22 user 11 critic

Bliss (1985)

After a near-death experience, a man wonders if he actually did die and is now in Hell.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Joy
Bettina Joy
Helen Jones ...
Honey Barbara
Lucy Joy
Miles Buchanan ...
David Joy
Tim Robertson ...
Alex Duval
Bryan Marshall ...
Adrian Clunes
Jon Ewing ...
Kerry Walker ...
Alice Dalton
Paul Chubb ...
Reverend Des
Sarah De Teliga ...
Harry's Mother (as Sara De Teliga)
Harry's Daughter (as Saski Post)
George Whaley ...
Robert Menzies ...


An advertising executive dies and goes to hell... except nothing changes. Well, his daughter is buying drugs with sexual favours from her brother, and the number of cancer-causing products is on the increase. But the notes he writes to himself to prove he hasn't gone insane are getting more disjointed, and he runs off with an ex-prostitute called Honey Barbera. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


After Harry Joy dropped dead... his life was never the same again.


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blogosc  »

Box Office


AUD 3,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,998 (USA) (23 February 1986)


$660,537 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


It is the most controversial Australian film of 1985. Unedited, 400 people walked out of the cinemas due to the sexual content. Edited, the filmed turned out to be one of the true Australian sleeper hits of all time, achieving critical acclaim, grossing A$1,144,863 in Australia and $660,537 in the U.S., and becoming the best Australian picture of 1985. See more »


Featured in Reading Australian Film (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Simply The Best!
27 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In all my years of movie watching, there are not many movies out there that I can honestly say, really entertained me as much as this movie, granted when I first watched Bliss, I was fourteen years old.

Some might think, that at that age, such a movie would be out with the emotional grasp of person that age, these days I would say exactly just the same thing, however, even back then I always found myself watching more independently made movies than big blockbusters, such is still the case to this day.

Ask me why I like this movie, all I can say is this, it contains a certain dark charm that even now I still find seriously overwhelming. Having never read the book written by Peter Carey, the big screen adaptation was was littered with some great acting performances, the main plus point being Barry Otto excelling as Harry Joy, the man who believes he has it all, until that day he happens to die.

As to how faithful the movie is to the book, I cannot say, but various scenes that follow, truly walk a perverse line, Harry's son's sexual feelings toward his sister being one of many disturbing plot strands.

As to how you would categorise this movie, some might say it's a horror movie, some might say that it's a romantic movie, the underlying theme suggests horrific themes, lack of faith, adultery(Harry's wife cheating on Harry behind his back, with his business partner)but the overwhelming aspect is that of Romance, as Harry retells the tale of the longest love story ever told to a young lady, of how he first met the woman who changed his life, the one and only Honey Barbara.

Filled with many scenes of surreal imagery, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves firstly Australian cinema, this movie along with Philipe Mora's Death Of A Soldier rank as to of the best examples of Australian cinema and also to those who love unconventional storytelling.

Because this movie is simply the best! Without Hesitation this movie gets 10/10

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