Paperback Hero (1999)

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Jack Willis is a handsome roadtrain driver with a secret - he has just become a top-selling romance novelist. However, being a 'man's man' in the Australian outlook, to avoid embarrassment,... See full summary »


(as Anthony Bowman)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruby Vale
Jack Willis
Ziggy Keane
Andrew S. Gilbert ...
Bruce Venables ...
Barry Rugless ...
Mad Pete
Barry Lea ...
Steven Colling ...
Cafe Drinker
Randel Ross ...
Bill Watson ...
Mr. Reece
Scott Nugent ...
Bag Pipe Player
Brooke Fairley ...
Dancing Girl
Ross Marsden ...
Country Pub drinker
Charles Little ...
Errol (as Charlie Little)


Jack Willis is a handsome roadtrain driver with a secret - he has just become a top-selling romance novelist. However, being a 'man's man' in the Australian outlook, to avoid embarrassment, he needs a name, a woman's name - and he chooses that of his best friend, Ruby Vale. He must do some fancy footwork to continue the charade when the glamorous city publisher, Ziggy, arrives in dusty outback Lucktown to sign 'Ruby Vale' to a major book deal. Ruby agrees to help Jack though it's for her own gain as well - the publisher will pay for her coming wedding (with Hamish, Jack's buddy). Accompanied by Jack, Ruby goes to Sydney to meet the media, appear on TV and cocktail parties, etc. Gradually, Jack realizes that he has fallen in love with Ruby, while Ruby is also touched by Jack's novel. However, Hamish arrives in Sydney a few days later and asks both of them to stop all these foolish things... Written by L.H. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's hard, tough ... and doesn't give a XXXX for anything ... except romantic novels


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

25 March 1999 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Paperisankari  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Nindigully pub, prominently featured in the film as the Boomerang café, is a real life pub, essentially a town in itself (population 6), located 45 km from the nearest town. It is the oldest hotel (pub) in Queensland, operating continuously since 1864. See more »


During the opening credits, the road train is filmed from the air. A helicopter's shadow (presumably the helicopter doing the filming) can be seen briefly on the ground below. See more »


Ruby Vale: I was thinking, I could work for the Flying Doctors Service.
Hamish: No, they saw you doing barrel rolls, Anzac day.
See more »


Referenced in Top Gear Australia: Road Trip of Dreams (2008) See more »


Only the lonely
Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson
Performed by Roy Orbison
See more »

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User Reviews

An Australian gem!

The film "Paperback Hero" is the latest Australian film to make it's way overseas. Starring Claudia Karvan and Hugh Jackman, "Paperback Hero" will delight anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy.

Karvan and Jackman are well known in Australia, Karvan as a film actress and Jackman as a musical theatre actor. Both are well cast in their roles as a brash, independent pilot (Karvan) and a novel writing truck driver (Jackman).

The storyline is simple but entertaining. Ruby Vale (Karvan) and Jack Willis (Jackman) live in a small outback Australian town. Jack writes romance novels while working as a truck driver. Embarrassed about his hobby, he uses Ruby's name when he sends his novel to a publisher. It becomes very complicated when the novel is accepted for publication and Jack must convince Ruby to help him.

The film is very Australian, but will not in any way alienate overseas viewers. The movie was mainly filmed in rural Queensland and makes the most of the outback landscape. The Australian accent is not exaggerated (a pet hate of mine).

Give this film a go if you are a fan of romantic comedies. The Australian film industry is producing quality work and "Paperback Hero" is an example of this.

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