Australian Cinema 1.0.1by spike06 | created - 12 Sep 2011 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
So your interested in Australian produced films but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you're a seasoned Australian movie cinephile & are simply looking for that next Aussie masterpiece. Look no further, you've definitely come to the right place! A selection of quality (& some not so) Australian cinema from through-out the ages. Be it Action, Drama, War, Western, Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Martial Arts, SciFi & more... your sure to find some inspiration here! I started this list because searching for 'true' Australian films here on the database always returns a mix including American productions filmed in Australia...you won't find any of them here. For a film to be included it must feature a majority Australian cast & be filmed in Australia. No American Productions filmed in Australia will be included. You WON'T be seeing films like: The Matrix, Dark City or Queen of the Damned listed here. This is an ongoing project that will be updated as I find more. Thus it's a select list which will hopefully become definitive in the not to distant future. (May 2015) Huge Update of Retro Horror & Thriller titles.
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1. Mad Max (1979)
R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.
Votes: 165,157 | Gross: $8.75M
Probably my all time favourite Australian film. Even better than its often thought to be superior sequel??.... You bet! Not just an action packed, but more Intelligent, grittier, darker, rawer and yes a more emotional film.
2. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 145,121 | Gross: $12.47M
The film that started an entire subgenre on its own. Often emulated but never surpassed. The post apocalyptic action film extravaganza...Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior. A great sequel, a fantastic action film in its own right!
3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.
Votes: 110,384 | Gross: $36.20M
The final film in the Mad Max Trilogy. Based 15 years after the events of Mad Max 2. Solid popcorn munching entertainment!
4. The Chain Reaction (1980)
92 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will ... See full summary »
A fun scifi actioner with car stunt work reminiscent of Mad Max. My first viewing left me slightly underwhelmed but I recently revisited, and my attitude has changed. Sure there's nowhere near the amount of high speed chases id like, but the story and atmosphere make up this shortfall. This is a bonafide Australian classic. A must watch by any lover of action cinema.
5. Wake in Fright (1971)
R | 109 min | Drama, Thriller
After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent.
Votes: 7,113 | Gross: $0.05M
On the cutting edge for the whole Ozploitation movement in Australia. Rediscovered in 2007 and remastered from this long lost negative. A story of one mans descent into alcoholism amidst the chaos and brutality of an alcohol fueled mining town set in the aching beauty of the Australian outback. A film which hit me with the force of a raging storm. An astounding work of art.
6. Stone (1974)
103 min | Action, Drama, Adventure
Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s.
The Latest DVD release of this film proclaims:
"Before Mad Max & The Road Warrior there was Stone".
Indeed there was. Stone being released a whole 6 years before Mad Max! ; D While not on par with the aforementioned, deserving of its B movie cult status none the less.
7. Romper Stomper (1992)
R | 94 min | Crime, Drama
A group of skinheads become alarmed at the way their neighbourhood is changing.
Votes: 33,653 | Gross: $0.18M
Highly controversial at the time of its release because of its violent content. Inspired by the highly publicized crimes of a leading Melbourne Neo-Nazi skinhead. The film which launched Russel Crowe on the world stage. BTW, its got a cracking punk sound track if you can find it!
8. The Proposition (2005)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western
A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.
Votes: 45,232 | Gross: $1.90M
The quintessential Australian Western which rubs shoulders with the best from the genre. Stellar cast including Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, John Hurt, Danny Huston and David Wenham. Written by music extraordinaire & all round tallented bloke Nick Cave. A damn fine piece of cinema.
10. Chopper (2000)
Unrated | 94 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
Votes: 33,108 | Gross: $0.23M
11. Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Bubby has spent thirty years trapped in the same small room, tricked by his mother. One day, he manages to escape, and, deranged and naive in equal measures, his adventure into the modern and nihilistic life begins.
BLACK comedy anyone? But be warned, its a twisted, violent, often nausea inducing crazy entertaining time.... a frightfully warped fun ride. Haven't seen this one since about 1995, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It scarred my fragile little mind :D & aren't I happy about it!
12. The Hard Word (2002)
R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Three fraternal bank robbers languishing in jail, discover a profitable (if not dodgy) way to spend their time. Crime can most certainly pay, if you "know wot I mean?" However when sex and ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,313 | Gross: $0.42M
14. Metal Skin (1994)
115 min | Action, Drama, Romance
Psycho Joe, a petrol-head from Altona, Melbourne, secures employment at a local Supermarket. Here, he meets the over-sexed Dazey. Joe and Dazey form a friendship based on a mutual interest ... See full summary »
Definately in my top 10 movies of all time. From the director of Romper Stomper.
Lost, dispondent dope-addled car-obsessed young males with disturbing disconnected lives become focused on an arbitrary quest in order to find meaning. (thanks somebozo943!)
Unflinching indie brilliance with punch!
15. Animal Kingdom (2010)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama
A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.
Votes: 48,891 | Gross: $1.04M
16. The Rover (2014)
R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama
10 years after a global economic collapse, a hardened loner pursues the men who stole his only possession, his car. Along the way, he captures one of the thieves' brother, and the duo form an uneasy bond during the dangerous journey.
Votes: 37,330 | Gross: $1.11M
17. The Babadook (2014)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Horror
A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Votes: 145,771 | Gross: $0.92M
18. Gettin' Square (2003)
Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Gettin' Square is about starting over, keeping clean and going straight. Barry Wirth is fresh out of prison and determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But like his mate Johnny 'Spit... See full summary »
19. Dirty Deeds (2002)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime
1973 Sydney: An Australian gangster sees booming business, due to U.S. soldiers being in town for relaxing between their tours to the Vietnam war, attracts the attention of first the Chicago mafia, and then their East Coast competitors.
20. Idiot Box (1996)
83 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Looking for the fast track out of suburban hell, two natural born losers scheme an impossible heist. Mick is slack, cynical, and most of all, unemployed. He masterminds the plan while Kev, ... See full summary »
22. Dogs in Space (1986)
R | 103 min | Drama
The film is set in a house occupied by a collection of social misfits. The main storyline is that of a strange musician's relationship with a girl, their drug use and his band. These events... See full summary »
23. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
PG | 115 min | Drama, Mystery
During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.
Votes: 27,557 | Gross: $0.08M
24. Angel Baby (1995)
R | 105 min | Drama, Romance
Two schizophrenics meet during therapy and fall passionately in love. Ahead of them lies the inevitable road to disaster - one they share to the end.
25. Crackerjack (2002)
92 min | Comedy
When dwindling membership and increasing overheads makes a local bowling club and prime candidate for a takeover, it's all hands on deck to save the club, in what turns into an epic battle ... See full summary »
26. Two Hands (1999)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a ... See full summary »
27. Candy (2006)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance
A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
Votes: 38,482 | Gross: $0.04M
28. Muggers (2000)
97 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
Brad and Gregor, two broke medical students in their final year and debut to a loan shark, must resort to contentious lengths to finance themselves. A fresh comedy with scruple less students.
29. The Illustrated Family Doctor (2005)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
"The Illustrated Family Doctor" is a dark comedy, that centres on the story of Gary Kelp, a young man who condenses reference books for a company called the Info Digest.
A rarely seen Indie Black Comedy gem. This one came straight from left field and firmly smacked me in the kisser. Highly recommended if you ike independant, quality film making with a strong story and plenty of dark humor!
31. Proof (1991)
R | 86 min | Drama, Romance
The life of a blind photographer who is looked after by a housekeeper is disrupted by the arrival of an agreeable restaurant worker.
Votes: 5,442 | Gross: $0.52M
32. Malcolm (1986)
PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi
Malcolm is a chronically shy mechanical genius who has just been fired for building his own tram. He gets Frank, who has just been released from jail, to move in to help pay the bills. ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,632 | Gross: $0.54M
33. The Efficiency Expert (1992)
PG | 85 min | Comedy, Drama
An expert on productivity shows wacky workers in 1966 Australia how to run their moccasin factory like clockwork, despite laying off more than half the workforce.
Votes: 1,461 | Gross: $0.10M
34. True Love and Chaos (1997)
97 min | Drama
Hanif and Dean steal a cache of drugs from Dean's psychotic brother Jerry, and at the last minute get a lift with Mimi as she decides to drive to Perth. They pick up a drunken singer, ... See full summary »
35. Red Dog (2011)
PG | 92 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.
37. Gallipoli (1981)
PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.
Votes: 31,952 | Gross: $5.73M
39. These Final Hours (2013)
R | 87 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.
Wow! This film floored me. One of the greatest depictions of the chaos and hopelessness one would expect to endure in the event of a major societal collapse let alone the end of the world. Top notch acting. A solid story. Terrifying effects. This is a modern Australian scifi masterpiece.
41. Beneath Hill 60 (2010)
R | 122 min | Drama, History, War
In 1916, the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company is tunneling beneath German fortifications and bunkers to detonate massive explosive charges.
42. Crocodile Dundee (1986)
PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy
An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.
Votes: 80,213 | Gross: $174.64M
44. Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)
R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When their country is invaded and their families are taken, eight unlikely high school teenagers band together to fight.
45. Sleeping Beauty (2011)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Romance
A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.
Votes: 27,661 | Gross: $0.04M
46. Mary and Max (2009)
Not Rated | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.
47. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, Horror
The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.
48. Primal (2010)
Not Rated | 80 min | Horror, Thriller
A group of friends travel into the Australian wilds to view ancient cave paintings but soon find a horrible sickness gripping one of their own, which leaves them with nothing in their mind but a primal blood lust.
49. Triangle (2009)
R | 99 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht
51. Predestination (I) (2014)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.
Votes: 201,039 | Gross: $0.07M
I know, I Know....American lead BUT...Australian production by Australian Directors filmed in Australia.
52. Australia (2008)
PG-13 | 165 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
Votes: 108,450 | Gross: $49.55M
53. Oranges and Sunshine (2010)
R | 105 min | Drama, History
Set in 1980s Nottingham, social worker Margaret Humphreys holds the British government accountable for child migration schemes and reunites the children involved -- now adults living mostly in Australia -- with their parents in Britain.
55. Little Fish (2005)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.
Votes: 7,676 | Gross: $0.01M
57. Toomelah (2011)
Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama
In a remote Aboriginal community, 10 year old Daniel yearns to be a gangster, like the male role models in his life. Skipping school, getting into fights and running drugs for Linden, who leads the main gang in town.
58. Charlie's Country (2013)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Displeased with the intervention of whitefella laws, Charlie takes off to live the old way and sets off a chain reaction of enlightening difficulties.
60. Reckless Kelly (1993)
PG | 80 min | Comedy
"Reckless Kelly is the Australian Robin Hood". Kelly is a bank robber, a pop-culture hero and video shop owner. This modern story tells how he is furious when a Japanese company wants to ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,445 | Gross: $0.20M
61. Young Einstein (1988)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, History
Albert Einstein is the son of a Tasmanian apple farmer, who discovers the secret of splitting the beer atom to put the bubbles back into beer. When Albert travels to Sydney to patent his ... See full summary »
Votes: 7,663 | Gross: $11.54M
63. Cosi (1996)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney ... See full summary »
65. The Nostradamus Kid (1993)
R | 120 min | Drama, Romance
Ken Elkin is a randy young man who is told that the world is about to end. In a race against time, there's only one goal he wants to accomplish: bedding the love of his life, who just happens to be the local pastor's daughter.
66. Shine (1996)
PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.
Votes: 45,909 | Gross: $35.81M
67. The Year My Voice Broke (1987)
PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Romance
In 1962, a prepubescent boy in rural Australia watches painfully as his best friend and first love, an older girl, blossoms into womanhood and falls for a thuggish rugby player, setting off... See full summary »
Votes: 1,667 | Gross: $0.21M
68. Flirting (1991)
R | 99 min | Drama, Romance
Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,090 | Gross: $2.42M
69. Dragon Flies (1975)
R | 111 min | Action, Drama, Adventure
Hong Kong Inspector Fang Sing Leng travels to Australia to extradite a drug dealer. When the hood is assassinated on his way to court, everyone suspects Jack Wilton, a crime lord who the local police haven't been able to pick up.
70. Let's Get Skase (2001)
96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Christopher Skase. He ruled Australia and stole a fortune, fleeing to the coast of Spain. No one could touch him. No one could stop him. Until Peter Dellasandro and a small force of men swore they'd bring him down.
71. Gabriel (2007)
R | 114 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
GABRIEL tells the story of an archangel who fights to bring light back to purgatory - a place where darkness rules - and save the souls of the city's inhabitants.
72. Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
R | 108 min | Drama, War
The island of Ambon in Indonesia, 1945. During the War, the number of Australian POWs on the island had dropped from 1100 to less than 300 due to abuses by their Japanese captors. Capt. ... See full summary »
R | 104 min | Comedy, Music
Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.
Votes: 39,953 | Gross: $11.22M
75. Lantana (2001)
R | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.
Votes: 17,191 | Gross: $4.46M
77. The Well (1997)
101 min | Drama
Young Katherine and her older friend Hester live at the isolated farm run by Hester and her father Francis. Katherine works as a maid and wants to leave that place because there's too much ... See full summary »
Votes: 344 | Gross: $0.01M
80. Dead End Drive-In (1986)
R | 92 min | Action, Drama, Horror
In the near future, a teenage couple are trapped in a drive-in theater which has become a concentration camp for social outcasts. The inmates are treated to drugs, exploitation films, junk food, and new wave music.
81. Rogue (2007)
R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
An American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback encounters a man-eating crocodile while trapped on a rapidly flooding mud island.
Votes: 23,545 | Gross: $0.01M
82. Wolf Creek (2005)
R | 99 min | Horror
Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged in a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local.
Votes: 59,922 | Gross: $16.19M
84. The Rocket (2013)
96 min | Drama
A boy who is believed to bring bad luck to everyone around him leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred ... See full summary »
85. Sirens (1994)
R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When a painting is termed blasphemous, a young minister and his wife visit the artist... and the three sexually playful models living with him.
Votes: 8,740 | Gross: $7.77M
86. Sample People (2000)
Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
This edgy Australian film stars an ensemble cast headed up by pop superstar Kylie Minogue, David Field, and John Lyndon. Various characters interact under strange circumstances, calling to mind movies such as GO and PULP FICTION
87. Mullet (2001)
89 min | Comedy, Drama
A dark-sheep type of man returns to his hometown after a prolonged absence. While he's been gone ludicrous rumours have spread about his whereabouts. Is he a big footy player or is he a ... See full summary »
88. Beautiful Kate (2009)
R | 100 min | Drama, Mystery
A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While ... See full summary »
89. Dead Easy (1982)
R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Three young friends trying to break into the entertainment business inadvertently anger a mob boss, setting in motion a chain of events that results in their being hunted by every thug and killer in town.
90. BMX Bandits (1983)
PG | 88 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama
Two BMX expert bikers and a friend of theirs (Kidman) become entangled with a group of bank robbers after discovering a carton of walkie-talkies.
91. Dead Calm (1989)
R | 96 min | Horror, Thriller
After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae are spending some time isolated at sea, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.
Votes: 31,722 | Gross: $7.83M
93. The Castle (1997)
R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama
A working-class family from Melbourne, Australia fights city hall after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion.
Votes: 12,864 | Gross: $0.86M
94. Looking for Alibrandi (2000)
103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the ... See full summary »
97. The Goddess of 1967 (2000)
119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
"Goddess" stands for French "Déesse", the nickname of Citroën DS, the name of a famous car designed in the fifties. A young and well-situated Japanese man is dreaming of such a car, and one... See full summary »
98. Take Away (2003)
88 min | Comedy
Tony Stilano and Trev Spackneys both own, live over and work in adjoining take-away fish shops in Melbourne. Although they have fallen into a habitual rivalry based on a cause long ... See full summary »