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The Year of Living Dangerously

Peter Weir's The Year of Living Dangerously, is a $6 million adaptation of Christopher Koch's novel, set in Indonesia in 1965 in the turbulent months leading to the fall of the Sukarno government.

Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously, is a $6 million adaptation of Christopher Koch’s novel, set in Indonesia in 1965 in the turbulent months leading to the fall of the Sukarno government.

Mel Gibson limns a young Australian journalist on his first posting as a foreign correspondent. Wide-eyed and innocent, he is befriended by an astute Chinese-Australian cameraman, a dwarf who seeks to manipulate people as deftly as he handles shadow puppets.

Here is an astonishing feat of acting by New Yorker Linda Hunt, cast by Weir because he could not locate a short male actor to fit the bill. A bizarre, yet touching, romantic triangle develops between Gibson, Hunt, and Sigourney Weaver as a British Embassy official.

Having laid the groundwork, Weir hits the action button. Gibson learns that the Communists are bringing in arms for a coup against Sukarno and in broadcasting the story blows a confidence from Weaver, who rejects him.

Filming in the Philippines, and then Sydney, where the crew was forced to repair after receiving threats from the Islamic community, Weir and his crew expertly recreate the squalor, poverty, noise, heat and emotion of the pressure cooker that was Indonesia in 1965.

1983: Best Supp. Actress (Linda Hunt)

The Year of Living Dangerously

Australia - US

  • Production: McElroy & McElroy/M-G-M. Director Peter Weir; Producer Jim McElroy; Screenplay David Williamson, Peter Weir, C.J. Koch; Camera Russell Boyd; Editor Bill Anderson; Music Maurice Jarre; Art Director Herbert Pinter
  • Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1982. Running time: 114 MIN.
  • With: Mel Gibson Sigourney Weaver Linda Hunt Michael Murphy Bill Kerr Noel Ferrier