Mega-List of 70s, 80s, and 90s Classic Australian Movies

From the 1970s to the 2000s, Australia produced a treasure trove of classic films that captivated local audiences and even folks worldwide in many cases. Join us as we countdown the top Australian classic movies from this era, each one a cinematic gem that will transport you to a very different time and place in Australian culture.

While many of the movies are internationally renowned, a lot of the others tell a very local story of Australian life during that era. It certainly warms my heart when I see street scenes of times gone by, featuring the classic Aussie milk bar, classic Australian cars from a time when Australia was a proud and confident manufacturing nation, along with the simple, unscripted, and unashamed nature of who we were in those times. Times long gone by.

We’ll include trailers, and, at the bottom of the page, places where you can watch full movies.

Get ready, for it’s a journey that’s liberally sprinkled with unhinged comedy, and filled with iconic characters and unforgettable stories.

Stork (1971)

“Stork” is a poignant and deeply moving Australian film that explores the complexities of human relationships, loss, and the power of forgiveness.

The story follows Stork, a young man struggling with the recent death of his father. Haunted by grief and guilt, he finds himself drawn into a web of relationships with a diverse group of characters. Through his interactions with his estranged mother, Beth, and a young woman named Sarah, Stork learns the importance of forgiveness, both for others and for himself.

The film’s raw and honest portrayal of human emotions is both heartbreaking and cathartic. It invites us to reflect on our own experiences of loss, love, and the transformative power of reconciliation. “Stork” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring bonds that can sustain us through life’s challenges.

“Stork” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring bonds that can sustain us through life’s challenges. It is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)

Australian comedy directed by Bruce Beresford featuring Barry Crocker, Barry Humphries and Spike Milligan.

Barry McKenzie, a clueless and perpetually horny Australian tourist, embarks on a misadventure-filled trip to England. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters, including Edna Everage, a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Australian housewife; Percy “P.O.” O’Brien, a dim-witted and accident-prone Irish laborer; and Big Mac, a Maori rugby player with a penchant for violence.

Barry’s antics lead him into a series of hilarious and cringe-worthy situations, from getting lost in the London Underground to accidentally joining a nudist colony. Despite his mishaps, Barry remains unfazed and determined to experience all that England has to offer.

“The Adventures of Barry McKenzie” is a classic Australian comedy that skewers both Australian and British culture. It is a raucous and over-the-top film that is sure to leave you in stitches.

Alvin Purple (1973)

Australian comedy directed by Tim Burstall starring Graeme Blundell and Abigail.

“Alvin Purple” is a gritty and unflinching look at the dark side of the sexual revolution. It is a powerful and cautionary tale about the dangers of addiction and the importance of making responsible choices.

Despite its serious themes, “Alvin Purple” is also a very funny film. Alvin is a lovable and relatable character, and his misadventures are often hilarious. The film is a classic of Australian cinema and remains popular with audiences today.

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974)

Follow up to the 1972 release also directed by Bruce Beresford starring Barry Crocker and Barry Humphries in his various guises inc. Aunt Edna, Dr. Delamphrey etc. Barry McKenzie, the clueless and perpetually horny Australian tourist, returns in this sequel to “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.” This time, Barry travels to Greece, where he gets involved in a series of misadventures.

He gets lost in the Acropolis, accidentally joins a Greek wedding, and is chased by a group of angry villagers. Despite his mishaps, Barry remains unfazed and determined to experience all that Greece has to offer.

Along the way, he meets a variety of colorful characters, including Dimitri, a Greek taxi driver with a penchant for philosophy; Maria, a beautiful Greek woman who catches Barry’s eye; and Spiros, a Greek nightclub owner who becomes Barry’s mentor.

“Barry McKenzie Holds His Own” is a hilarious and over-the-top comedy that skewers both Australian and Greek culture. It is a classic Australian film that is sure to leave you in stitches.

Sunday Too Far Away (1974)

Directed by Ken Hannam, starring Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, and Robert Bruning.

The movie primarily dealt with events leading up to the mid-1950s shearers’ strike, The shearers must deal with the harsh and unforgiving conditions of the outback, the loneliness and isolation of their work, and the tensions between the different members of the team. Despite these challenges, they develop a strong bond of camaraderie and learn to rely on each other.

“Sunday Too Far Away” is a powerful and moving film that captures the spirit of the Australian outback. It is a classic of Australian cinema and a must-see for fans of Australian films.

Between Wars (1974)

War drama directed by Michael Thornhill starring Corin Redgrave and Judy Morris.

“Between Wars” is a powerful and moving Australian film that tells the story of two brothers, Dave and Lex, who return home from World War II to a world that has changed forever.

Dave is a decorated war hero, while Lex is a conscientious objector who has spent the war years in prison. Both men are struggling to adjust to civilian life and to find their place in a world that seems to have moved on without them.

Dave becomes involved in a passionate but doomed love affair with a married woman, while Lex struggles to find work and to reconcile his pacifist beliefs with the realities of the postwar world.

“Between Wars” is a beautifully shot and acted film that explores the themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world.

The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)

Directed by Peter Weir, starring Judy Morris. “The Cars That Ate Paris” is a quirky and offbeat Australian film that tells the story of a small town that is terrorized by a group of sentient cars.

The cars, led by a malevolent Cadillac named The Black Death, are determined to destroy the town and its inhabitants. The townsfolk must band together to fight back against the invading cars and save their homes.

“The Cars That Ate Paris” is a wild and wacky film that is full of black humor and social satire. It is a classic of Australian cinema and a must-see for fans of cult films.

Petersen (1974)

A film capturing the wildness of the youth of the time starring Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver, and directed by Tim Burstall. Petersen, a married electrician and former football star, begins a degree in English at university, where he has an affair with his professor’s wife. Petersen is a complex and troubled character, and the film explores the themes of guilt, redemption, and the search for identity.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Based on a book by Joan Lindsay about the mysterious disappearance of a group of schoolgirls while on a St Valentine’s Day picnic in 1900. Directed by Peter Weir.

On a sweltering summer day in 1900, a group of schoolgirls from Appleyard College go on a picnic at Hanging Rock, a mysterious and ancient rock formation. Three of the girls disappear without a trace while a fourth girl, Edith, is found wandering in a daze, but she has no memory of what happened.

The disappearance of the girls sends shockwaves through the small town of Woodend. The police launch a massive search, but no trace of the girls is ever found.

Caddie (1976)

Based on the autobiography of a Sydney barmaid during the Depression. Directed by Donald Crombie and starred Helen Morse and Jack Thompson.

“Caddie” is a coming-of-age film about a young woman named Caddie who is growing up in rural Australia in the 1950s.

Caddie is a bright and spirited girl, but she is also restless and longs for something more than the life that is expected of her. She dreams of becoming a writer, but her family and friends discourage her from pursuing her ambitions, despite which, she leaves home and moves to the city, where she finds work as a journalist.

“Caddie” is a moving and inspiring film about the power of dreams and the importance of following your heart. It is a classic of Australian cinema and a must-see for fans of coming-of-age stories.

Mad Dog Morgan (1976)

Directed by Philippe Mora starring American Dennis Hopper, Jack Thompson, David Gulpilil, and Bill Hunter.

“Mad Dog Morgan” is a historical drama film about the life of Daniel Morgan, a notorious bushranger who terrorized the Australian countryside in the 1860s.

Morgan was a ruthless and violent criminal, but he was also a charismatic and popular figure among the poor and dispossessed. He robbed banks and coaches, and he killed anyone who got in his way.

The film follows Morgan’s life from his early days as a horse thief to his eventual capture and execution. It is a gripping and suspenseful film that sheds light on a dark chapter in Australian history.

Don’s Party (1976)

Comedy/drama directed by Bruce Beresford starring Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, Graeme Blundell, and Ray Barrett.

“Don’s Party” is a political satire about a group of friends who gather for a dinner party on the night of the 1969 federal election.

As the night wears on, the friends become increasingly drunk and argumentative. They discuss politics, sex, and the state of the world. Their conversations are full of wit and humor, but there is also an underlying sense of disillusionment and despair.

“Don’s Party” is a sharp and incisive film that captures the mood of Australia in the late 1960s. 

The Devil’s Playground (1976)

Drama about a Catholic seminary in the 1950s directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Charles McCallum, John Frawley, and Arthur Dignam.

“The Devil’s Playground” is a psychological thriller about a young priest who is sent to a remote Catholic boarding school to investigate allegations of abuse.

The priest, Father Chris, soon discovers that the school is a place of darkness and despair. The students are neglected and abused by the sadistic headmaster, Brother Leonard.

Father Chris tries to help the students, but he soon finds himself drawn into the school’s dark secrets. He begins to experience strange and disturbing visions, and he becomes increasingly isolated and paranoid.

“The Devil’s Playground” is a powerful and disturbing film exploring good and evil themes, faith and doubt. 

The FJ Holden (1977)

Australian drama about teenagers in Sydney’s western suburbs directed by Michael Thornhill and starring a young Sigrid Thornton and Frankie J Holden.

“The FJ Holden” is a coming-of-age film about a group of teenagers who come together over their shared love of cars.

The film follows the teenagers as they navigate the challenges of adolescence, including first love, heartbreak, and the search for identity. The FJ Holden, a popular Australian car of the time, serves as a symbol of their freedom and independence.

“The FJ Holden” is a warm and nostalgic film that captures the spirit of growing up in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Journey Among Women (1977)

A film by cinematographer Tom Cowan, about women during the convict era.

“Journey Among Women” is a drama film about a group of women who travel to a remote island for a retreat.

The women come from different backgrounds and have different reasons for being there. Some are seeking healing, while others are searching for a deeper connection with themselves and with nature.

As the women spend time together, they share their stories and experiences. They learn from each other and grow in strength and resilience.

“Journey Among Women” is a powerful and moving film that celebrates the strength and resilience of women.

The Last Wave (1977)

Australian mystery directed by Peter Weir.

“The Last Wave” is a supernatural thriller about a lawyer who is drawn into a world of Aboriginal mysticism after he is assigned to defend a group of Aborigines accused of murder.

The lawyer, David Burton, is a rational and logical man, but he soon begins to experience strange and disturbing visions. He sees images of Aboriginal rituals and ceremonies, and he hears voices speaking to him in an ancient language.

As David investigates the case, he learns that the Aborigines believe that a cataclysmic event is about to occur. They believe that the white man has disrupted the balance of nature, and that the only way to restore it is through a ritual sacrifice.

“The Last Wave” is a visually stunning and thought-provoking film that explores the themes of cultural identity, environmentalism, and the clash between the rational and the spiritual.

The Getting of Wisdom (1977)

Starring Barry Humphries, John Waters, Kerry Armstrong, and Sigrid Thornton, and is directed by Bruce Beresford.

“The Getting of Wisdom” is a coming-of-age film about a young woman named Laura who attends a strict boarding school for girls in early 20th-century Australia.

Laura is a bright and independent girl, but she struggles to fit in at the school. She is often at odds with the strict rules and regulations, and she clashes with the headmistress, Miss McCraw.

Despite the challenges she faces, Laura finds solace in her friendships with the other girls at the school. She also develops a close relationship with her English teacher, Miss Brophy, who encourages her to pursue her dreams.

“The Getting of Wisdom” is a warm and nostalgic film that captures the spirit of growing up in Australia in the early 20th century. 

Backroads (1977)

Action drama directed by Phillip Noyce starring Bill Hunter.

“Backroads” is a drama film about a group of Aboriginal stockmen who travel across the outback to deliver a mob of cattle to market.

The stockmen are led by Tom, a charismatic and experienced Aboriginal man. Along the way, they face a variety of challenges, including racism, discrimination, and the harsh conditions of the outback.

Despite the challenges they face, the stockmen maintain their dignity and pride. They also form a strong bond of friendship and camaraderie.

“Backroads” is a powerful and moving film that celebrates the resilience and strength of the Aboriginal people. 

Newsfront (1978)

A post-World War II history of Australia as seen from the perspective of newsreel cameramen directed by Phillip Noyce starring Bill Hunter and Wendy Hughes.

“Newsfront” is a drama film about a group of young journalists who work for a newsreel company in Australia in the 1950s.

The journalists are idealistic and ambitious, but they soon learn that the news business is not always what it seems. They are forced to confront the realities of censorship, propaganda, and the power of the media.

Despite the challenges they face, the journalists remain committed to their work. They believe that the news is essential for informing the public and holding those in power accountable.

Money Movers (1978)

A crime action drama directed by Bruce Beresford.

“Money Movers” is a crime thriller about a group of professional criminals who plan to rob a gold bullion shipment.

The criminals are led by Frank, a ruthless and experienced thief. They carefully plan the robbery, but things don’t go according to plan. The police are on their tail, and the criminals are forced to improvise.

As the criminals try to escape, they are hunted by both the police and a rival gang of criminals. A tense and exciting chase ensues, with the criminals using all of their skills to stay one step ahead.

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

A confronting film about the murder rampage of an Aborigine at the turn of the century directed by Fred Schepisi.

“The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith” is a historical drama film about an Aboriginal man who seeks revenge against the white settlers who have wronged him.

Jimmie Blacksmith is a young Aboriginal man who works as a blacksmith on a remote outback station. He is a skilled worker and a respected member of the community. However, he is also subjected to racism and discrimination from the white settlers.

When Jimmie’s wife is raped by a white station owner, he decides to take revenge. He kills the station owner and goes on the run.

Jimmie is pursued by the police and a posse of white vigilantes. He is eventually captured and sentenced to death.

“The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith” is a powerful and moving film that tells the story of a man who is driven to violence by racism and injustice.

Breaker Morant (1979)

Directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters, and Bryan Brown.

“Breaker Morant” is a historical drama film about three Australian soldiers who are court-martialed for war crimes during the Boer War.

The soldiers, Lieutenants Harry “Breaker” Morant, Peter Handcock, and George Witton, are accused of murdering Boer prisoners of war. They are defended by Major J.F. Thomas, a British lawyer who believes that the soldiers are innocent.

The trial is a complex and controversial affair. The soldiers argue that they were acting under orders, while the prosecution argues that they committed war crimes.

The film is a powerful and moving indictment of war and the horrors that it can inflict. It is a classic of Australian cinema and a must-see for fans of historical dramas.

Stir (1979)

Stephen Wallace’s film about a prison riot, a film which helped make a star of Bryan Brown.

“Stir” is a prison drama film about a group of inmates who are held in a maximum-security prison in Australia.

The inmates come from all walks of life, and they have all committed different crimes. However, they are all united by their hatred of the prison system and their desire for freedom.

The film follows the inmates as they struggle to survive in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the prison. They must deal with violence, overcrowding, and the constant threat of sexual assault.

Despite the challenges they face, the inmates maintain their dignity and their sense of humor. They form a strong bond of friendship and camaraderie, and they support each other through the darkest of times.

My Brilliant Career (1979)

Based on the Miles Franklin novel, the film stars Judy Davis and Sam Neill, who would become household names after the success of the film and was directed by Gillian Armstrong.

“My Brilliant Career” is a coming-of-age drama film about a young woman named Sybylla Melvyn who is growing up in rural Australia in the early 20th century.

Sybylla is a bright and independent young woman, but she is also headstrong and unconventional. She refuses to conform to the expectations of her family and society.

Sybylla dreams of becoming a writer, but she knows that she will have to fight for her independence. She leaves home and moves to the city, where she works as a governess and begins to write her first novel.

“My Brilliant Career” is a powerful and moving film that celebrates the strength and resilience of women. 

Mad Max (1979)

Does it even need an introduction? Starring Mel Gibson and directed by George Miller, Mad Max became a cult classic in Australia and not long after the rest of the world. It launched the iconic Mad Max franchise and cemented Mel Gibson’s status as an action star.

If you haven’t seen it five times already and cannot randomly spit out iconic phrases and quotes from the movie, then, I am not sure if we are really friends…. 🙂

Box Office Success

Mad Max was a huge box office success, grossing over $5 million in Australia with a production budget of just $350,000. It was the highest-grossing Australian film of all time until it was surpassed by its sequel, Mad Max 2.

The Club (1980)

Starring Jack Thompson and directed by Bruce Beresford. It follows the boardroom battles of an Australian Rules Football club, Collingwood, as a new star is signed and the team goes from loss to loss. It’s a film very much set in the reality of the time, featuring several icons of the era, and filmed in Victoria.

Gallipoli (1981)

Directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, and Harold Hopkins.

Gallipoli follows several young men from Western Australia who enlist in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during World War I. It vividly portrays Australian life at that time and their journey along with Australia’s journey, at that time still a young nation. They are sent to the Gallipoli and the reality of war slowly starts to set in.

Puberty Blues (1981)

The mating rituals of two teenage surf “chicks” from the southern suburbs of Sydney, directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Nell Schofield, Jad Capelja, and Geoff Rhoe.

The film is based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey. It follows the story of two teenage girls, Debbie Vickers and Sue Knight, who are growing up in a working-class suburb of Sydney in the early 1970s.

The film explores the themes of female adolescence, sexuality, and rebellion. Debbie and Sue are both intelligent and ambitious girls, but they feel stifled by the expectations of their parents and society. They begin to experiment with sex and drugs, and they become involved with a group of older boys who introduce them to the world of surfing and beach culture.

Puberty Blues is a frank and unflinching look at the challenges and pressures faced by teenage girls. It is also a celebration of female friendship and the power of rebellion. The film was a critical and commercial success, and it has become a classic of Australian cinema.

Heatwave (1981)

Directed by Phillip Noyce. and starring Judy Davis, Richard Moir, and John Jarratt. The film follows a group of people who are trapped in a bustling new shopping mall during a heatwave.

The film begins on a hot summer day in Sydney. A group of people are going about their daily business in the Bondi Junction shopping mall. Among them are Sarah (Judy Davis), a young woman who is working at a clothing store; Nick (Richard Moir), a security guard; and Harry (John Jarratt), a man who is robbing a jewelry store.

As the day goes on, the brutal heatwave kicks in, the mall’s AC fails, and the drama begins.

Sarah, Nick, and Harry are among the people who are trapped in the mall. They try to find a way to escape, but all of the exits are blocked. As temperatures rise, panic and chaos ensue.

Heatwave is a tense and suspenseful film that explores the themes of claustrophobia, desperation, and human nature.

Lonely Hearts (1981)

Directed by Paul Cox and starring Norman Kaye, Wendy Hughes, and Jonathan Hardy. The film follows the story of two lonely people who meet and fall in love.

Harold (Norman Kaye) is a middle-aged man who works as a projectionist at a cinema. He is a shy and introverted man who has never had a girlfriend. Brenda (Wendy Hughes) is a young woman who works as a waitress at a coffee shop. She is a kind and compassionate woman who is also lonely.

Harold and Brenda meet one day when Harold comes into the coffee shop where Brenda works. They strike up a conversation and quickly realize that they have a lot in common. They both love movies, and they both feel like outsiders.

Harold and Brenda start dating, and they quickly fall in love. They are both happy to have finally found someone who understands them. However, their relationship is not without its challenges. Harold is still shy and insecure, and Brenda has a difficult time dealing with his past.

Despite the challenges, Harold and Brenda are determined to make their relationship work. They learn to trust each other and to support each other. They also learn to accept each other’s flaws.

Lonely Hearts is a beautiful and moving film about the power of love. It is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.

Winter of Our Dreams (1981)

Winter of Our Dreams is a 1981 Australian drama film directed by John Duigan and starring Judy Davis and Bryan Brown. The film is based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Murray Bail.

The film tells the story of Lou (Judy Davis) and Max (Bryan Brown), two young Australians who are struggling to find their place in the world. Lou is a talented artist, but she is also insecure and self-destructive. Max is a charismatic and ambitious businessman, but he is also ruthless and manipulative.

Lou and Max meet and fall in love, but their relationship is doomed from the start. Lou is drawn to Max’s confidence and ambition, but she is also repelled by his ruthlessness. Max is attracted to Lou’s talent and vulnerability, but he is also frustrated by her insecurity.

Lou and Max’s relationship is tested by a series of events, including Lou’s abortion and Max’s infidelity. The couple eventually break up, but they are unable to forget each other.

Winter of Our Dreams is a powerful and moving film about love, loss, and the search for identity. 

Monkey Grip (1981)

Directed by Ken Cameron and starring Noni Hazlehurst, Colin Friels, and Alice Garner. The film is based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Helen Garner.

The film tells the story of Nora (Noni Hazlehurst), a young woman who is struggling to come to terms with the end of her relationship with her long-term boyfriend. She meets Javo (Colin Friels), a heroin addict, and they begin a passionate but destructive relationship.

Mad Max 2 (1981)

Starring Mel Gibson and directed by George Miller, a follow-up to the cult classic that is Mad Max.

In the second installment, Max has become a lone wanderer in the ever-worsening post-apocalyptic world. He is hired by a group of settlers to help them defend their oil refinery from a gang of raiders led by the Humungus, and the non-stop action and suspense begins.

Mad Max 2 is a thrilling and suspenseful action film with stunning visuals and unforgettable characters, often heralded as one of the greatest action films of all time.

Box Office Success

Mad Max 2 was another box office success, grossing over $10 million in Australia, doubling its prequel.

Starstruck (1982)

Starstruck is a 1982 Australian musical comedy film directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Jo Kennedy, Ross O’Donovan, and Barry Otto. The film tells the story of a young woman who dreams of becoming a rock star.

Susan (Jo Kennedy) is a 15-year-old girl who lives in a small town in Australia. She is a huge fan of the rock band The Jets, and she dreams of one day becoming a rock star herself.

One day, Susan’s dream comes true when she meets The Jets at a concert. She is invited to join the band on stage, and she sings a duet with the lead singer, Jackie (Ross O’Donovan).

Susan is thrilled to be a part of The Jets, but she soon realizes that the music industry is not all that it seems. The band members are constantly fighting, and they are more interested in making money than in making music.

Susan also learns that Jackie is not the nice guy that he seems to be. He is arrogant and self-centered, and he only cares about himself.

Susan eventually decides to leave The Jets and pursue her own career. She forms her own band, and she starts to write her own songs.

Starstruck is a fun and heartwarming film about following your dreams. It is a film that will appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a rock star.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

Directed by Peter Weir starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver.

 The film is based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Christopher Koch.

The film tells the story of Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson), a young Australian journalist who is sent to Indonesia to cover the political turmoil in the lead-up to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. He meets Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver), a British embassy official, and they begin a passionate affair.

The film is a powerful and moving love story set against the backdrop of a tumultuous political upheaval. It is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.

The Man From Snowy River (1982)

Directed by George Miller and starring Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas, and Sigrid Thornton. The film is based on the 1890 poem of the same name by Banjo Paterson.

The film tells the story of Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson), a young man who dreams of becoming a stockman. He gets a job on a cattle station in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, and he quickly proves himself to be a skilled horseman.

Jim’s skills are put to the test when he is tasked with retrieving a herd of stolen cattle. He tracks the cattle to a remote mountain pass, and he must use all of his skills to get them back safely.

The Man from Snowy River is a thrilling and exciting adventure film with stunning visuals and unforgettable characters. It is a film that will appeal to audiences of all ages.

Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)

Directed by Carl Schultz starring Wendy Hughes.

The film is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Sumner Locke Elliott.

The film tells the story of Lila (Wendy Hughes) and Vanessa (Robyn Nevin), two sisters who live in a small town in Australia. Lila is a single mother with two young children, while Vanessa is a successful career woman.

The sisters’ lives are turned upside down when their father (John Hargreaves) is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Lila and Vanessa must come to terms with their father’s impending death, and they must also learn to deal with their own grief and anger.

Careful, He Might Hear You is a powerful and moving drama about family, love, and loss.

Phar Lap: Heart of a Nation (1983)

Directed by Simon Wincer and starring Tom Burlinson, Martin Vaughan, and Judy Morris. The film tells the story of Phar Lap, a legendary racehorse who captured the hearts of Australians during the Great Depression.

Phar Lap was a New Zealand-bred thoroughbred who was brought to Australia in 1929. He quickly became one of the most successful racehorses in the world, winning 37 of his 51 starts. Phar Lap’s victories gave Australians a sense of hope and pride during the difficult years of the Great Depression.

The film follows Phar Lap’s career from his early days in New Zealand to his tragic death in the United States in 1932. The film also explores the relationship between Phar Lap and his trainer, Harry Telford (Martin Vaughan).

Phar Lap: Heart of a Nation (1983)

Directed by Sophia Turkiewicz and starring John Hargreaves, Chris Haywood, and Toni Collette. The film is set in the small mining town of Silver City, New South Wales, in the 1950s.

The film tells the story of Dick Docker (John Hargreaves), a young man who returns to Silver City after serving in the Korean War. Dick is disillusioned with the war and with the world in general. He finds that Silver City has not changed much since he left, and he soon falls back into his old ways of drinking and gambling.

Dick’s life takes a turn when he meets Emily (Toni Collette), a young woman who is new to Silver City. Emily is full of life and optimism, and she helps Dick to see the good in the world again.

Dick and Emily fall in love, but their relationship is tested by the harsh realities of life in Silver City. The town is in decline, and the mine is about to close. Dick and Emily must decide whether to stay in Silver City and fight for a better future, or to leave and start a new life elsewhere.

The More Things Change (1985)

Directed by Robyn Nevin and starring Judy Morris and Barry Otto.

A family moves to the country, while Connie continues to work at the publishing house in the city, Lex takes care of the home, the farm, and their little son.

She is the one who earns the money on which his dreams are based.

They hire a 19-year-old girl, who is four months pregnant but determined to hide this from her parents and fiance.

Their relationships increasingly intersect, and the upsetting events that occur make each of them take a closer look at their own lives and values…

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

 Directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie and starring Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, and Bruce Spence. It is the third film in the Mad Max franchise.

The film continues in the post-apocalyptic world where gasoline is scarce and gangs of raiders roam the wasteland. Max is still a lone warrior but has become disillusioned with the violence and chaos of the wasteland. He is captured by a group of raiders and taken to Bartertown, a trading outpost ruled by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner).

Aunty Entity forces Max to fight in her Thunderdome, a gladiatorial arena where the winner takes all. Max reluctantly agrees to fight, but he soon realizes that there is more to Bartertown than meets the eye.

Box Office Success

The third iteration in the Mad Max franchise wasn’t as successful as the first release bringing in only $5 million although internationally it raked in over $36 million.

Bliss (1985)

Directed by Ray Lawrence and starring Barry Otto, Helen Buday, and Gia Carides. The film tells the story of Harry Joy (Barry Otto), a middle-aged man who is struggling to come to terms with his life.

Harry is a successful businessman, but he is also a deeply unhappy man. He is estranged from his wife and children, and he has no real friends. Harry’s life is empty and meaningless.

One day, Harry meets Sarah (Helen Buday), a young woman who is full of life and optimism. Sarah helps Harry to see the beauty in the world again. She shows him that there is still hope for happiness.

Harry and Sarah fall in love, but their relationship is not without its challenges. Harry’s ex-wife and children are not happy about his new relationship. Sarah’s family is also concerned about her involvement with Harry.

Despite the challenges, Harry and Sarah are determined to make their relationship work. They believe that they have found true bliss.

Devil in the Flesh (1985)

Directed by Scott Murray and starring Alex McArthur, Rose McGowan, Phil Morris, and Robert Silver. It was adapted from the adapted from the French novel “Le Diable au corps” by Raymond Radiguet.

Debbi Strand (Rose McGowan) is a young, beautiful, sexy, and new girl in class that everybody notices. A murder mystery unfolds as she seduces her teacher.

Backlash (1986)

Directed by Bill Bennett and starring David Argue, Gia Carides, and Lydia Miller.

Police officers Trevor Darling (David Argue) and Nikki Iceton (Gia Carides) escort a young Aboriginal woman Kath (Lydia Miller) to the New South Wales outback to stand trial for having allegedly murdered the man who raped her. After getting stranded in the desert a bond grows between them and the officers begin to see Kath’s side of the story.

The Fringe Dwellers (1986)

Directed by Bruce Beresford starring Justine Saunders, Kristina Nehm, Kylie Belling, and Ernie Dingo. A story about an Aboriginal family moving into the mainstream of a white society based on the based on the 1961 novel The Fringe Dwellers by Nene Gare.

Trilby, a young Aboriginal woman, encourages her mother to apply for a Housing Commission home in a predominantly white suburb. They move there from the outskirts of town, furnishing their new house. However, there is cultural conflict. Trilby realizes her family is happier surrounded by community, not her individual goals. With xenophobic neighbors, Trilby and her boyfriend Phil struggle to fit in.

Travelling North (1986)

A comedy/drama directed by Carl Schultz starring Leo McKern and Julia Blake.

Frank, a recently retired civil engineer, and his younger partner Frances decide to live together for the first time in a beachside home in Far North Queensland. Frances is a divorcee whose daughters live in their former home in busy Melbourne.

The film follows their adjustment to the new small town environment, contrasting with their past lives in the big city. It also shows Frank initially neglecting Frances’ needs amid his outbursts.

They interact comically yet fraughtly with neighbor Freddy, an ex-serviceman, and local doctor Saul, who eventually befriend them. Saul provides emotional support as Frank’s health worsens.

The story foreshadows a peaceful ending for Frank, allowing Frances to begin afresh with a new stage of life in the beautiful surroundings. It explores themes of relocation, health challenges, and finding community.

Cactus (1986)

Directed by Paul Cox and starring Isabelle Huppert and Robert Menzies.

An Australian drama about a young French woman who must decide on eye surgery, risking what eyesight she has left.

Dogs In Space (1986)

A story about inner-city life in Melbourne in the 1970s directed by Richard Lowenstein starring Michael Hutchence.

It follows the story of two young men, Sam (Hutchence) and Mick (Connor), who are recruited by the Australian government to train dogs for a space mission. The dogs are to be sent into space to collect data on the effects of radiation on living organisms.

Sam and Mick are both outsiders who are drawn to the project by the promise of adventure and the chance to make a difference. However, they soon discover that the project is not all that it seems. The dogs are being subjected to cruel and inhumane experiments, and Sam and Mick begin to question the ethics of the mission.

As the launch date approaches, Sam and Mick must decide whether to continue with the project or to speak out against the government. Their decision will have far-reaching consequences for both themselves and the dogs.

The movie became a cult classic.

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Directed by Peter Faiman and starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, and John Meillon.

The comedy-adventure film tells the story of Mick Dundee (Hogan), a crocodile hunter from the Australian Outback, who travels to New York City to rescue his girlfriend, Sue Charlton (Kozlowski), after she is kidnapped.

Mick’s arrival in New York City is a culture shock for both him and the city’s residents. He is unaccustomed to the hustle and bustle of city life, and the city’s residents are unaccustomed to his rugged and unconventional ways.

Despite the culture shock, Mick quickly proves himself to be a resourceful and capable hero. He rescues Sue from her kidnappers and, in the process, becomes a media sensation.

Crocodile Dundee was a critical and commercial success. It was the highest-grossing Australian film of all time until it was surpassed by Crocodile Dundee II in 1988. The film also helped to popularize the “Crocodile Dundee” character, who became an international icon.

Box office success:

Crocodile Dundee was a huge box office success, grossing over $328 million worldwide against a production budget of $8.8 million. It was the highest-grossing film of 1986 in Australia and the United States.

The film’s success helped to launch the careers of Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski. Hogan went on to star in several other Crocodile Dundee films, as well as other successful films such as Almost an Angel (1990) and Lightning Jack (1994). Kozlowski went on to star in several other films, including Return to Snowy River (1988) and The Quick and the Dead (1995).

High Tide (1987)

Directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Judy Davis, Jan Adele, Claudia Karvan, Colin Friels, John Clayton, Frankie J. Holden, and Toni Scanlan.

A rock’n roll singer gets stranded in a small Australian town after losing her job in a band. She winds up in a trailer park only to encounter, by accident, the teenage daughter she deserted following her husband’s death

The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

Directed by John Duigan and starring Noah Taylor, Ben Mendelsohn and Loene Carmen.

In 1962 rural Australia, 15-year-old Danny is best friends with Freya, an adopted girl who is the subject of town gossip. Danny has feelings for Freya, but she is attracted to Trevor, a rebellious high school rugby star.

It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story and was praised for its realistic portrayal of adolescence, its strong performances, and its beautiful cinematography.

A Cry from the Dark (1988)

Directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, and Bruce Myles. The film is based on the true story of Lindy Chamberlain, an Australian woman who was wrongly convicted of murdering her baby daughter, Azaria.

In 1980, Lindy and her husband, Michael, were camping with their three children in the Australian Outback. One night, Azaria was taken from their tent by a dingo. Lindy and Michael reported the incident to the police, but they were met with skepticism and suspicion.

The police and the media quickly turned against Lindy, and she was charged with murdering her daughter. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Michael and Lindy’s other children were taken into care by the state. Lindy spent three years in prison before she was exonerated by new evidence.

A Cry from the Dark is a powerful and moving film that tells the story of a family’s tragedy and their fight for justice.

Dead Calm (1988)

The film tells the story of a couple, Rae and John Ingram (Kidman and Neill), who are sailing their yacht across the Pacific Ocean when they come across a drifting sailboat. On board the sailboat, they find a young man named Hughie Warriner (Zane), who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck.

Hughie seems charming and helpful at first, but Rae soon begins to suspect that he is not who he claims to be. Her suspicions are confirmed when Hughie murders John and takes Rae hostage.

Rae must now use all of her wits and strength to survive and escape from Hughie’s clutches.

Box office Success

Dead Calm grossed over $34 million worldwide against a production budget of $6 million. It was one of the most successful Australian films of the 1980s.


Dead Calm is considered to be one of the best Australian thriller films ever made. It has been praised for its suspenseful plot, its strong performances, and its beautiful cinematography. The film has also been credited with helping to launch the careers of Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane.

Rikky and Pete (1988)

Directed by Nadia Tass and starring Nina Landis, Stephen Kearney, Tetchie Agbayani, Bill Hunter, and Bruno Lawrence,

Rikky is an out-of-work geologist and aspiring singer while her brother Pete is a misfit inventor. Escaping the contestant shenanigans with local police they head to the Australian outback and the desert mining town of Mount Isa.

The Delinquents (1989)

Directed by Chris Thomson and starring Kylie Minogue.

A coming-of-age romantic drama film based on Criena Rohan’s 1962 book of the same name. It stars Kylie Minogue and Charlie Schlatter as the main characters Lola and Brownie.

Sweetie (1989)

Directed by Jane Campion, and starring Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos, and Jon Darling.

Sweetie is a black comedy that tells the story of Kay, a young woman in her twenties who is haunted by her dysfunctional family and her troubled relationship with her sister, known as Sweetie.

Kay’s life takes a dramatic turn when she meets a man named Louis and begins a romantic relationship with him. As Kay tries to build a stable life with Louis, she must confront the chaos and emotional turmoil caused by her family, especially her unpredictable and mentally unstable sister.

The film explores themes of family dynamics, mental illness, and the search for personal identity. With its unique blend of dark comedy and psychological drama, “Sweetie” offers a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of family relationships and the impact they have on individual lives.

Flirting (1990)

Directed by John Duigan and starring Noah Taylor, Thandiwe Newton, and Nicole Kidman.

“Flirting” is a 1991 Australian film directed by John Duigan. Set in the 1960s, the movie follows the story of Danny Embling, a socially awkward teenager attending an all-boys boarding school.

Danny’s life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Thandiwe Adjewa, a Ugandan-Kenyan girl attending a nearby all-girls school. Despite the challenges of their different cultural backgrounds and the strict rules separating the two schools, Danny and Thandiwe develop a deep connection and embark on a secret romance.

As they navigate the complexities of their budding relationship, they face opposition from their peers and the authorities, who disapprove of their interracial romance.

“Flirting” beautifully explores themes of young love, identity, and the courage to challenge societal norms. With its heartfelt performances and poignant storytelling, the film captures the innocence and vulnerability of adolescence while shedding light on the universal struggles of young love.

Flirting (1990)

Directed by John Seale, written by Michael Thomas, and starring Mark Harmon, Martin Garner, Gregory T. Daniel, and Deborah Kara Unger.

A struggling saxophonist visiting the South Pacific investigates his brother’s murder In the search for answers, in a lawless land, he becomes involved with the wife of the island’s most powerful man.

Death in Brunswick (1990)

Directed by John Ruanne and starring Sam Neill, Zoe Carides, John Clarke, Yvonne Lawley, Nick Lathouris.

The movie follows the story of Carl Fitzgerald, a down-on-his-luck piano player who takes a job as a cook at a seedy suburban Melbourne pub called The Salamander.

Carl’s life takes a dark and unexpected turn when he becomes entangled in a web of crime and murder. As he navigates the chaotic and dangerous world of the pub, Carl finds himself caught between corrupt cops, ruthless gangsters, and a mysterious femme fatale named Sophie.

With his clumsy and bumbling nature, Carl unwittingly becomes a key player in a series of escalating events that lead to violence and mayhem.

“Death in Brunswick” is a darkly humorous film that delves into themes of greed, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s actions. With its offbeat characters, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists, the film offers a satirical and entertaining exploration of the underbelly of suburban life.

The Big Steal (1990) 

Directed by Nadia Tass and starring Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan, and Steve Bisley.

The movie follows the misadventures of Danny Clark, a high school student who finds himself caught up in a series of comedic misunderstandings and a wild chase.

When Danny’s pride and joy, his beloved car, is stolen by a smooth-talking conman named Gordon Farkas, he embarks on a hilarious journey to track down the thief and reclaim his vehicle.

Along the way, Danny teams up with a resourceful and street-smart girl named Joanna, who has her own reasons for wanting to catch Gordon.

As they navigate through car chases, mistaken identities, and unexpected encounters, Danny and Joanna find themselves in increasingly absurd situations.

“The Big Steal” is a fast-paced and light-hearted film that combines elements of comedy, romance, and adventure. With its witty dialogue, quirky characters, and thrilling escapades, the movie provides an entertaining and enjoyable ride for audiences.

A Woman’s Tale (1991) 

Directed by Paul Cox and starring Sheila Florance.

The movie centers around Martha, an elderly woman in her seventies who is living in a nursing home and battling terminal cancer. Martha is a fiercely independent and strong-willed woman who refuses to let her illness define her.

With a desire to live her remaining days on her own terms, she forms an unlikely friendship with a young male nurse named Daniel. Together, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, exploring themes of love, mortality, and the importance of human connection.

As Martha confronts her impending mortality, she reflects on her past and the choices she has made, leading to profound moments of introspection and personal growth.

“A Woman’s Tale” is a sensitive and contemplative film that delves into aging and the resilience of the human spirit.

Black Robe (1991) 

Directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Lothaire Bluteau and Sandrine Holt.

Set in the 17th century, the movie follows the journey of Father Laforgue, a French Jesuit priest, as he travels through the Canadian wilderness to a mission located deep in Native American territory.

Accompanied by a group of Algonquin guides, Father Laforgue faces numerous challenges and dangers along the way, including treacherous landscapes, hostile tribes, and cultural clashes.

As the journey progresses, Father Laforgue undergoes a personal transformation, questioning his faith and beliefs while grappling with the complexities of colonialism and the clash of European and Indigenous cultures.

“Black Robe” is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that explores themes of spirituality, cultural imperialism, and the resilience of the human spirit.

The Last Days of Chez Nous (1991)

Directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Lisa Harrow, Bruno Ganz, and Kerry Fox

The movie explores the dynamics of a contemporary Australian family through the lens of personal relationships and the complexities of love and desire.

The story revolves around the household of Beth, a successful writer, and her French husband, JP. Their seemingly idyllic life is disrupted when Beth’s younger sister, Vicki, comes to stay with them.

Vicki’s arrival sparks a series of emotional upheavals, as long-held secrets and tensions within the family bubble to the surface. As the characters navigate their individual desires and struggles, they grapple with issues of fidelity, trust, and the nature of love.

“The Last Days of Chez Nous” is a nuanced and introspective film that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the fragility of familial bonds.

Proof (1991)

Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and starring Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot, and Russell Crowe.

The movie revolves around Martin, a blind man who depends on others to navigate through life. Martin’s world is turned upside down when he forms an unconventional friendship with Celia, a quirky and unpredictable young woman.

Celia becomes Martin’s eyes, describing the world to him in vivid detail and allowing him to experience life from a new perspective. However, their relationship becomes complicated when Martin’s housekeeper, Andy, begins to doubt the authenticity of Celia’s descriptions, leading to a series of unexpected twists and revelations.

As Martin grapples with questions of trust and perception, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and independence.

“Proof” is a deeply introspective and emotionally resonant film that delves into themes of truth, identity, and the power of human connection.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, and Bill Hunter.

The movie follows the story of Scott Hastings, a talented and unconventional ballroom dancer who rebels against the strict rules of the competitive ballroom dancing world.

When Scott’s dance partner abandons him, he teams up with Fran, a beginner dancer with a unique style. As they train together, Scott and Fran challenge the established norms and expectations of the ballroom dancing community, introducing innovative moves and injecting their own personality into their routines. However, their journey is not without obstacles, as they face resistance from traditionalists and judgment from their peers.

Against all odds, Scott and Fran strive to prove themselves at the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Dancing Championship.

“Strictly Ballroom” is a vibrant and energetic film that explores themes of self-expression, individuality, and the pursuit of dreams.

Box Office Success

Although initially shown on a small number of screens on debut, this was quickly expanded due it its popularity and became the highest-grossing film in Australia for the year bringing in over $21 million. It would go on to collect $80 million in global box office sales, making the list of Australia’s most successful films.

The Piano (1993)

Written and directed by Jane Campion it starred Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin.

The movie is set in the mid-19th century and follows the story of Ada McGrath, a mute Scottish woman who travels to New Zealand with her young daughter and her beloved piano.

Ada is forced into an arranged marriage with Alisdair Stewart, a wealthy landowner, despite her objections. In the rugged and isolated New Zealand wilderness, Ada finds solace and means of expression through her piano. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she meets George Baines, a rough-hewn local man who becomes captivated by Ada and her music.

A complex and illicit relationship develops between Ada and George, leading to a series of emotional conflicts and personal revelations.

“The Piano” is a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that explores themes of desire, repression, and the pursuit of freedom.

Bad Boy Bubby (1993)

Written and directed by Rolf de Heer, and starring Nicholas Hope, Claire Benito, Ralph Cotterill, and Carmel Johnson.

 The movie follows the story of Bubby, a middle-aged man who has spent his entire life confined to a small, squalid apartment by his abusive mother. Bubby is isolated from the outside world and has been led to believe that the air outside is toxic.

However, when circumstances compel him to venture into the outside world, Bubby’s life takes a radical turn.

As he navigates the unfamiliar and often chaotic world, Bubby encounters a series of eccentric characters and experiences a range of emotions, from joy and wonder to confusion and despair.

Through his interactions with others, Bubby begins to question his own existence and learns about love, freedom, and the complexities of human relationships.

Sirens (1994)

Written and directed by John Duigan, and starring Hugh Grant, Sam Neill, Tara FitzgeraldElle Macpherson, Portia de Rossi, Kate Fischer, Pamela Rabe, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The movie is set in the 1930s and follows the story of Norman Lindsay, a controversial Australian artist, and his encounter with a conservative English clergyman and his wife.

When the clergyman, Anthony Campion, is sent to Australia to assess the “obscene” nature of Lindsay’s artwork, he brings along his beautiful and free-spirited wife, Estella. As they spend time with Lindsay and his bohemian lifestyle, Estella becomes increasingly intrigued by the artist’s sensual and liberated approach to life and art.

Alongside her own personal awakening, Estella’s presence challenges Anthony’s rigid beliefs and forces him to confront his own desires and insecurities.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Written and directed by Stephan Elliott, and starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, and Bill Hunter.

The movie follows the journey of two drag queens, Anthony “Tick” Belrose and Adam Whitely, along with a transgender woman, Bernadette Bassenger, as they embark on a road trip across the Australian Outback. Their mission is to perform their drag show at a remote resort called “Lasseter’s Hotel Casino.”

Traveling aboard a flamboyantly decorated bus named “Priscilla,” the trio encounters various challenges and adventures along the way.

They face prejudice, encounter quirky characters, and confront personal and emotional hurdles.

Throughout their journey, Priscilla becomes a symbol of their resilience, self-expression, and the celebration of their true identities. “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is a joyous and heartwarming film that explores themes of acceptance, friendship, and the power of self-acceptance.

Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

Directed by P J Hogan and starring Toni Collette, Rachael Griffiths & Bill Hunter.

The movie revolves around the life of Muriel Heslop, a socially awkward and dreamy young woman with a deep obsession for ABBA and a strong desire to escape her mundane life in the small town of Porpoise Spit.

Muriel’s life takes a dramatic turn when she befriends Rhonda, an outgoing and rebellious woman. Inspired by her new friendship, Muriel sets out on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

She leaves her hometown and moves to Sydney, where she reinvents herself, chasing her dreams of love, success, and happiness. Along the way, Muriel faces numerous challenges, including family dysfunction, societal pressures, and her own insecurities.

Through a series of hilarious and poignant moments, Muriel learns valuable lessons about self-acceptance, the importance of genuine connections, and the true meaning of happiness.

“Muriel’s Wedding” is a heartwarming and comedic film that explores themes of identity, independence, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. With its memorable characters, catchy music, and a touch of bittersweetness, the movie offers a delightful and relatable story of resilience, friendship, and the transformative power of embracing one’s true self.

Babe (1995)

Directed by Chris Noonan and starring James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, and Christine Cavanaugh.

The movie revolves around the heartwarming story of a young pig named Babe who aspires to become a sheep-herding dog.

Raised by a border collie named Fly on a farm, Babe finds himself surrounded by animals with distinct personalities and aspirations. Despite being a pig, Babe forms unlikely friendships and learns valuable life lessons from the animals around him.

With the help of Fly and the wise sheepdog Rex, Babe embarks on a journey to prove himself and challenge the traditional roles and expectations placed upon him. Along the way, he encounters various obstacles, including the skepticism of the other farm animals and the disapproval of Farmer Hoggett, who initially sees Babe as nothing more than a future Christmas dinner.

Through his determination, kindness, and a newfound understanding of the power of words, Babe defies expectations and brings about a transformative change on the farm.

Napoleon (1995)

Directed by Mario Andreacchio and starring Jamie Croft and Philip Quast.

The movie follows the adventures of a loveable golden retriever named Napoleon and his mischievous escapades in a small country town. When Napoleon’s owners, the McLeods, go on vacation, the clever dog is left in the care of their children, Sally and Robbie.

However, Napoleon has a knack for getting into trouble and causing chaos wherever he goes. Alongside his loyal friends, a parrot named Birdo and a pig named Rumble, Napoleon embarks on a series of humorous and heartwarming adventures.

From foiling a pair of bumbling thieves to finding himself in a high-speed car chase, Napoleon’s resilience and charm win over the hearts of the townspeople.

As the film progresses, Napoleon’s antics bring the community together, teaching them valuable lessons about love, friendship, and the true meaning of family.

“Napoleon” is a delightful and whimsical film that appeals to audiences of all ages.

Mr. Reliable (1996)

Directed by Nadia Tass, starring Colin Friels & Jacqueline McKenzie.

The movie is based on a true story and follows the misadventures of Wally Mellish, an eccentric and down-on-his-luck Australian man.

Set in the 1960s, Wally is struggling to make ends meet and support his large family. In a desperate attempt to provide for them, he hatches a plan to rob a bank. However, Wally’s heist doesn’t go as planned, and he ends up taking hostages instead. Surprisingly, Wally’s hostages, including a bank teller named Cheryl and her young daughter, start to sympathize with him and his predicament.

As the media and the public become fascinated by Wally’s situation, he becomes an unlikely folk hero, earning the nickname “Mr. Reliable.”

With the police and the media closing in, Wally must navigate the chaos and find a way to resolve the situation without anyone getting hurt.

“Mr. Reliable” is a quirky and darkly comedic film that explores themes of desperation, family, and the unpredictable nature of fame. With its offbeat humor, unexpected turns, and memorable characters, the movie offers an entertaining and thought-provoking exploration of the human capacity for resilience and the blurred lines between heroism and notoriety.

Shine (1996)

Directed by Scott Hicks, starring Geoffrey Rush.

The movie tells the true story of David Helfgott, a brilliant pianist who faces immense personal struggles on his journey to achieving greatness.

The film portrays Helfgott’s life in three different stages. As a child prodigy growing up in Perth, David’s talent is nurtured by his father, Peter, but his strict upbringing takes a toll on his mental health.

As a young adult, David is accepted into the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, but his emotional instability and the weight of his past traumas threaten to derail his career.

Finally, as an adult, David battles with the demons of his past and must confront his own inner turmoil to find redemption and reclaim his love for music.

Chopper (2000)

Directed by Andrew Dominik, starring Eric Bana as ‘Chopper’.

The movie is based on the true story of Mark “Chopper” Read, a notorious criminal and author who gained infamy in the Melbourne underworld.

The film follows Chopper’s life, providing a raw and unflinching portrayal of his violent and unpredictable nature. The story chronicles Chopper’s rise to notoriety as a feared figure in the criminal underworld, his time in prison, and his interactions with other criminals, law enforcement, and his associates. While the film delves into the brutality and criminal activities associated with Chopper’s life, it also explores his complex personality, including his twisted sense of humor and his desire for fame. “Chopper” is a gritty and intense film that delves into the dark underbelly of Australian crime.

With its unapologetic depiction of violence, memorable performances, and a chilling portrayal of its titular character, the movie offers a harrowing and thought-provoking exploration of the human capacity for violence, redemption, and the blurred lines between hero and villain in the criminal world.

The Dish (2000)

Directed by Rob Sitch, starring Sam Neill, Billy Mitchell, and Roz Hammond

The movie is set in the small rural town of Parkes, New South Wales, during the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

The story revolves around the Parkes Observatory, a satellite dish facility that plays a crucial role in transmitting the live television coverage of the moon landing to the world.

The film follows the quirky and endearing group of scientists and technicians who work at the observatory, led by the determined and unconventional Cliff Buxton.

As the historic event approaches, the team faces a series of challenges, including technical issues, intense media scrutiny, and personal conflicts. Through their collective efforts and unwavering dedication, the team at Parkes Observatory becomes an integral part of the world-changing mission.

“The Dish” is a heartwarming and lighthearted film that celebrates the spirit of human achievement, teamwork, and the power of communication. With its blend of humor, drama, and nostalgia, the movie offers a charming and nostalgic portrayal of a small Australian community making a significant contribution to one of the greatest moments in human history.

Where to Watch?

There are now plenty of options for watching Australian films online, the Freeview channels are one, and the large array of streaming services now host a lot too.

  • Download the Freeview APP from iStore or PlayStore (only available in Australia) to search for movies being screened on any of the Freeview channels which include ABC, SBS, 7, 9 & 10 live, ABC iview, SBS On Demand, Zplus, 9 Now, and 10 play. See Freeview
  • The new Brollie is the top pick of the local streaming services with over 180 titles in their Australian category. See Brollie
  • Stan is the second top pick of the paid streaming services, they have a large number of the titles we’ve mentioned here and Aus movies from 2000 onwards. See Stan
  • Netflix has some but not much, see here
  • Umbrella Movies has a large range of DVD titles here
  • Another option is YouTube, but most of the titles on there are cloned from old VHS tapes and of poor quality but that may be fine if it’s a rare title not found elsewhere.

Niche Lists

Top 10 Highest-Grossing Australian Movies

Via Screen Australia.

  1. Crocodile Dundee (1986) – $47,707,598
  2. Australia (2008) – 37.555.839
  3. Babe (1995) – $36,797,861
  4. Elvis (2022) – $33,612,964
  5. Happy Feet (2006) – $31,786,593
  6. Lion (2017) – $29,567,752
  7. Moulin Rouge! (2001) – $27,765,415
  8. The Great Gatsby (2013) – $27,392,375
  9. Peter Rabbit (2018) – $26,794,641
  10. Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988) – $24,916,805

Top 10 Indigenous Films

Via to Little White Lies

  1. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)
  2. Samson and Delilah (2009)
  3. Storm Boy (1976)
  4. The Sapphires (2012)
  5. Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)
  6. Radiance (1998)
  7. Beneath Clouds (2002)
  8. The Tracker (2002), Ten Canoes (2006), and Charlie’s Country (2013)
  9. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
  10. Walkabout (1971)

Top Ten Aussie Car Car Chase Films

Via MFP – Map Film Productions

  1. Mad Max (1979)
  2. Running on Empty (1982)
  3. Midnite Spares (1983)
  4. The Chain Reaction (1980)
  5. The Man from Hong Kong (1975)
  6. Running from the Guns (1987)
  7. Freedom (1982)
  8. Dead End Drive-In (1986)
  9. The FJ Holden (1977)
  10. Metal Skin (1994)

Movie Posters

A collection from 70s, 80s, and 90s.