Stone (1974) Poster

(1974)

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10/10
You had to be there...
triumph130 March 2006
The seventies hold a special place in time for me. 1974 was all about (in no particular order) Motorcycles, beer, LSD, marijuana, underground comics (freak brothers), Hawkwind, my girlfriend Karen and of course Stone (the movie).

Outlaw Motorcycle clubs were a lot different in Sydney back then, riding motorcycles (and drinking beer) was our only purpose in life. Back then only an idiot would ride a Harley and the dream bike was the Kawasaki Z1 900 that had only just been released. So imagine a film like Stone blasting it's way onto the screen resplendent with custom painted Kawa 900's! We were mesmerized, personally I remember seeing it 6 times at the local cinema.

Watching it today opens the gates to memory lane, those that use the F3 freeway north of Sydney will appreciate the shots of the road in the funeral procession scene; the road was brand new then! And the shots of the lower North Shore and Pittwater are truly a piece of Sydney's history. Note the absence of traffic.

Forget the acting, when you're 18, off your nut on drugs and that Z1 starts up with the baffles removed at the beginning of the movie, it's mind blowing!!! Non bikers can turn off here :O) Midnight's black Kawa 900 was my favorite, come to think of it, how many indigenous Aussies had a real part in a movie before this? Not many I'd say...

I've now been riding bikes for 35 years now and Stone still holds a special place in my heart. 10 outa 10 for Sandy.

Cosmic flash, and there ya go...

Mick.
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A classic slice of 1970s biker exploitation. Raw and uneven, but extremely entertaining.
Infofreak5 March 2003
'Stone' was a labour of love for adman turned actor Sandy Harbutt, a biker enthusiast who took four years to get the script written by he and his pal Michael Robinson (who incidentally plays Pinball in the finished movie) on to the big screen. Many have slammed this movie as laughable, but I say look, it's a low budget exploitation movie with many non-actors in the cast, and if you take that into consideration it's a pretty good effort. Just compare it to an A.I.P. movie from roughly the same period and it's not that bad. The acting ranges from poor to above average, and while much of it is obviously dated and even a little silly at times, it manages to give a fairly realistic look at the 1970s Aussie outlaw bikie scene. It was certainly given the thumbs up by many Australian bikers at the time, and that's good enough for me. A few members of the supporting cast went on to bigger and better things (e.g. Helen Morse, Bill Hunter), but most of the major players were biker pals of Harbutt and have disappeared from the Australian acting industry. Ken Shorter (who looks a bit like the late Bon Scott at times) plays Stone, an undercover cop who joins The Grave Diggers bikie gang to try and find out who is killing them one by one. Shorter is one weak link in the movie. An ex-cop himself before acting he is pretty wooden and dull on screen. Much better is Harbutt himself who plays the Grave Diggers leader Undertaker. Also good is Rebecca Gilling who plays Undertaker's girl. Gilling was something of a TV sex symbol in the 1970s and looks beautiful, and yes, there is some brief but memorable full frontal nudity. The real stand out performance is by Hugh Keays-Byrne as Toad. Keays-Byrne was lured by Harbutt from a touring Shakespeare company and has lived and worked in Australia ever since, later playing Toecutter in 'Mad Max' and appearing in such cult favourites as 'The Man From Hong Kong', 'The Salute Of The Jugger' and 'Mad Dog Morgan'. He is terrific on screen from his opening acid freakout scene to his memorable final moments. Hugh Keays-Byrne I salute you! And I salute 'Stone', one of the most enjoyable movies ever made here in Australia. 'Stone' is a classic slice of 1970s biker exploitation and I highly recommend it.
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7/10
Great bike stunts.
Peter Dawson13 October 2004
Although it now looks rather dated, you must remember that when this movie was made, Australia was a very conservative place. This film broke a lot of new ground in the early 70's. Firstly, it was all Australian. Written, Produced, Directed and Starring. Not an American in sight. Secondly, it contained shots of male and female nudity. Thirdly, it was extremely gory and violent for it's day. But, the biggest thing it had going for it was it's incredible bike stunts.(Have you ever seen a Kawasaki Z900 do a wheelstand?) There's some fantastic locations in and around Sydney, and the funeral procession is spectacular, but the opening 10 minutes, or so, will have you on the edge of your seat. For those of you who are interested, 4 of the actors starring in "Stone" (Vincent Gil, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward and Reg Evans) would later appear in George Miller's "Mad Max". It must be something about motorbikes!
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10/10
A cool classic of the 70s
skullsplitter1 July 2002
This picture is excellent. It's a slice of the rougher side of Australian life in the 70s. Everything fits together and the whole is a great hour-and-a-half Aussie yarn. I recent managed to catch a screening on the big outdoor Moonlight Cinema screen in Sydney. It fantastic to see it up on the big screen. Take the trip…
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10/10
Great movie, but you probably haven't seen it all.
Alecto-32 October 2005
I'd just like to add that the version of this movie shown on TV and available on VHS and DVD is cut, the original movie was about 20 minutes longer but was cut for it's American release and was only ever shown in full during it's original 1974 release at Australian theater's. Seeing the full original version ties in some of the loose ends, but as far as I know the full version has never been released for commercial sale, though it was available for purchase at the 25'th anniversary Stone run in Sydney back in 1999, which I attended. The actual Kawasaki Z900's featured in the movie were offered for sale at theater's during the original 1974 release, when I saw the movie at the local drive-in back then there were three of them on display in the refreshment kiosk being offered for sale.
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A magnificent classic motorbike film of its time
wombat_113 June 2001
The closest equivalent of "Easy Rider"; in my view, even better than that movie.

A simple plot. Someone is systematically murdering a group of bikers, one by one. An undercover cop is reluctantly accepted by the group as a part-time member to try to find the murderer. He quickly gains a lot of credibility with the bikers; even some respect.

The plot is oversimple, the dialogue is stilted, the film is corny, the characters are totally without depth, the acting is poor. However, the same could be said of movies such as "Deliverance". But none of that matters. The "ambience" of life as a biker is what matters; and again as in movies such as "Deliverance", the 1970s "feel" of the picture, the action, the "macho": that is what is important.

To those such as I, who remember those times, it is nostalgic. To those who are too young to remember those times, a glimpse of the wilder side of life as it "used to be".

Finally, no review of this movie would be complete without some discussion of the two "on the road" scenes. The low-angle shot of the bike race; and the helicopter view of the funeral procession down the F3 freeway can both rightfully be called "classics" of the motor vehicle movie genre. Every bit as spectacular and "significant" as, for example, the chase scene in "Bullitt" or the crowded street race in "The Italian Job".
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10/10
I dig the taste of blood!
humanresistor29 May 2000
Yes, it's very, very silly and 70s-ish. None of the characters are likeable. But, apart from the scenery and cinematography, it still has an endearing quality; it seems like the film-makers and actors were really trying to be genuine and sincere. That's what makes it such a re-watchable film.
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In Australia, the ultimate "cult" movie!
uds311 November 2001
Back in '74 the tag line for STONE was "Take the Trip!" By the time the critics had finished savaging this bikie saga, not that many people DID and STONE was headed for cinematic 'Boot Hill.' A funny thing happened though - somewhere along the line it was never fully erased from the collective public conscience and in due course the "legend of Stone" was created - to such an extent that now it is regarded as the "Bikie's bible" and sits proudly in the "70's Hall of fame" of Aussie film-making.

It's not even a GOOD flick, either in script, acting or production values. What it DOES offer is high voltage energy and action sequences, mind you the flick is way overlong and quite tedious at times. The plot, such that it isn't, has cop Ken Shorter (at the time riding high on account of his role in YOU CAN'T SEE AROUND CORNERS) infiltrating a bikie gang to see who is knocking off their members with gay abandon. Now Shorter was about as realistic an underground cop as Mark Wahlberg would be playing Harry Potter. What the film DOES offer now in retrospect, is a cast-list not far short of the who's who of seasoned Aussie actors and actresses, all pretty much unknown then. Strictly 70's film-making it paved the way for such as MAD MAX and must be acknowledged for that. Check out the Funeral scene on the Gosford Freeway! - heady stuff!

For me personally, I will always retain a soft spot for this film. I knew Sandy Harbutt and Helen Morse (then his wife) quite well during the making of this film as they purchased my beloved 1952 Riley 2 1/2 litre sedan from me, for the princely sum of $740. (You could add a zero to that today and then DOUBLE it!) Like that beautiful car, the film now remains a classic of its time!
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Classic
mullum30 November 1999
This film is a bit of a classic for Australians, particularly those of us in Sydney who remember the day the biker convoy scene was shot. Though the story is a little dated and corny after all these years, it's worth another look, if only for nostalgia value.
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10/10
A true classic with fond memories
david-42729 June 2007
Stone is for me one of those moments in time that is etched into my mind in 1973 at the age of 22 I moved to Sydney after a weekend pop festival at the nations capital Canberra the first to be held there in those days. Biker life was much like it was portrayed in Stone yet brutally real, With to much to drink and the wind in our hair we left the music of that festival to ride to our next adventure as we passed the prime minsters lodge the equivalent to the white house my mate riding with me flipped off the federal guard at the gate next thing we had a ford falcon 351 Cleveland bearing down on us, With us on two bikes and one cruiser the math was simple! go different directions mine was Sydney town non stop I never saw my mate again, In need of work I stopped at small chopper shop in the suburbs of Sydney it turn out to be owned by the Sydney Hells Angels(who rebuilt all the Z1's and consulted on and participated in the movie). I was my good fortune to work on and be part of the movie Stone yes a low budget movie and for the most part the acting is mediocre yet it is truly a classic Aussie film, Raw and naive and some of the blood was real as was my experience!! Enjoy this diamond in the rough.
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7/10
Nice Aussie Nostalgia piece
GIZMO35_PF6 November 2008
I heard of this film about 6 months ago when Tarantino said that "it's the best Aussie exploitation film" i had to see what it was about. I am only a young guy but i appreciated the whole funeral scene on the F3, made me feel like i was actually there and could feel the bridge between the old generation who knew of this film to my generation who know nothing of this film. Sandy Harbutt used whatever he could find to make this film on such a budget could hardly be done now. Action stunts, a tad of gore, nudity and language are expressed in the film as a tad silly and over the top but it's suited for the time-frame the movie was shot in, isn't that what Exploitation is all about? Violence, Sex and Gore/Language? Barely any plot to move a story like this going? Well i thought of it that way since i am into my Cult/Exploitation and Horror, but it's good to see old Aussie films like this gem truly exist for people like us to see. A friend of mine from work knew who the spray painter of the cars was in this movie and still knows him today, so i got more of a profound idea of where this movie was shot, in NSW. Go out and see this film, low on plot and acting but high on emotions and nostalgia, Great work Sandy Harbutt.

Rated R18+ (still) For Violence, Gore, Language and Nudity
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8/10
Quintessential Biker Movie
Coventry6 July 2009
Declared by many fanatic and knowledgeable cinema experts – amongst them Quentin Tarantino – as THE ultimate biker-exploitation classic, "Stone" indeed is a quintessential 70's highlight that fully surpassed my already high expectations. In his genre, the movie simply is a lot better than the other and this is illustrated through a non-stop series of powerful and astonishing sequence from the opening credits and onwards. "Stone" is different to watch you expect at first … more stylish, classier and absorbing than you could ever imagine. You anticipate seeing a trashy and savage biker-flick, but you actually get the complete opposite. For example, usually the opening credits in this type of film exist of images of tough bikers riding through desolate landscapes guided by heavy guitar music and loud rock lyrics; am I right? Well, "Stone" does the contrary. The opening credits are serene, with close ups of mechanical motorcycle equipment and no music at all. Simply the distinctness of this particular sequence made a very big impression on me. Then immediately after follow three murder sequences, but not at all gratuitous or unnecessarily violent ones. Almost saddening killings of biker men who – as far as we know up until that moment, at least – haven't even committed any crimes. Someone is targeting the members of the Sydney biker gang The Grave Diggers for elimination. In spite of their hugely different opinions and moral codes, The Grave Diggers – led by the charismatic Undertaker – eventually allow undercover cop Stone to ride with them and thus infiltrate in the harsh world of crime, brotherhood, violence and Kawasaki 900's. The most powerful sequence of the entire film is undoubtedly the phenomenal biker funeral parade. This scene is extendedly shown and discussed in the superb documentary on Australian cult cinema "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation" and it was the main reason why I desperately wanted to see the film. It certainly doesn't disappoint as I even experienced goose bumps at the sight of more than 400 amateur bikers participating in this event. Inevitably, but understandably as well, "Stone" can't keep up the level of brilliance throughout the entire film. The scenario gradually becomes more talkative and moralistic, but still there are several more flashes of sheer ingenuity, craftsmanship and subject matter expertise (like the downbeat climax, to name just one). "Stone" is the vastly admirable one-man-project of Sandy Harbutt, who wrote and directed the film, composed some of the soundtrack, designed the sets AND plays the complex role of gang front man Undertaker. Even though he never did anything else anymore after "Stone", cult freaks should nevertheless eternally respect Harbutt for what he accomplished here. I'm sure that if "Mad Max" hadn't came along, "Stone" would still be the number one cult movie of Australia. In my humble opinion, Sandy Harbutt's only mistake was the casting of Ken Shorter as the titular anti-hero "Stone". He certainly isn't plausible enough to depict a raw biker – even an undercover one – with his baby face and Prince Valiant haircut.
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My view of the movie
mancunian451011 January 2004
This movie did become something of a cult classic in the 70's, unlike a lot of people passing comment, I remember it well. Just to clarify something one of your other members had stated.....bikers did like the movie with cinemas in all capital cities being swamped by bikers. I was in Adelaide at the time and clearly recall Rundle Street, before it became a mall, with bikes on both sides of the street from King William Street to Pulteney(?). Some things fade over time, maybe the movie will be one of them but it brings back fond memories of my youth, mispent that it was.
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8/10
Before there was Mad Max there was Stone
TheRowdyMan9 July 2001
An Australian Cult Classic. For anyone in the U.S or in the U.K who hasn't seen or heard of this film, check it out! Sure the acting is corny but hell, that's why you watch B-Grade films isn't it? Most of all this tale of a mystery hitman bumping of members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club is good fun to watch and should be on the 'must see' list of any cult or Australian movie lover.
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A classic
devojpn7 July 2000
If you're looking for the all purpose Coca Cola Universal film then this isn't it. This is a film rooted in context.

Basically this kind of film was shunted aside in the hunt for respectability of Australian film which shunned actual Australian contemporary Austraian life in favour of a white blossoming dressed vision of a genteel 100 years ago. Analyse this as you may but this vision dominated for another decade at least. MAd Max just squeaked in here.

The bikes themselves were very much of their time yet still very exciting even now. The bikers though clunky are not entirely off the mark. The plot itself has its own charm and if there is any question of its legacy 40,000 riders showed up for the 25th anniversary Stone ride.

Again this is nothing for the great Universal film like Titanic but it is still a very tasty slice of 70's Australian culture.
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10/10
Great film
RJ-2111 December 1999
Stone is undoubtedly an Australian classic. It has some great sequences - the funeral ride is just beautiful. Its end was something different from what I expected as well. Unfortunately, the words like `man,' `cat' and `heavy' show us how old the film is. Nonetheless, it is a distinctly 70's film and a distinctive Australian film. See it.
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5/10
Alternative Australian Nostalgia
Filmtribute7 September 2001
The fairly basic plot follows the assassination of an environmentalist MP witnessed by a member of the GraveDiggers `motorcycle club', and the subsequent demise of various bikers as the inept hitman attempts to erase the witness. Unfortunately Stone (Ken Shorter) is not particularly convincing as an undercover cop sent to infiltrate the gang and solve the murders. His first scene ludicrously depicts him riding to meet the GraveDiggers dressed as some kind of white knight, and he fatuously asks the question in the bar `D'ya sell beer here?' The GraveDiggers discuss their philosophy and their own set of rules and when Stone transgresses their code he suffers the gang's bloody vengeance. The level of violence is expected but shown in a clumsy mechanised way firmly rooted to 70's style movie making. For the enthusiast the bikes are given plenty of opportunities to shine, including the highly original Gosford Expressway funeral procession and the low level shots of a street race, and Sydney's suburbs and coastline receive the scenic treatment.

Helen Morse (Picnic at Hanging Rock; Caddie) in one of her earliest film roles, gives one of the more credible performances as Stone's rather sexy high society girlfriend who objects to having to share him with his cause of `fearless gang busting', and she is also credited along with Margaret Ure for the costume designs.

Sandy Harbutt's quirky cult film (he also cast himself as the Undertaker) has obviously dated with its 1970's bikes, fashions, psychedelic rock music and colourful language (`I told you to keep your spanners off our molls'), and its authenticity in depicting `bikie gangs' maybe only slightly more believable than the Hell's Angels in the Clint Eastwood orangutan comedies (especially Any Which Way You Can). The recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald (3/9/01) of the Perth car-bomb killing of a former West Australian policeman embroiled in a dispute with bikie gangs, believed to be an act of retribution, illustrates the true menace. The real life intrigue involved a gang member being shot by a sniper soon after the ex-policeman had evicted him from his hotel, which was subsequently blown up. A spokesman for the NSW police stated that when it comes to organised crime, the bikie gangs are "the single biggest threat" confronting them and the community, and that compared to youth gangs and other crime syndicates, the bikies are "clearly more organised, ruthless, hierarchical and controlled in their organisation."

However, Stone remains an interesting piece of Australian nostalgia and justifiably a classic for its subject and style, rather than as a polished thriller, with youthful performances by some of Australia's seasoned actors.

The ScreenSound (Australia) Shop has commercial copies of the video for sale.
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Take The Trip With The Australian Classic
Luke Thomas4 December 2000
I remember first seeing this film one Saturday night on SBS after watching a documentary called "Stone Forever". The documentary was about the classic Motor-Cycle Funeral Ride in which tens of thousands bikes are displayed in magnificent distance shots. I had a feeling the film would be a lot like George Miller's Mad Max for many of the tag-lines for the films said "Before Mad Max...there was Stone!" I was in for a totally different movie which was altogether better than Mad Max. Sure the film had a crappy plot (why didn't that boss just rub out the hitman for doing such a lousy job instead of killing the entire gang!) and the acting was nothing to marvel at but the fact was that independant Australian film companies could come up with really great Hollywood type B-Grade movies. See the film "Stone" and take the trip with the Australian classic!
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10/10
Classic Aussie Biker Flick
sydneyswesternsuburbs22 June 2011
Director and actor Sandy Harbutt has created a gem in Stone.

It stars Ken Shorter who has also been in other classic flicks, Praise 1998, Dragonslayer 1981 and Ned Kelly 1970.

Also starring Hugh Keays-Byrne who was also in the classic flicks, Mad Max 1979 and Mad Dog Morgan 1978.

It also stars Roger Ward who like Hugh Keays-Byrne was in Mad Max and Mad Dog Morgan plus the classic flick, Turkey Shoot 1982.

I enjoyed the drug scenes, violence and Australian scenery.

If you enjoyed this as much as I did then check out other classic biker flicks, Easy Rider 1969, Stone Cold 1991, Lone Hero 2002, Shame 1988, The Stranger 1995 and Hell Ride 2008.
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6/10
i still love this
andude-17 November 2006
ah,Stone,,an old chess nut from the seventies,,,with lines like"whoever got you is gunna get got too",the amazing thing is their all riding Kawasaki Z900's as opposed to Harleys,the classic Sydney shots are perfect,its a real time capsule,Ken Shorter was very lame,they could've scripted someone better,Harbutt is excellent&its a pity he didn't continue on,its still a very big cult film today&the ride scene has been recreated several times, Vince gill is another strong actor in the cast, B grade,but still worth a watch! and still a collectible item,recently a Stone jacket sold for close to five hundred dollars on eBay,, imagine that!, this is up there with Mad Max one.
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7/10
A Great Aussie Cult Film
MARVMOOCOW22 April 2006
What a great little Aussie film,and one of the first Aussie films to be ripped off and unsuccessfully remade by the US studios as STONE COLD. This film had it all, political assassinations,nudity,great action scenes, world class stunts,great scenery.While not in the same league as the later Mad Max films it still showcases an early Australian film industry which would prove later to be one of the best in the world. Some of the stars,stuntmen and film crew went on to bigger and better things, while others faded into obscurity but the film itself remains an ICON to Australian bike clubs and a classic Australian film.Get hold of copy if you can and sit back for an early example of Australian film making at its best!
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8/10
A really cool and enjoyable Aussie cult biker winner
Woodyanders13 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Someone is picking off members of the outlaw biker gang the Grave Diggers after one of their number witnesses the assassination of a politician at an outdoor rally in a public park. Straight-laced undercover cop Stone (stiffly played by Ken Shorter) infiltrates the club in order to protect them and find out who the killer is. Director/co-writer Sandy Harbutt astutely pegs the whole empowering feeling of doing your own thing, refusing to buckle under to the status quo, and the sense of pure unbeatable strength riding a mean machine with your closest mates gives you. Moreover, Harbutt shows the bikers in a positive and sympathetic light without ever exploiting or glamorizing them in the process. In fact, the strong bond of loyalty and camaraderie amongst the Grave Diggers is truly touching and heart-warming. The cast members who portray the Grave Diggers look, act and sound like the genuine gnarly article, with especially stand-out turns by Harbutt as tough, charismatic leader the Undertaker, Hugh Keays-Byrne as the scruffy, yet sensitive Toad, Vincent Gil as the crazed Dr. Death, Rebecca Gilling as the Undertaker's sassy moll Vanessa, James H. Bowles as the grubby Stinkfinger, Bindi Williams as the laid-back Captain Midnight, and Roger Ward as the rowdy Hooks. Helen Morse likewise does well as Stone's fetching, but long-suffering girlfriend Amanda. Only Shorter's bland acting as Stone leaves something to be desired. Graham Lind's gritty, but polished cinematography offers plenty of striking visuals: Toad tripping on acid in the park, an impressively massive biker funeral procession roaring down the highway, and the stunning climax in an empty cemetery. Billy Green's groovy hard-rocking score hits the funky-jammin' bull's eye as well. But what makes this picture so special and resonant is that it has the pungent stench of gritty authenticity about it. So take the trip and check it out, mate.
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10/10
One of the Greats !
Marcus Hanson11 March 2013
STONE is one of the best films of all time. Why was it panned by critics on release ? In my opinion,they just did not understand what Sandy Harbutt was doing. Listen to the man as he discusses the production : he is bright and articulate. The perceived 'flaws' of the film are its strength and its charm : have no doubt , Sandy knew EXACTLY the effect he wanted to create.He achieved this with aplomb.

It was very much a film of its time,insofar as environmental and development concerns portrayed were at the fore in the Sydney of 40 years ago.

Was the film corny? In many respects , yes it was. Who can forget the words uttered by the nightclub manager ,as he lets rip with all the '70's "hip" clichés ? What a marvellously scripted,marvellously hammed- up cameo!

Other acting gems include the performance of the cemetery caretaker (was Sandy inspired by the 'gravedigger' in 'Hamlet' ?!),the laconic hostility displayed by the barman(Bill Hunter,RIP)to Stone and the young man who went to the pub to 'gawp' at the bikies(he really DID look intimidated by Toad!)

The music was terrific : the rasping instrumental "Pigs"(played as the two policemen interrupt the funeral),Sandy's "Cosmic Flash" and his idea to turn Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" into a rock number. Billy Green(aka Wil Greenstreet)did a fine job with the musical arrangements. And who could forget Doug Parkinson's singing? He sounded like a cross between Tom Jones and Lemmy of Motorhead!

If anyone is in,or gets to,Sydney , I recommend you visit the locations. The Middle Head fort / 'amphitheatre' (where Stone is initiated) is much smaller than it looks on film,but it offers a great view of the Harbour. The underground hideout is in fact in a separate location(the film combines the two,to make them appear as one place), a little further west,at the 'Beehive Casemates', near Clifton Gardens.This is well camouflaged,under a large asphalt mound visible from the road,but entry is restricted to people on a national parks tour. The cemetery at Gore Hill is closed,but is still maintained.It is a delightfully tranquil spot. The bike jump into the sea at Wisdom Street,Coogee, would be harder now - there's a small barrier on the cliff! The NSW Art Gallery (where Toad evades the assassin)is situated in the Botanic Gardens. The pub in Balmain,unfortunately,was closed before the film was made.

So,great music,great locations,humour,violence,motorbikes,pathos(when the gang explain to Stone how they came together),politics and beer - all in one film ! Nobody could ask for more ! Thank you,Sandy Harbutt and everyone involved in this cinematic masterpiece.
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9/10
Australian film hit, a true icon of cinema
PeterMitchell-506-56436430 November 2012
There will never be another bikie film quite like Stone. That highway funeral scene will live on forever in my mind-that all so sad music theme attached. That theme haunts me so, I almost feel reluctant from viewing that scene, every time I watch this great film. The plot is great. A stoned biker, (Hugh Keays Byrne) a true Aussie acting talent, witnesses a political assassination, in the lush green park lands of Sydney. He's spotted by the assassinating party-a mob type figure, who misses his chance at taking him out. That means he's gonna tells his biker friends, The Gravediggers, and they can't have that. We get to view these mob figures, up close, chicken s***ts as they are, in a few sufficient scenes, which for us, as the viewer are greatly appreciated. Heartless scum like these mob guys are, they know the Gravies must all be sacrificed. So one by one they're bumped off. Enter unconventional cop, Stone, (Ken Shorter-a Ted Mulray sort of looking guy) a long haired hippie type guy who looks nothing like a cop. His girlfiend hangs out with her rich socialite friends at this lavish house where the guys play tennis and the women take long sunbathing sessions. Even on his way to meet the Gravies, he's wearing a white coat and pants as if he's off to work at the bakery. He joins forces with The Gravies, who at first show instant animosity to him, but when he prevents the attempted murder of another one of their own, he gets on their good side, and believe me, it's the best side to be on with these terrifying bikers. You wouldn't even want to look the wrong way, mistakingly at this mob, cause that's what it would be, a mistake. They make bikers I've seen in a lot of other bikie films, look like pussies. Even the bikies in Mad Max look tame compared to these. This movie outclasses Mad Max too, one, obviously in terms of realism. I prefer this over Mad Max, two fine actors here who went on to star in that cult classic. I loved the scene where two businessmen, are at a watering hole, the Gravies frequent, as seen a few times in the film are just minding their own business, when they start to become objects of intimidation by Byrne, and are scared off, all because one of them won't answer a weird request, which his bikie is more happy to do. Byrne ends up finishing their drinks, with the bartender (a very young Bill Hunter) saying to The Gravies "You blokes are not really good at public relations, are ya". I'd love to know this bar's locale, as I would the one of their dive, a fortress type place of tunnels by the sea. I have a good idea, but I feel divided in my guesses here. Another funny scene that always cracks me up, is the manager of an Italian restaurant, a victim of the protection rackets praising the Gravies for scaring away the mob, disregarding the little bit of grief these bikies cause him. The film's five letter title, that springs out from the exhaust of a motorcycle, and dominates the screen is great, as is the way the title has been formatted. The creepy awry music at the start is a winner. There's another slightly haunting score when they all go swimming nude. The actors are so believable here as bikers, bringing calm and natural performances, worthy of an ensemble award, and this includes Harbutt, balancing as writer, director, actor, his official signature on it's video cover. The 98 minute running time of this movie so quickly passes, you don't want it to end. It's that good a movie. Some heavy bits of gore, but only when needed, the one at it's finale, the most shocking, where The Gravies exact their own version of swift bloody justice. And believe me it's bloody. This film is a treat for the bikie fan. A goof I noticed in the film is when Stone's in the fish and chip shop, a burger patties unwrapped, thrown onto the grill, but we never see the cook flip the burger over before he hands it to Stone. But who cares, it's just a movie, but a bloody good one at that.
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