» » Six Soldiers (1974)

Short summary

Four recruits arrive at Kimberley station to undergo training at the local army camp. Soutie (Richard Loring), Liebling (Lieb Bester), Tiny (Ken Hare) and PP (Friedrich Stark) soon become friends as they are put through their paces by the sergeant-major (Barry Trengove). They all volunteer for border duty, where they are joined by Chico, a black tracker (Sydney Chama), and are sent out on patrol. After they come upon a murdered farm family, their radio is destroyed by enemy fire and they are required to find their way back to base camp. In the ensuing skirmishes three of them perish. Very much a film of its time, it was partly shot at the Danie Theron Krygskool and was intended to marshal popular support for the South African Defence Force during a period when white conscripts were being called up to fight the invading "terrorists".

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: heart of sky
    Six young men get drafted into the SADF (South African Defence Forces). As usual in this genre they have different personalities and respond to their new life in the army in different ways. Their training is hard but realistic (i.e there are neither bad-ass attitudes nor sadistic officers in the unit).They eventually get their baptism of fire under arduos conditions. On a patrol/recon close to the border (presumably Namibia) they get attacked by terrorists and then hunted like prey while trying to get back to base and warn their fellow countrymen of the oncoming threat.

    I found this movie enjoyable and a nice break from pretentious war movies with bombastic scores and mighty explosions. This was a quiet more realistic film with a pleasant cast and exotic locations. It ranks as one of the better war movies (yes, better than the pretentious Platoon) and worth checking out even though I noticed a bizarre detail: there were no slings on the rifles!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Sat
    At the time the film was made it was SOP not to use slings on rifles. I was a SADF soldier at that time. As said this was a very true to life depiction of the Border war. However many believe that this was a politically backed production. Personally I found it to be accurate up to the point where the guys became the hunted. This scenario was far fetched as far as I am concerned. One radio call and one usually had the whole sector 10 converging on a contact, not something the terrorists relished as one could deduct from the way they avoided contact with SADF and other security forces. For someone who was part of this history this movie brought back all the memories.
  • Cast overview:
    Richard Loring Richard Loring - Limey
    Barry Trengove Barry Trengove - Sarge
    Lieb Bester Lieb Bester - Liebling
    Ken Hare Ken Hare - Tiny
    Friedrich Stark Friedrich Stark - S.S.
    Sydney Chama Sydney Chama - Chico
    J.A. Maartens J.A. Maartens - The Major (as Maj. J.A. Maartens)
    G. Appelgryn G. Appelgryn - The Captain (as Capt. G. Appelgryn)
    R. Delport R. Delport - The Corporal (as Staff Sgt. R. Delport)
    Moira Downie Moira Downie - Matilda
    Volenté Bertotti Volenté Bertotti - Tiny's Girlfriend
    Linda Loubscher Linda Loubscher - Di
    Frances Tomlin Frances Tomlin - Patricia
    Bea Read Bea Read - Mrs. Henderson
    Dan Davis Dan Davis - Mr. Henderson
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