Amazing Australian Movies
Australia had a thriving silent movie industry
at the start of the 1900s and also made some of the world's first
feature films like Soldiers of the cross in 1900 and The history
of the Kelly Gang in 1906, around World War Two the industry went
into decline being overrun by Hollywood movies but around 1970
the Australian government offered financial assistance to revive
the movie industry which led to quite a few good movies being
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The surprise hit of 1995, this splendidly
entertaining family film was nominated for six Academy Awards,
including best picture, director, and screenplay, and deservedly
won the Oscar for its subtly ingenious visual effects. Babe
is all about the title character, a heroic little pig who's
been taken in by the friendly farmer Hoggett (Oscar nominee
James Cromwell), who senses that he and the pig share "a
common destiny." Babe, a popular mischief-maker the Australian
farm, is adopted by the resident border collie and raised
as a puppy, befriended by Ferdinand the duck (who thinks he's
a rooster), and saves the day as a champion "sheep-pig."
Filled with a supporting cast of talking barnyard animals
and a chorus of singing mice (courtesy of computer enhancements
and clever animatronics), this frequently hilarious, visually
imaginative movie has already taken its place as a family
classic with timeless appeal.
Bad Boy Bubby
Made for only 750,000 US$, Bad Boy Bubby was written and
directed by Dutch born, Australian filmmaker Rolf De Heer in 1993. Filmed
in and around Adelaide it went on to win many prestigious film awards
at home and abroad and became a popular cult film around the world, particularly
in Europe. Bad Boy Bubby is an uncompromising, Australian cult movie about
the adventures of 'Bubby' a 35yr old man encountering the outside world
for the first time after having spent his entire life locked up in a flat
by his abusive mother. After he wraps his cat and both parents in glad
wrap they all suffocate and hunger drives him to open the front door for
the first time in his life and venture out into the outside world.
Beetlejuice is an awe-inspiring wonderfully amusing comedic
romp that explores the incredible possibilities of the after-life
and the boundaries of the absurd. Telling the tale of a recently
dead married couple that suddenly gets led into the chaotic
world of the supernatural. Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec
Baldwin and Geena Davis) discover many of the conflicting
rather human imperfections that haunt the lives of the living
also plague the afterlife as well.
This movie needs little introduction, who has not
heard of Crocodile Dundee?
In 1986 this movie that was shot on a fairly low budget was the
biggest box office smash hit and made Paul Hogan an over night international
star, although he had been famous in Australia for years before.
Directed by Peter Faiman, 'Crocodile Dundee' stars Paul Hogan as
Mick and Linda Kozlowski as Sue and features a catchy music score
by Peter Best. This movie has it all; a great story, colorful characters,
action, adventure, drama, comedy, thrills , chills and lots of down
right fun!!! A family film with panoramic Australia Outback and
New York City opposite life styles.
Although not an Australian made movie it plays in Australian
waters and Sydney harbour where a clown fish travels a great
distance to rescue his kidnapped son Nemo from a fishtank
in a Sydney dentist's surgery.
Some adorable characters play their part and of course there
is a happy ending where Nemo makes it back home again.
Australia is such a young country, it hasn't had long to
create those defining moments that its people can latch on
to as being examples of what it means to be "Australian".
The WWI disaster that was the Gallipoli campaign is that single
moment. It was Australia's "baptism of fire".
And it led to the creation of the Anzac (Australia and New
Zealand Army Corps) legend. Remember that Australia, as a
country independent of Great Britain, was only 14 years old
when this battle took place.
What Peter Weir's film, coupled with a screenplay by top Australian
playwright David Williamson with technical advice from historian
Bill Gammage, does is capture that defining moment brilliantly.
But this is not a gung-ho war blockbuster. It is a very real,
very strident examination of how a single military disaster
that cost thousands of lives, came to be the mould that Australians
now use to cast their national character.
More than this, Gallipoli also captures, like no other Australian
film, the essence of Australian "mateship" - that
is: standing by your friends through thick and thin at all
costs while scoffing at authority.
The first day of the Gallipoli campaign, April 25 1915, gave
rise to Australia's most important national celebration and
also the annual commemoration of war dead. To outsiders, it
is strange how Australia and its people have used this tragic
defeat to examine their national character: do they still
measure up to their ancestors who stormed ashore under the
Gallipoli clifftops all those years ago?
Jodie Moore is one of Australia's few pornstars, thanks
to the Aussie government being pretty restrictive on the porn
industry, which strangely enough has its base in Canberra
where the lawmakers are.
She has starred in dozens of porn movies, with names like
Demolition, Blimey What A Hiney, and Muff To The Max.
She also attempted to become Mayor of Brisbane and a Senator
with her Pornstar Party, all unsuccesful though...
Let's get Skase
In the 1980s this former television station owner and manager of
the failed Qintex Group ran a booming empire, of which the results
can still be seen in towns like Port Douglas, North Queensland,
where he built the Sheraton hotel that kicked off the building boom
in the town. Things turned sour however and after a bit of trouble
with the bank he ended up skipping the country leaving many millions
of dollars in debts behind. The Australian government tried to get
him extradited from Spain but at every court appearance Skase arrived
in a wheel chair breathing from an oxygen mask and managed to convince
the Spanish judge that he was too sick to fly home. The Australian
government then offered to arrange passage on a ship but he was
too sick for this too. Alan Bond ( another famous character who
had built an empire that left millions of dollars in debts) publicly
called on Skase to come home and do his time in jail like he had
done. In the end Skase ended up dying in Spain without ever having
returned to Australia to face the music. The whole scenarion inspired
a movie 'Let's get Skase' which told the story of frustrated creditors
hiring a bounty hunter to kidnap Skase and transport him back to
Australia. The movie was like a combination of 'Stripes' and James
Bond and did not win any Oscars or other prizes and became somewhat
irrelevant when Skase actually died before the movie was released.
If you're thinking of buying this movie find it on Amazon.com
Mel Gibson's character Max is pitted in a battle to
the death against the bizarre Master Blaster in the Thunderdome,
flying around on rubbery straps inside a sort of gigantic overturned
colander with bloodthirsty spectators clinging to the outside. Also
starring Tina Turner as Aunty Entity, the queen of Bartertown. This
flick was shot around Coober Pedy in South Australia.
Muriel Heslop is a young woman who dreams of getting married
and moving far away from her boring life in Porpoise Spit,
Australia. Unfortunately, even after her dreams do come true
(and changes her name to Mariel), she discovers that while
she has gained everything she has desired, she has also alienated
herself from her family and her best friend Rhonda, and by
the end of the film goes back to being good-ol' Muriel Heslop.
As this movie was shot during a time when Abba music had a
revival the soundtrack is well filled with Swedish pop music.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Toula Portokalos is a quiet, devoted daughter in a big,
hectic, crazy Greek family. Working at her father's restaurant,
"Dancing Zorba's," she hides behind a mop of mousy
brown hair and thick, impenetrable glasses, keeping her family
close and the world at a distance. But one day at the restaurant,
she finds herself pouring coffee for a man so strikingly good-looking,
that he inspires her to change her life - and the way she
sees the world - forever. With a new hairdo, wardrobe, contact
lenses, and most important of all, a whole new attitude, Toula
steps out into the world a new woman, all ready to meet her
man. Ian Miller is tall, handsome, but definitely not Greek.
And whether he can handle Toula, her parents, her aunts, uncles,
cousins and several centuries of Greek culture remains to
be seen. But when you see the world through Toula's eyes,
anything is possible!
Mick Jagger's temporary diversion from singing to portray
the life of legendary Aussie bushranger and highway robber
His career lasted ten years in which time, together with his
brother, he robbed travellers, banks, shot and kiled at least
three policemen, took posession of an entire town and held
the population hostage in the local pub and even forced workers
to remove railway tracks when they knew police were on their
way by train. The police managed to find other transport and
after a big shoot out witnessed by 600 people wounded and
captured him and took him to Melbourne where he was hanged
on 11 november 1880. Some of his accomplices were still holed
up in the Glenrowan Hotel but died when the police burned
His legend lives on today, his reputation of a Robin Hood
resisting authority and helping the poor people in his area
made him a folk hero. Also his home-made armour has inspired
many artists in their paintings and at the National Gallery
of Victoria you can admire Sir Sidney Nolan's 'Ned Kelly'
series of pictures.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
An old classic directed by Peter Weir about a group of
girls from an Australian college at the start of the twentieth
century that travel to a local geographical wonder, Hanging
Rock, to spend the day.
While there, four girls wander off, and when everything is
said and done, three girls and a teacher are missing and the
mystery of their disappearance is never solved.
You can visit this place near Melbourne in Victoria to get
a feel of how eerie it is to wander through this labyrinth
of rocks looking for missing persons.
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Filmed in 1994 during the Abba revival this 1994 Australian
comedy is about a transsexual who, in the company of two drag
queens, travels to a remote desert location to put on a lip-
synch performance--to the amazement of the locals. Getting
there on a pink bus named Priscilla, the trio stop and play
for people all over the Outback, getting the same homophobic,
Russell Crowe in his early days (1992); an extremly intense
film that pulls no punches. Shot in a kind of artsy blue haze,
the movie revolves around a group of Neo-Nazi skinheads who
are attempting to fight off a flood of Vietnamese immigration
into Melbourne, Australia. The group is lead by 'Hando' -
a strong and charismatic leader played by Russell Crowe. Crowe
is amazing as he manages to convey a sence vulnerability beneath
his uncompromising anger. A scene in which Crowe qoutes parts
of Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' is mesmerizing. Things begin
to disolve, however, when a love triangle begins between Hando,
his girlfriend Gabe (Jaqueline McKenzie) and Hando's best
friend Davey who is portrayed very low-key by Daniel Pollock.
The situation is compounded when an attack on some Vietnamese
immigrants back fires and the Skins are forced to defend themselves
against a raging mob of immigrants resulting in the loss of
This film by Australian filmmaker Scott Hicks is a surprising
story about real-life classical pianist David Helfgott, an
Australian who rose to international prominence at a very
young age in the 1950s and '60s, and suffered a psychological
collapse after enduring years of abuse from his father (Armin
Mueller-Stahl). Hicks has three very fine actors portraying
Helfgott at different stages of his life, including the adorably
wry and goofy Noah Taylor (Flirting), who takes up the character's
teen years, and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, giving a great
performance playing the musician as a schizophrenic adult.
Despite the Helfgotts' compromised psychological health, Shine
is hardly a depressing experience. If anything, the story
is really about how long one person's life can take to make
glorious sense of itself. Sir John Gielgud, in golden form,
plays Helfgott's teacher.
While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar
(The Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the whimsical tone
and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie's
predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom
dancer who wants to dance "his own steps." Fran
is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he
should dance his own steps... with her. Complicating matters
are Scott's domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer
herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan Pacific
Championship (the same contest she lost years ago), and a
conniving dance committee that is determined that "there
are no new steps!" The dancing is enjoyable, yet not
overwhelming, and the movie strives hard not to take itself
too seriously (the beginning of the film is even styled as
The Postcard Bandit
During the 1990s Brendan Abbott traveled around Australia
for years robbing banks in the days when police in different
states could not yet see the point of working together so
all he had to do was move from state to state to elude capture
and felt that confident he even used to tease the authorities
by sending them postcards.
After a career spanning a decade and reportedly stealing about
five million dollars he was finally captured in Darwin, N.T.
in 1998 .
He was sentenced to thirty years maximum security at Longland
jail in Brisbane and early november 2003 went on a hungerstrike
for one day claiming to be a political prisoner, he also has
lawyers traveling to the U.S. to try and exploit some United
The movie was criticized by some as romanticizing a violent
The Man From Snowy River
One of the best horsemanship movies ever made. The presentation
of the main characters exceeds most movies. The actors, Kirk
Douglas (playing a dual role), Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton
were made for their roles. There are parts of this movie that
stand out as unforgettable. -- The startling beauty of the
Australian outback; the wild horses running free across the
vast wilderness; the men on horseback riding out on their
search for Jessica; and, the ride of Jim Craig straight down
Welcome to Woop Woop
Story of American backpacker cruising through Australia's
outback in his VW Kombi that meets a single young lady from
the mythical outback town of Woop Woop, after a romantic road
side encounter (in Australia also known as root) and being
drugged he wakes up being married and is held against his
will in the town by lots of sterotypical hard-drinking Aussies.
Another movie about outback adventures, this time in Australia's
north west, but the light hearted Aussie humour of the previous
movie is nowhere to be found in this one, blood and gore are
the main highlights.
Three backpackers that travel from Broome to Cairns get stuck
at the very remote site of the meteorite crater Wolf Creek
when their car breaks down. After this the movie quickly changes
to the all too familar theme of Friday the 13th and Texas
Chainsaw Massacre movies.
Although this is not supposed to be a film version of the
Peter Falconio case, the movie
does have some striking similarities with it and you can see
where the inspiration for this movie came from. Don't watch
this movie just before traveling the outback with your campervan....
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