Death of a Soldier

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Death of a Soldier
Death of a Soldier dvd cover.jpg
VHS cover
Directed byPhilippe Mora
Written byWilliam L. Nagle
Produced byDavid Hannay
William L. Nagle
StarringJames Coburn
Bill Hunter
Reb Brown
Maurie Fields
CinematographyLouis Irving
Edited byJohn Scott
Music byAllan Zavod
Distributed byScotti Brothers Pictures
Release date
  • 16 May 1986 (16 May 1986)
Running time
93 minutes
Budget$4 million[1]

Death of a Soldier is a 1986 Australian film based on the life of American serial killer Eddie Leonski. The film was shot using locations around Melbourne, Victoria.

The film is directed by Philippe Mora and stars James Coburn, Bill Hunter and Reb Brown.


The idea of making the film came from William Nagle, who wrote a screenplay to produce himself; David Hannay came on board as co-producer. Dick Richards was originally meant to direct but then Philippe Mora became involved. Mora and the producers wanted to import Americans to play three roles: Leonski, his best friend Gallo and lawyer Danneberg; Actors Equity only agreed to two.[1]

At one stage it was announced that the movie would be called Leonski and be shot in August 1981 with Don Lane as a US Army major.[2]

The budget was originally meant to be $3 million but this was found to be inadequate during shooting and additional funds had to be raised. To save money the shooting schedule was reduced; some of the crew complained to the Australian Theatrical and Amusement Employees' Association, which put a black ban on the film. This meant it was a year before the film was released in Australia.[1]



James Coburn later said, "It wasn't very good. There were a lot of problems with the picture. For one thing we had an auteur producer. He was also the screenwriter. He wrote it too much like a comic strip. We also had a lot of auteurs working on the fucking thing. The director didn't have enough time to prepare it. I was very disappointed by the way it turned out. It was a hellava good story. It's too bad."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p45-47
  2. ^ "Lane into Film", Cinema Papers, May–June 1981 p148
  3. ^ Goldman, Lowell (Spring 1991). "James Coburn Seven and Seven Is". Psychotronic Video. No. 9. p. 28.


External links[edit]