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Summer City (1977) Poster

(1977)

Trivia

A number of the cast in this movie had worked on the Australian soap TV series Number 96 (1972). These included actors James Elliott, Abigail and Phillip Avalon.
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Since the international success of Mel Gibson after this movie was made, Gibson frequently has received top / first billing on home-video cassette and DVD covers and promotional materials for this movie. Gibson's billing on the opening credits is actually fourth and Gibson has the smallest of the four lead guy roles.
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First credited and major role as an actor in a feature film for Mel Gibson. Gibson apparently appears briefly and uncredited as a baseball player in the slightly earlier I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977).
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Mel Gibson sports peroxided lighter brown colored hair in this movie. Due to this, Gibson's overall complexion is markedly different in this film compared to his other movies where his hair is usually a lot darker.
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Director Christopher Fraser has said of this film: "It's been 23 years since I have commented on this film. I was the director and it was my first film. As far as I was concerned it was never finished. Despite the ludicrously low budget it could have been so much better than it turned out. All the leading actors fell into a serious argument with the producer and refused to continue working on the project. I never expected to see it on the screen. The producer and editor padded out the film with meaningless bits of irrelevant stock footage to make the required length of 87mins to qualify for a feature film. As you can imagine I was disappointed and embarrassed. Some parts of the movie actually work very well. There was a lot of spontaneous adlib especially between Mel [Gibson] and Steve [Bisley]. The first time we saw Mel [Gibson] in closeup in a viewing theater someone said "He's going to be a star". I thought so too. One day I'll tell the whole story. It's more complex and funny than the film itself."
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First film as both a writer and as a producer for Phillip Avalon.
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A sequel to this movie, Breaking Loose: Summer City II (1988), was made and released about eleven years later.
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Phillip Avalon performed a number of different roles on this movie. Avalon was producer, writer and one of the lead actors playing Robbie.
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This movie was filmed during the Australian summer of 1976-1977 beginning in October 1976.
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Abigail was the only member of the cast to return in this movie's sequel Breaking Loose: Summer City II (1988).
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The make of car that the four guys ride in along the Australian East coast was a 1950s black Chevy Biscaine.
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Producer Phillip Avalon and his partners distributed this film themselves in Australia, four-walling the picture and putting it into independent cinemas. Avalon even road-showed it himself on 16mm along Australia's East Coast. The film in Australia also ran in a successful drive-ins double-bill with the David Essex rock-musical That'll Be the Day (1973).
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This picture was financed entirely by private investment and was not Australian government funded.
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This movie was shot on 16mm and blown-up to 35mm for its theatrical release.
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This film was the first of three pictures that actors Steve Bisley and Mel Gibson both appeared in. The second was Mad Max (1979) whilst the third and final movie was The Chain Reaction (1980) where Gibson makes just a cameo.
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This movie was made around the time that actors Mel Gibson and Steve Bisley were drama students / graduates at the Australian National Institute for Dramatic Arts (NIDA).
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Actor-writer-producer Phillip Avalon decided to not direct this movie. Avalon hired Fontana Films' commercials director Christopher Fraser.
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First film as an actor for Steve Bisley.
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An American DVD release of this movie has a much older photo of Mel Gibson on the cover. Other DVD covers show Gibson with his usual darker hair as Gibson's hair in this movie is an orange-brown, a lighter color typical of the blond surfer dude type.
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An Australian DVD release of this film features a white Chevy car but this car does not actually appear in the movie, a black Chevy Biscaine car does.
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The script for this Australian movie was first conceived in 1974.
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The production shoot for this movie went for three to four weeks.
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John Jarratt was cast after he was seen in the Australian feature film Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).
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Actors Mel Gibson and Steve Bisley share a kiss in this movie.
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John Jarratt received top / first billing, Phillip Avalon received second billing, Steve Bisley received third billing, Mel Gibson received fourth billing, James Elliott received fifth billing, Debbie Forman received sixth billing.
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This is one of a handful of mid-late 1970s Australian feature films that were road movies. The pictures include High Rolling in a Hot Corvette (1977), Summer City (1977), 20th Century Oz (1976), Cosy Cool (1977), In Search of Anna (1978) and Backroads (1977).
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This meaning and relevance of this movie's "Summer City" title was, as according to Australian film magazine "Movie News", "a fictitious place, [a] symbolic name for a golden beach [in Australia] in one of the golden years of the early 1960's. It is the hopeful destination for a group of young guys [in this movie] who set off in their beat-up old Chevy for a carefree weekend of surfing and good times."
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Phillip Avalon was inspired to make this movie because of his experiences as a youth growing up in the Newcastle district and Catherine Bay area of New South Wales, Australia during The Beatles era of the 1960s when kids had spare time and little to do and went hooning and surfing.
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Phillip Avalon once said of the 60s era that this movie is set in: "That was a time when the now famous Parthenon Milk Bar was more than just a subject for a hit song phenomenon, it was the cultural heart of the city for most aspiring greasers".
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Whilst filming this movie, the production lived in an RSL [Returned Services League] hall.
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Phillip Avalon once said of the community hall production base: "There was a minimum of thirty people sleeping in the hall at any one time. And the night we were shooting scenes involving a number of period cars, we had over one hundred people sleeping in the hall".
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Nick Papadopoulous was originally cast as Scollop but withdrew from the role for personal reasons. The part in the end was cast with Mel Gibson.
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Actress Abigail received a 'special guest appearance' credit.
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The movie was novelized into a novel written by Ben Mitchell, based on the film's original screenplay by Phil Avalon', the novelization being first published in 1978, the following year after the picture had premiered in 1977.
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This is the only film directed by Christopher Fraser.
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This movie is notable for its swim sequence inside the tank of a tall above-ground water tower.
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This film is a low-budget independent Australian film.
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Cameo 

Abigail: The 70s Australian sex-symbol as a Woman in a Pub.
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Ward 'Pally' Austin: The Sydney Radio Discjockey as Himself.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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