22 encounter the typical Asian hookers shouting the typical come-ons while on leave in Saigon.
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  • Beastly Bloodsports: The Australians and the Americans hold a contest that pits the Aussies' spider against the Yanks' scorpion.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The soldier killed in the mortar barrage on the camp vomits a large quantity of blood on Bill when he tries to move him.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Bung is machine-gunned and falls over the side of a bridge. When his squad mates retrieve his body, his blood is staining the water around him red.
  • Camp Cook: Harry has an ongoing verbal feud with the squadron cook over the questionable quality of the food.
  • Character Name Alias: During the scene on the range, the range corporal asks the four protagonists for their names as he is reprimanding them. On the spur of the moment, he is given four false names; Grey, Green, Brown & Oakover. As they're leaving, one of them asks if Oakover is a real person, and Harry replies that he is their detachment commander.
  • Conscription: The SAS—being professional soldiers—have a very low opinion of the conscripts they are fighting alongside, and refer to them as "civilians in uniform". Harry, however, tells the squad to go easy on them as they all fighting the same war, and the conscripts—unlike them—did not ask to be here.
  • "Dear John" Letter: While in Vietnam, Bill receives a thinly-disguised break-up letter from his girlfriend back home.
  • Escalating Brawl: The barbecue and spider versus scorpion match dissolves into a brawl when Bung accuses the Americans of cheating and stomps on the scorpion. One of the Americans then punches him. Attempts to grab the two belligerents just results in the fight spreading the entire camp.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Medic. And the Padre.
  • Fast-Roping: The long-range patrol team deploy into the middle of their sector by fast roping out of a Huey.
  • A Father to His Men: Lt. Clifford doesn't get a lot of screen time, but what he does get shows him to be this kind of officer: especially the scene at Vũng Tàu where he saves his men from being placed on charges and puts a REMF sergeant-major in his place.
  • Jungle Warfare: The film follows the tour of duty of an Australian Special Air Service Regiment reconnaissance team in the jungles of Vietnam. It was filmed at the Australian Army's notoriously adverse Jungle Warfare Training Centre in Canungra, Queensland. During the Vietnam War, all Australian soldiers—including conscripts—who were to be deployed to Vietnam went through four weeks' specialized training in Canungra.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: The famous Shower Scene where all of the soldiers have their 'weapons' on display.
  • Man on Fire: After Bung is killed, Harry takes out the machine gun nest with an incendiary grenade. One Viet Cong staggers out on fire. One of the men calls for the others to let him burn 'for Bung', but the lieutenant drops him with a single shot to the head.
  • Mercy Kill: During the assault on the bridge, the lieutenant kills the burning Viet Cong with a single shot to the head.
  • New Meat: Bill fills this role, although he is not a complete example. He is on his first posting, but he is a professional soldier (having enlisted) rather than a conscript. He gets some ribbing from his squadmates, but this gradually dies away as they spend more time 'in-country'.
  • Odd Name Out: During the scene on the range, the range corporal asks the four protagonists for their names as he is reprimanding them. On the spur of the moment, he is given four false names; Grey, Green, Brown & Oakover.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Bung's actual name—first or last—is never revealed.
  • Pre War Civilian Career: During one the quiet moments, the squad discover Harry sketching and learn that he had been an artist before joining the army. He tells the story of how he realised one night that his wife didn't love him any more. He packed a suitcase, left and enlisted in the army next day, and has been in ever since.
  • Roadside Wave: Bill gets soaked by a jeep driving through the muddy camp as he is walking back to his tent with his kit. And then the torrential rain starts.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Patrol 22 are ordered to take a particular bridge. In the process, Bung is shot and killed, but the patrol succeeds in capturing the objective. A few minutes after they have killed the last of the Viet Cong defenders, the patrol revives a radio call from HQ congratulating them on taking the bridge, and ordering them to abandon it and return to base. A mixture of anger and disgust plays across the lieutenant's face as he just barely avoids making a career-limiting reply to his superiors.
  • Sergeant Rock: Harry is the corporal in command of Patrol 22. He is the longest serving member, and is doing his second tour of duty in Vietnam. He does his best to keep everyone alive and keep their spirits up no matter what happens.
  • Shower Scene: There is a scene of the troopers showering in the makeshift showers at camp which features Male Frontal Nudity.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: A pompous admin sergeant-major in an air-conditioned office tries to throw his weight around with the SAS troopers arriving in Saigon for leave. Taking none of his bullshit, Harry threatens to punch his teeth down his throat. A fight is only averted by the arrival of a senior officer.
  • Testes Test: Rogers steps on a mine whilst on patrol that blows off both his feet and destroys his jaw. Later his mates visit him in hospital before he is sent home. Rogers asks Harry to check if his testicles are still present (they are).
  • Themed Aliases: During the scene on the range, the range corporal asks the four protagonists for their names as he is reprimanding them. On the spur of the moment, he is given four false names; Grey, Green, Brown & Oakover.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: On the morning when they're supposed to be pranking the padre, Bill wakes up with a horrible hangover, a black eye, and no idea of how he got either. His squad mates describe his antics for him, which include sculling rum while doing a handstand on a jerrycan, letting the squad's pet spider sit on his arm, and getting into a fistfight with Bung.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: The daily downpours are constant source of annoyance. "You could you set your watch by this bloody rain!" is practically Harry's Catchphrase.


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