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The Year of Living Dangerously

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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DVD Cover for The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).

The Year of Living Dangerously is a 1982 drama directed by Peter Weir that stars Mel Gibson as Guy Hamilton, an Australian journalist caught up in the tumultuous events surrounding the overthrow of Indonesia's President Sukarno in 1965. The film was shot in the Philippines and Australia and the cast included Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt, who portrayed the male character Billy Kwan, and would subsequently receive an Academy Award for her role in the film.

The following weapons were used in the film The Year of Living Dangerously:


Colt M1911A1

An angry Indonesian soldier points a M1911A1 pistol at Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) and Pete Curtis (Michael Murphy) when they dance with local women at a bar.

World War II issued Colt M1911A1 Pistol - .45 ACP
The soldier draws his pistol.
A close-up of the M1911A1.
Hamilton and Curtis decide that it is time to leave.

Browning Hi-Power

One of the Indonesian agents pursuing Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt) in the climax is armed with a Browning Hi-Power.

Classic Commercial Browning Hi-Power (Belgian Mfg) - 9x19mm
The agent cocks his Hi-Power before breaking down the door.

Walther P38

Another agent uses a Walther P38 when he kicks down the door to Kwan's hotel room.

Walther P38 pistol (manufactured at the Mauser Factory) - World War II dated - 9x19mm
An agent searches for the right room.
The agent enters Kwan's room with the P38.

Submachine Guns


Sten Mk. III

Several Indonesian soldiers, most noticeably at the Jakarta airport and the road leading towards it, are armed with Sten Mk III submachine guns.

Sten Mk III Submachine gun - 9x19mm
The soldier on the far left holds a Sten Mk III as Ali (Ali Nur) and Kumar (Bembol Roco) welcome Hamilton to Jakarta.
Soldiers point Sten guns at Hamilton as he makes his way towards the departure area at the end of the film.
A soldier holds a Sten Mk III prior to executing suspected members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).


Other Indonesian soldiers carry Austen submachine guns, distinguished by their foregrips, pistol grips, underfolding stocks.

Austen, the Australian derivative of the Sten - 9x19mm
The soldier on the right holds an Austen as Ali (Ali Nur) and Kumar (Bembol Roco welcome Hamilton to Jakarta.
Loyalist Indonesian soldiers prepare to execute civilians suspected of being communists in the aftermath of the failed coup d'etat in October 1965. The two on the left are armed with Austens, while the two on the right hold Sten Mk.III.

M1928A1 Thompson

Guards at the presidential palace carry M1928A1 Thompson submachine guns.

M1928A1 Thompson with 30-round magazine and early 'simplified' rear sight that would be adopted for the M1 Thompson - .45 ACP
A presidential guard holds a Thompson M1928A1 with a 30-round magazine.


Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) militants brandish PPSh-41 submachine guns during a protest.

Soviet PPSh-41 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Two PKI militants hold PPSh-41s as Hamilton's car drives through the protest.

Madsen M50

A PKI militant sitting on a truck waves a Madsen M50 when it rams Hamilton's car during the protest. Later, an Indonesian soldier is also seen with a M50.

Madsen M50 - 9x19mm
A PKI truck crashes into the rear of Hamilton's Chevrolet.
A militant waves the M50 as Hamilton and Kwan cover the protest.
A soldier holds a M50 as a wounded Hamilton is dragged back to his car.


M1 Carbine

M1 Carbines with 30-round magazines are carried by the guards escorting Hamilton through the presidential palace.

Post-war M1 Carbine with 30 round magazine and metal barrel shroud - .30 Carbine
Presidential guards hold M1 carbines as they bring Hamilton to the media scrum.

Norinco Type 56

Most of the Indonesian soldiers in the film are armed with the Norinco Type 56, with and without the folding "pig-sticker" bayonets. A PKI militant who helps treat Hamilton after he is beaten by soldiers also carries a Type 56. In reality, Indonesian soldiers in 1965 would have used Soviet-supplied AK-47s rather than the Type 56.

Norinco Type 56 (fixed stock variant) with under-folding bayonet ("pig sticker") which was standard on PLA-issue Type 56s - 7.62x39mm
Soldiers stand guard near the U.S. Embassy as protesters attack it.
A military policeman with a Type 56 points to the roof of a hotel during the climax.
A PKI militant with a Type 56-1 collects some water.


An Indonesian officer (Agoes Widjaya Soedjarwo) at roadblock uses a genuine AK-47, distinguished by its open sights, to strike Hamilton when he refuses to stop walking towards the presidential palace after the attempted coup d'etat by the 30 September Movement.

Final Production version of the III AK-47 with laminated stock - 7.62x39mm
Hamilton speaks to the officer while attempting to move towards the palace.
The officer orders Hamilton to halt. The open sights can be clearly seen in this shot.
A soldier holds the AK-47 as the officer drags Hamilton back to his car.


Indonesian soldiers fire M16A1 rifles at Hamilton and Jill when they drive through their checkpoint in defiance of a curfew. The use of the M16A1 is an anachronism since the Indonesian military only adopted the rifle in the 1970s, well after the period in which the film is set.

M16A1 with 20 round magazine - 5.56x45mm.
A soldier fires his M16. Also worth noting is the difference between the muzzle flashes from the soldier's M16 and the Kalashnikov being fired next to him.

M1 Garand

U.S. Marine guards at the American embassy in Jakarta carry M1 Garand rifles. Later, several Indonesian soldiers surrounding the presidential palace during the coup attempt hold M1 Garands as well.

M1 Garand semiautomatic Rifle with leather M1917 sling - .30-06
The Marines stand guard at the embassy's gates.
The Marines attempt to remain calm as the PKI protesters bang on the gates.
Two of the soldiers hold M1 Garands.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I

A single soldier carries a Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I rifle when Hamilton returns to the airport in the film's conclusion.

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I - .303 British.
A soldier in the background has a Lee-Enfield slung on his back as Kumar tells Hamilton to leave Indonesia.

Machine Guns

BAR M1918A2

Soldiers surrounding the presidential palace carry the BAR M1918A2.

Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2 - .30-06
Soldiers wave their BARs as Hamilton and Ali drive towards the presidential palace.
A soldier holds a BAR as Hamilton is knocked down.

Browning M1919

Browning M1919 machine guns are mounted atop the M41 tanks surrounding the presidential palace. This is inaccurate; the M41 was never used by Indonesia.

A variant of the Browning M1919 developed during World War 2, this model is designated the M37, with the ability to feed from either the left or the right of the weapon - 30-06. This example is shown without a tripod, only the pintle mount. This the MOST likely .30 cal machine gun to be seen firing from armored vehicles.
A soldier wields a M1919 machine gun mounted on the tank.


A soldier is seen with a M60 machine gun in the conclusion of the film.

M60 machine gun with bipod folded - 7.62x51mm NATO
A soldier with a M60 watches as Hamilton enters the airport.

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