Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

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Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan
Theatrical film poster
Directed byKriv Stenders
Produced by
  • Stuart Beattie
  • Tony H. Noun
  • Silvio Salom
  • Andrew Mann
  • Martin Walsh
  • John Schwarz
  • Michael Schwarz
Screenplay by
  • Stuart Beattie
  • James Nicholas
  • Karel Segers
  • Paul Sullivan
  • Jack Brislee
Music byCaitlin Yeo
CinematographyBen Nott
Edited byVeronika Jenet
Distributed byTransmission Films
Release date
  • 8 August 2019 (2019-08-08) (Australia)
Running time
118 minutes
Budget$35 million[1]
Box office$2 million[2]

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is a 2019 Australian war film about the Battle of Long Tan during the Vietnam War. It is directed by Kriv Stenders and stars Travis Fimmel.



Production commenced in 2018 with the script completed in June 2014. Principal photography took place between May and July 2018 at the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland and locations around Pimpama, Kingaroy and Nerang.[3][4]


On 28 February 2018, Travis Fimmel was announced as the lead actor, playing the role of Major Harry Smith.[3][5] Fimmel described the role as "a big responsibility".[6]

The initial casting call was for 30 principal cast and bit part roles, and 100–200 Australians with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan as extras.[3][7]


The Sydney Morning Herald wrote "Telling these stories so that we can follow the details is rare. Director Kriv Stenders has made the reality of the day accessible and gripping for a non-military audience." [8]

Flicks Australia wrote the film was a "patriotic but problematic" Australian war film turning down the context of the war, that being an intervention by two superpowers that was veiled in imperialistic action and ignored the deeply existential crisis that existed during the conflict.[9] The film presenting a 2019 story of "sprawling and swarming hordes of Asiatic enemies" against a morally certain ANZAC force was deeply problematic, comparing it to the propaganda-like 1968 film The Green Berets that infamously ignored the muddy ideology behind the war.[9]

Writing for The Curb, film critic Travis Johnson noted that "Danger Close’s boots-on-the-ground approach is intentional, and its focus is deliberate though the film itself does not reflect the cultural introspection and skepticism Australians tend to give towards media depictions of war films. Reflecting on the usage of the song "I Was Only 19", the musical choice underlies "an attempt not to fall to blind patriotism" in an "unjust war". Travis Johnson comments juggling historical, dramatic, and political demands with considerable dexterity, and the result is a film whose place in the Australian pantheon is assured.".[10]

The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "both familiar and diffuse, with thinly sketched variations on a bronzed theme rather than characters" and presenting the story with "tone-deaf triumphalism" though noted that "digital effects are kept to a refreshing minimum".[11] Further, that the film's production notes tried to liken the film to 300, though the Spartans were not in that instance the invaders.[11] ScreenDaily also comments that the film's "blinkered nature" in presenting a narrow tone of the film in a controversial and unpopular war was a far less welcomed feature.[12]


Award Category Subject Result Ref
AACTA Awards
Best Cinematography Ben Nott Nominated [13]
Best Original Music Score Caitlin Yeo Nominated
Best Sound Liam Egan Won


  1. ^ "Long Tan veteran Harry Smith on hand with stories for the Hollywood actor set to portray him". ABC News. 2 March 2018.
  2. ^ . boxofficemojo. 12 November 2019 https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0441881/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b c "Vikings actor Travis Fimmel starring in Long Tan movie to be filmed in Queensland". ABC News. 28 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Danger Close: Travis Fimmel leads charge in new Vietnam War film". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Hollywood Vietnam War movie Danger Close to be filmed in Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says". The Courier-Mail. 28 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Aussie 'Vikings' star Travis Fimmel to play Long Tan veteran in new film". 9 News. 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Vietnam War film 'Danger Close' to shoot in Queensland". Inside Film. 28 February 2018.
  8. ^ "'War film offers glimpse into the real horrors of Long Tan". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Danger Close is a patriotic but problematic Australian war film". Flicks. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  10. ^ "'Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan': Review: A Boots On The Ground Aussie War Story". The Curb. 19 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b "'Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 June 2019.
  12. ^ Ward, Sarah. "'Danger Close: The Battle Of Long Tan': Review". Screen. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  13. ^ https://www.aacta.org/aacta-awards/winners-and-nominees/

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