True story about a jailed bank robber who pretends he's become blind to get an early release. Cops don't believe him, but a lonely minister's wife arrives to teach him how to live with his "condition". They fall in love. Big mistake.

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1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hargreaves ...
...
Sarah
Dennis Miller ...
Ralph
...
Lucy
...
Buster
Paul Chubb ...
Reid
...
Martin's sister
...
Shapley
Kim Deacon ...
Marion
Les Foxcroft ...
Baldy
...
Robert
Ralph Cotterill ...
Shakey
Brian McDermott ...
Collins
Paul Sonkkila ...
Lancaster
...
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Storyline

True story about a jailed bank robber who pretends he's become blind to get an early release. Cops don't believe him, but a lonely minister's wife arrives to teach him how to live with his "condition". They fall in love. Big mistake.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Australia's greatest con...but can he bluff them all? See more »

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Crime | Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Hoodwink - pakoon!  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Trivia

The hiring of British director Claude Whatham for this Australian movie feature caused quite a ruckus in Australian director circles. The recruiting of Whatham was approved by the relevant Australian union, the Australian Theatrical and Amusement Employee's Association (ATAEA). However, this caused controversy amongst a number of Australian film directors even though some of them, had ironically, turned down offers to direct the film. They banded together and formed a new body called The Australian Feature Film Director's Association (AFFDA) and elected Gillian Armstrong as its Chairperson. During this era, the importation of foreign personnel on film projects often caused controversy, mostly in acting areas, but this was an instance where a dispute occurred with a director. Recently, the hiring of British director David Hemmings to direct the Australian film The Survivor (1981) had set the ground shaky. Ironically, during earlier eras, it was not uncommon for a British director to direct a film in Australia during the 1950s and 1960s when Australia really didn't have a film industry until the revival during the 1970s. As such, due to the development of the Australian Film Industry during the 1970s, the hiring of a British director in the early 1980s was arguably seen as a step backwards. The first action of the AFFDA, after holding meetings in both Melbourne and Sydney, was to pass a motion that Australian feature films with major Australian government funding must be directed by Australians. Chair Armstrong wrote a letter to Australia's national newspaper, 'The National Times', and stated: "We hope in future no further permission will be granted [by ATAEA] to foreign directors without consultation with its director membership". Of the directors involved, Armstong and Phil Noyce were reportedly the most vocal, Noyce had actually turned down directing this film. In the end, AFFDA voted to allow Whatham to direct this film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
fascinating early Australian realism
18 March 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Hoodwink" isn't exactly what it's advertised to be. It's supposedly a crime/con man film, but it takes an abrupt 180 degree turn about half the way through and becomes a more straightforward drama. It's hard to say if this works or not. But I can say that both halves are very well acted and directed. Just don't expect to end with the same film you started with. If you do, there's a fair chance you'll be disappointed.

John Hargreaves is a very charismatic actor. As soon as you see him, there's something about the character of Martin Stang that draws you in. He is manipulative, intelligent, and complicated. Much to the point of never quite letting the viewer know who real he's really being. Judy Davis plays what is, for her, a very atypical role. She's very convincing. I suppose what really makes "Hoodwink" such an immediately engaging film is how true it feels. Director Claude Whatham and cinematographer Dean Semler create a very solid world together. It feels real, it captures the subtleties of human interaction without a lot of nonsense getting in the way of things. And that's just too hard to find these days.


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