Cinema Papers' 100 Best Films of Australian Cinemaby TheWanderingFish | created - 24 Jul 2012 | updated - 24 Jul 2012 | Public
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1. 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: 27,723 | Gross: $0.23M
3. My Brilliant Career (1979)
G | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career ... See full summary »
5. Breaker Morant (1980)
PG | 107 min | Drama, History, War
Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.
Votes: 10,737 | Gross: $7.14M
6. 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: 32,125 | Gross: $5.73M
7. Sunday Too Far Away (1975)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama
A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory.
8. Jedda the Uncivilized (1955)
101 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Set against the harsh natural surrounds of outback Northern Territory, Jedda captures a rare and honest glimpse into the heart and history of indigenous Australia. Young Jedda is caught ... See full summary »
9. 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: 1,676 | Gross: $0.21M
11. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)
108 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner.
12. Muriel's Wedding (1994)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama
A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.
Votes: 30,189 | Gross: $15.19M
13. 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: 5,472 | Gross: $0.52M
14. 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: 80,731 | Gross: $174.64M
15. The Devil's Playground (1976)
107 min | Drama
Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is... See full summary »
16. 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: 1,648 | Gross: $0.54M
17. 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: 7,224 | Gross: $0.05M
18. Don's Party (1976)
90 min | Comedy, Drama
The movie Dons Party is about a wild house party in a suburban Australian neighbourhood. Don Henderson convinces his wife to have another party so that their friends can gather to watch the... See full summary »
19. Caddie (1976)
100 min | Drama, Romance
Sydney, Australia in the mid-1920's. Proud and classy Caddie Marsh is forced to get a job as a barmaid and raise two children on her own after her rich cad husband walks out on her. Despite... 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: 40,184 | Gross: $11.22M
21. 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.
23. 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: 145,998 | Gross: $12.47M
24. The Piano (1993)
R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance
A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Votes: 68,984 | Gross: $40.16M
25. Man of Flowers (1983)
91 min | Drama
An eccentric elderly man tries to enjoy the three things in life that he considers real beauty: collecting art, collecting flowers, and watching pretty women undress.
26. 40,000 Horsemen (1940)
Approved | 100 min | Drama, History, War
Three young Australians join the army at the beginning of World War I and are assigned to the Australian Light Horse cavalry, which is serving in Palestine. The three eventually take part ... See full summary »
27. The Man from Snowy River (1982)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig's father dies, Jim takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.
Votes: 6,666 | Gross: $20.66M
29. Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)
PG | 110 min | Drama
His mother dead, PS lives in Sydney with working-class Aunt Lila and Uncle George. When he's six or eight, his posh Aunt Vanessa descends from England. Named a co-guardian by PS's feckless,... See full summary »
31. Death in Brunswick (1990)
R | 109 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Carl Fitzgerald is down-on-his-luck until he meets Sophie, a beautiful Greek girl. He gets a job as a cook, but accidentally kills fellow worker Mustafa. He turns to his unscrupulous best ... See full summary »
32. Storm Boy (1976)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Family
Mike is a lonely Australian boy living in a coastal wilderness with his reclusive father. In search of friendship he encounters an Aboriginal native loner and the two form a bond in the care of orphaned pelicans.
33. The Sum of Us (1994)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama
A widowed father has to deal with two complex issues: while he is searching for "Miss Right," his son, who is in his 20s and gay, is searching for "Mr. Right."
Votes: 4,597 | Gross: $0.77M
34. The Getting of Wisdom (1977)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama
Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) crafts a tender coming-of-age tale that introduces one of Australian literature's most beloved characters to ... See full summary »
36. Monkey Grip (1982)
99 min | Drama
A frank portrayal of a year in the life of a divorced mother living in Melbourne, trying to cope with her daughter and her own relationship with a drug addict while trying to get into the music business.
37. The Overlanders (1946)
Approved | 91 min | Adventure, Western
It's the start of WWII in Northern Australia. The Japanese are getting close. People are evacuating and burning everything in a "scorched earth" policy. Rather than kill all their cattle, a... See full summary »
39. Shame (1988)
R | 94 min | Drama
Asta Cadell, a lawyer traveling through the Australian Outback on holiday, stops in a small Western Australian town after her motorcycle breaks down and shacks up with Tim Curtis, the local... See full summary »
Votes: 358 | Gross: $0.30M
40. 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: 31,906 | Gross: $7.83M
41. They're a Weird Mob (1966)
112 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Nino Culotta is an Italian immigrant who arrived in Australia with the promise of a job as a journalist on his cousin's magazine, only to find that when he gets there the magazine's folded,... See full summary »
42. 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: 5,117 | Gross: $2.42M
43. The Rugged O'Riordans (1950)
Passed | 78 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
The story of five brothers who homestead, with other settlers, on the virgin plateaus of the Australian bush country. In addition to being beset with the obstacles and difficulties with the... See full summary »
44. The Picture Show Man (1977)
PG | 99 min | Comedy, Drama
At the beginnings of this centuary a man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies (naturally in black and white). But what they really want is ... See full summary »
46. Travelling North (1987)
PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama
After their late-life marriage, a middle-aged Australian couple move to the countryside. Their life and tempestuous marriage is detailed.
Votes: 275 | Gross: $0.21M
47. 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.
49. Winter of Our Dreams (1981)
89 min | Drama, Romance
When a womanizing bookshop owner hears about the suicide of his former girlfriend, he tries to find out more and meets her friend, a prostitute. They hook up, but when she finds her friends... See full summary »
50. The Shiralee (1957)
99 min | Drama
When Jim Macauley finds his wife with another man, he takes their young daughter and they hit the road. With a young child as his responsibility, he finds he can't be quite the fancy-free ... See full summary »
52. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
PG | 115 min | Drama, Romance, War
A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.
Votes: 16,865 | Gross: $10.28M
54. The Last Wave (1977)
PG | 106 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.
55. 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: 1,473 | Gross: $0.10M
57. The Sundowners (1960)
Unrated | 133 min | Drama, Adventure
In Australia's Outback during the early 20th century the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon but the mom and son want to settle while the dad is against it.
59. High Tide (1987)
PG-13 | 101 min | Drama
Story about a backup singer for an Elvis impersonator who re-enters her past when she leaves a tour in a small town and finds her daughter in a mobile home park.
Votes: 658 | Gross: $0.14M
60. The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Vicki returns to her elder sister Beth's house in Australia after an affair in Italy. Beth, with a teenage daughter, has become involved in something of a marriage of convenience with ... See full summary »
Votes: 675 | Gross: $0.83M
61. A Cry in the Dark (1988)
PG-13 | 120 min | Drama
A mother whose child was killed in a Dingo attack in the Australian outback fights to prove her innocence when she is accused of murder.
Votes: 7,756 | Gross: $6.91M
65. Lonely Hearts (1982)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In this offbeat comedy, an unlikely romance develops between a flamboyant, middle-aged piano tuner and an extremely timid office worker. In HD.
Votes: 300 | Gross: $0.78M
68. Heatwave (1982)
R | 91 min | Drama
A planned housing development in the mid 70's designed for an upstart Cockney immigrant developer, becomes the centre of controversy as tenants and squatters in the older houses refuse to move.
69. The Odd Angry Shot (1979)
Unrated | 92 min | Action, Comedy, War
In between drinking cans of Fosters beer, Australian soldiers tread on a few landmines, and generally experience the war in Vietnam.
72. Celia (1989)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
An imaginative and somewhat disturbed young girl fantasizes about evil creatures and other oddities to mask her insecurities while growing up in rural Australia.
74. Stork (1971)
85 min | Comedy
Stork is a 6-foot 7 hypochondriac who dreams of revolution and works at General Motors Holden. He is sacked from his job after doing a strip tease at work and goes to live in a share house ... See full summary »
75. Return Home (1990)
87 min | Drama
A man and his wife are partners in a small business, a service station, that is stuggling to survive financially. They are visited by his brother, a divorced middle-aged man, who has taken ... See full summary »
76. Strikebound (1984)
101 min | Drama
The dramatised story of a coal-miners' strike in 1930s Australia, in the small south Gippsland town of Korumburra. The story is told through the struggles of Agnes and Wattie Doig, two Scottish immigrants, who were real people.
78. 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: 111,043 | Gross: $36.20M
80. 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: 7,696 | Gross: $11.54M
81. Hotel Sorrento (1995)
R | 112 min | Drama
Meg, Pippa, and Hillary are sisters who grew up in Sorrento, a small seaside town in Australia. Meg, who has lived in England for 10 years has just written a criticially acclaimed novel ... See full summary »
Votes: 233 | Gross: $0.09M
82. We of the Never Never (1982)
G | 134 min | Drama, History
Jeannie Gunn faced being the only civilised woman in an uncivilised land. A story of personal triumph about one woman who reached out in a hard, hostile, prejudiced world and managed to find love.
83. Goodbye Paradise (1983)
119 min | Drama
On Queensland's Gold Coast in the early 1980s, when a disgraced former cop, Michael Stacey writes a book exposing police corruption, does an investigation resulting in 2 murders, exposes a ... See full summary »
88. The Fighting Rats of Tobruk (1944)
68 min | Action, War, Drama
Tells the story of three men--Bluey, a tough two fisted drover (Taylor), Milo, a laconic dingo trapper (Rafferty), and Pete, an intellectual English "new chum" (Finch). Together they serve ... See full summary »
89. On the Beach (1959)
Approved | 134 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.
Votes: 10,255 | Gross: $11.00M
90. The F.J. Holden (1977)
101 min | Drama
Bankstown, NSW, Australia, 1970s. Kevin and his mate Bob spend their time drinking and cruising around the western suburbs of Sydney in Kevin's yellow FJ Holden, looking for girls. One day ... See full summary »
92. Kokoda Front Line! (1942)
9 min | Documentary, Short, War
Cameraman Damien Parer has just returned from the front in New Guinea, where he's documented Australian troops in action. He explains this to us in a prolog. We then see air drops of ... See full summary »
94. Walkabout (1971)
GP | 100 min | Adventure, Drama
Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.
96. The Tale of Ruby Rose (1987)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
In the 20's, Ruby Rose lives alone with her husband Henry and their stepson Gem in the cold mountains of in Tasmania, Australia. While Henry hunts with Gem, Ruby stays at home missing her ... See full summary »
97. 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 »
98. Tim (1979)
Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, Romance
A somewhat mentally handicapped 20-year-old man works as a laborer, but everyone abuse his naiveté. A nice 40-year-old American woman hires him one day and they become close. However, the town and his family see her as predatory.
100. The Lighthorsemen (1987)
PG | 131 min | Drama, War
In 1917 when the British forces are bogged down in front of the Turkish and German lines in Palestine they rely on the Australian light horse regiment to break the deadlock.