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Don's Party (1976) Poster

(1976)

Trivia

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This picture was filmed during January and February 1976.
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Many of the cast that appeared in this film had appeared on the stage in theatrical performances of the play 'Don's Party'.
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The production shoot for this film went for five weeks.
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Barry Crocker was originally cast as Don Henderson. Crocker had recently worked with this film's director Bruce Beresford in The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) and Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974). The day before principal photography began, Crocker broke his back whilst in the garden, was hospitalized and had to withdraw from the film. Crocker was replaced with actor John Hargreaves. Hargreaves had originally wanted to play Cooley in this film, a part which was cast with Harold Hopkins.
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Fourth theatrical feature film directed by Bruce Beresford.
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Actor Graeme Blundell was cast against type playing the repressed conservative character of Simon. Blundell had recently become famous for playing the raunchy ladies man Alvin Purple in The Sex Therapist (1973) and Alvin Rides Again, and Again! And Again! And Again! (1974).
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Originally, and during pre-production, British director Jack Lee was going to direct this movie. However, this did not eventuate and Bruce Beresford ended up directing this film.
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This movie was made and released about five years after David Williamson's source stage play 'Don's Party' was first performed in 1971.
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First major acting role in a feature film for Australian Television personality Graham Kennedy.
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Playing the part of Simon in this movie, actor Graeme Blundell had actually produced the first stage production of David Williamson's source 'Don's Party' play in August 1971 at the Pram Factory in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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As this movie was nearly all set at night-time, filming for this picture was nearly all completely filmed at night virtually making the whole principal photography production period a night shoot.
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This film was the second filmed adaptation of a David Williamson play that actor John Hargreaves had starred in. The first had been The Removalists (1975).
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This movie's lead cast was originally intended to be comprised of people from Australian television. Producer Phillip Adams reasoned that as Australia had not established cinema star system, it would therefore be good to draw the cast from television. Michael Willesee was going to play dentist Evan, Barry Crocker would play Don Henderson, 'Graham Kennedy' would play Mack and 'Paul Hogan' would play Cooley. Due to various reasons (Crocker got injured, Hogan turned it down), the casting of all the TV stars didn't go through except for Kennedy. In a 1994 interview, Kennedy commented how he was the only TV personality left in the cast and was daunted by the fact that he would have to act alongside a group of "real" actors.
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Tim Burstall, Ken Hannam, Michael Thornhill and Peter Weir were all considered as director.
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The film rights to this movie were originally acquired and owned by British Director Jack Lee.
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"Don's Party" in this movie was set in Australia in Sydney, New South Wales but David Williamson's source stage play 'Don's Party' was actually set in Australia in Melbourne, Victoria.
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The music video for rock band You Am I's 1998 single "What I Don't Know 'bout You" is a tribute to this movie. Scenes from this film are re-enacted in this music video by actors 'Stephen Curry', Matt Day, Nadine Garner, Tania Lacy and Ben Mendelsohn.
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Actor Ray Barrett played Coolie on the stage in theatre performances of the play 'Don's Party' but in this film version Barrett played Mal.
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After Barry Crocker withdrew from playing the role of Don Henderson in this film, people that were considered for the part before John Hargreaves was cast included Graeme Blundell and even the play's writer David Williamson.
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This movie has been said to have resurrected the film career of director Bruce Beresford whose two recent pictures, the second Barry McKenzie movie Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) and the little-seen British comedy Side by Side (1975), had both been both critically and commercially unsuccessful.
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Actress Veronica Lang was the only person who played the same part (i.e. Jody) in this film that she had performed in the play 'Don's Party' on the stage.
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The house where Don's Party is held was not a movie set but a real home rented out by the production in the north-western Sydney suburb of Westleigh in New South Wales, Australia.
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A real home was used to film in because the cost of building a set of a house ($300,000 Australian) was more than the budget for the entire film ($250,000 Australian).
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Due to rain and bad weather, tarpaulins were hung over the roof of the house to block out sound problems due to transient noise.
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This movie was, generally speaking, shot in sequence, though a "room by room" shooting schedule was also utilized.
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Apparently, according to director Bruce Beresford in Crashing the Party: The Making of 'Don's Party' (2005), some of the types of antics seen in this film (and its source stage play version) had occurred in some of the parties held by the film and play's writer David Williamson.
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First of two theatrical movies that actor John Hargreaves made with TV star Graham Kennedy. The second was The Odd Angry Shot (1979) about three years later.
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First of three appearances by Graham Kennedy in a theatrical feature film which was an adaptation of a play by David Williamson. The second one was The Club (1980) whilst the third and final one was Travelling North (1987). Of these three movies, director Bruce Beresford directed two of them, this film and The Club (1980).
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Director Bruce Beresford had never seen the play of 'Don's Party' performed live on stage when he agreed to direct this film.
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Actor Harold Hopkins grew a large mustache to play the role of Coolie in this picture.
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A quite comprehensive documentary about the making of this film, Crashing the Party: The Making of 'Don's Party' (2005), is included on the Australian DVD 2-disc release. Running for over two hours, at 140 minutes, the documentary is actually longer than the 'Don's Party' film itself, which runs 90 minutes.
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Bruce Beresford, this film's director, originally intended Harold Hopkins to play the part of Evan the dentist in this film but then re-cast him as Coolie.
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First of three pictures that actor Harold Hopkins made with TV star Graham Kennedy. The second was The Club (1980) whilst the third was Stanley: Every Home Should Have One (1984). Two of the movies were adaptations of a play by David Williamson and both these two films were directed by Bruce Beresford.
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The date, time and place of 'Don's Party' was the 25th of October 1969 at 8 pm at 7 Windham Place, Westleigh.
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Wendy Hughes was originally cast in the role of Kerry. Allegedly, a dispute about her salary meant that Hughes did not appear in this film, and the part was cast with Candy Raymond.
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According to actor John Hargreaves in a radio interview included on the Australian DVD, Hargreaves had originally wanted to play Coolie in this movie. He and actress Wendy Hughes sought a weekly salary that was more than what was being offered and as such neither actors were going to appear in the movie. Hughes still didn't but when Barry Crocker got injured, Hargreaves was cast as Don Henderson.
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Director Bruce Beresford directed John Grey Gorton, an actual Australian Prime Minister, in this movie. As such, this was the second time that Beresford had directed an Australian Prime Minister. Beresford had previously directed Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974).
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This film only differs slightly from David Williamson's 'Don's Party' stage play and was not substantially "opened-up" for this movie version. Differences included some of the "off-stage" bedroom-scenes of the play adapted into the film. The next-door-neighbor's nude swimming pool sequence was a completely new sequence added to the film and came about by the fact that the property next door to the house where the film was shooting had a swimming pool.
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Actor John Hargreaves had part of his head shaved along with a few other make-up touches in order to look the right middle-age of his character Don Henderson. Hargreaves was still young at the time and had originally wanted to play the much younger character Cooley.
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Promotional artwork for this movie formed a champagne-glass with effervescent bubbles out of the letter "Y" of the movie's 'Don's Party' title logo.
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Actress Pat Bishop played Kath Henderson on the stage in theatre performances of the play 'Don's Party' but in this film version Bishop instead played Jenny. Bishop won the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Best Actress award for her role in this film.
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This movie was nominated for 8 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards including Best Film and two for Best Actress: (Jeanie Drynan and Pat Bishop). The film won 6 AFI Awards including Best Director (Bruce Beresford), Best Screenplay (David Williamson), Best Sound, and Best Editing. Williamson's writing has been criticized for lacking depth in women characters yet ironically none of the male actors won an AFI Award for this film but two of the actresses did: Veronica Lang for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Pat Bishop for Best Actress. The film won an AFI Award in every category it was nominated for except for Best Film which went to Storm Boy (1976).
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When this film screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1977, a glossary of terms of Australian idioms was produced to assist audiences to understand the Australian colloquialisms and slang.
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This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project.
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Cameo 

John Grey Gorton:  The former Prime Minister of Australia (1968-1971) as Himself. The film is set during Australia's Election Night 1969 so Gorton in the film is the present Prime Minister for the time in which the movie is set.
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Director Cameo 

Bruce Beresford:  The director (uncredited) as a Bottleo bloke.
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