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The Dish
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The Dish (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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The Dish -- A comedy, "The Dish" tells the true story of a group of Australian scientists manning a remote satellite dish who, much to NASA's concern, are the only hope for receiving the historic images of Man's first steps on the Moon.
The Dish -- hv post
The Dish -- A remote Australian antenna, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.


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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Santo Cilauro (conceived and written by) &
Tom Gleisner (conceived and written by) ...
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Release Date:
4 May 2001 (USA) See more »
Man's first step on the moon nearly stumbled on earth See more »
A remote Australian antenna, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A priceless moment in Australian Cinematic History See more (195 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sam Neill ... Cliff Buxton
Billy Mitchell ... Cameron
Roz Hammond ... Miss Nolan
Christopher-Robin Street ... Damien
Luke Keltie ... Graeme
Naomi Wright ... Melanie
Ben Wright-Smith ... Nicholas
Beverley Dunn ... Secretary (voice)
Grant Thompson ... Mr. Callen
Bille Brown ... Prime Minister

Bernard Curry ... Newspaper Reporter
Kevin Harrington ... Ross 'Mitch' Mitchell
Tom Long ... Glenn Latham

Patrick Warburton ... Al Burnett

Roy Billing ... Mayor Robert 'Bob' McIntyre
Andrew S. Gilbert ... Len Purvis

Matthew Moore ... Keith Morrison
Kerry Walker ... Pearl

Denise Roberts ... Bronwyn
Jeff Keogh ... Ray
Jason Ritterman ... Adrian Hobbs
Alexander Zent ... Lead Guitarist
Rowan Macartney ... Trumpet
Aidan Macartney ... Trombone
Jarrod Factor ... Drummer
Oliver McGill ... Pianist
Genevieve Mooy ... May McIntyre
Marilyn O'Donnell ... Melva
Jane Menelaus ... Gwen
Lenka Kripac ... Marie McIntyre
John Flaus ... Ron

Carl Snell ... Billy McIntyre
Eliza Szonert ... Janine Kellerman
Tayler Kane ... Rudi Kellerman
Neil Pigot ... Journalist
Darren Davidson ... Camera Person
Simon Donaldson ... Sound Person

John McMartin ... U.S. Ambassador Howard
Frank Bennett ... Barry Steele

Randall Berger ... Ambassador's Aide
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ... Reverend Loftus
Mal Walden ... ABC Journalist (voice)
Rod McNeil ... Radio Newsreader (voice)
Alister Paterson ... ABC TV Newsreader
Colette Mann ... Betty the Bush Poet
Susan Ward ... Female Print Journalist
Roger Crisp ... Male Reporter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Buzz Aldrin ... Himself (archive footage)

Neil Armstrong ... Himself (archive footage)

Michael Collins ... Himself (archive footage)

John Glenn ... Himself (archive footage)

Nicholas Bell ... TV Scientist (uncredited)

Walter Cronkite ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hubert H. Humphrey ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eric Pearce ... Himself (TV Newsreader) (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Rob Sitch 
Writing credits
Santo Cilauro (conceived and written by) &
Tom Gleisner (conceived and written by) &
Jane Kennedy (conceived and written by) &
Rob Sitch (conceived and written by)

Produced by
Santo Cilauro .... producer
Tom Gleisner .... producer
Debra Herman .... line producer (as Debra Choate)
Michael Hirsh .... producer
Jane Kennedy .... producer
Rob Sitch .... producer
Original Music by
Edmund Choi 
Cinematography by
Graeme Wood (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jill Bilcock 
Casting by
Jane Kennedy 
Production Design by
Carrie Kennedy 
Art Direction by
Ben Morieson 
Costume Design by
Kitty Stuckey 
Makeup Department
Simone Albert .... makeup artist
Jill Fischer .... prostethics makeup artist: Creative Audience Productions Inc.
Ian Loughnan .... makeup artist
Caroline Styles .... hair designer
Caroline Styles .... makeup designer
Noriko Watanabe .... makeup artist: old man sequence
Noreen Wilkie .... hair stylist: Sam Neill
Noreen Wilkie .... makeup artist: Sam Neill
Wesley Wofford .... key prostethics makeup artist
Mark Nieman .... silicone prosthetic technician (uncredited)
Production Management
Andrew Osboldstone .... unit manager
Sylvia Walker-Wilson .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Santo Cilauro .... second unit director
Annie Maver .... first assistant director
Justin O'Neill .... assistant director
Iain Pirret .... second assistant director
Matthew Rooke .... third assistant director
Art Department
Liam Adam .... art department assistant
Jane Burns .... props buyer
Robert Elliott .... storyboard artist
Sandy Grant .... stand-by props
Troy Hardy .... art department runner
Carrie Kennedy .... model maker
Ben Morieson .... model maker
Andre Potappel .... technical supervisor
Stephen Travers .... additional art department (as Steve Travers)
Darren Unsgaard .... set dresser
Warren Vigor .... additional art department
Lisa Wang .... art department coordinator
Richard Wenzel .... props buyer
Sound Department
Philippe Decrausaz .... sound recordist
Tony Dickinson .... boom operator
Bruce Emery .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Helen Field .... coordinator: Soundfirm Australia
Richard Girvan .... sound engineer: ABC
Francis Ward Lindsay .... foley artist
Gerry Long .... foley artist
John McKerrow .... additional boom operator
Damien Montalto .... sound recording engineer
Andrew Neil .... assistant sound mixer
Andrew Neil .... foley recordist
Skye Ritchie .... special sound effects editor
Livia Ruzic .... dialogue editor
Roger Savage .... sound mixer
Danny Sullivan .... sound recording engineer
Jenny Sutcliffe .... additional boom operator
Gareth Vanderhope .... special sound effects editor
Special Effects by
Aaron Beaucaire .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Paul Cross .... optical effects
Murray Curtis .... visual effects: Complete Post
Andrea Parkes .... visual effects: Complete Post
Tim Parrington .... visual effects: Complete Post
Peter Webb .... visual effects: Complete Post
Camera and Electrical Department
Tov Belling .... focus puller: second unit
Dan Carr .... fourth electrician
Joanne Donahoe-Beckwith .... camera operator: epk
Craig Dusting .... key grip
Warwick Field .... aerial camera operator: second unit
Anthony Gerrish .... grip
Richard Hosking .... camera operator: second unit
Marin Johnson .... clapper loader
Trish Keating .... focus puller
Adam Litchfield .... video split operator
Jude Lovatt .... focus puller: second unit
Lex Martin .... third electrician
Peter Moloney .... electrician
Josh Moore .... additional grip
Timothy Morrison .... best boy electric (as Tim Morrison)
Harry Panagiotidis .... Steadicam operator (as Harry Panogiotidis)
Peter Stockley .... additional grip
Lisa Tomasetti .... still photographer
Colin Williams .... gaffer
Casting Department
Rachel Bailey .... casting assistant: Australia
Richard Hicks .... casting consultant: USA
Yeskel Hicks .... casting consultant: USA
Leesa Scheller .... casting assistant: Australia
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael Davies .... stand-by wardrobe
Maida Jereb .... costume maker
Gabrielle Travers .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Arthur Cambridge .... color grader
Robert Hall .... second assistant editor
Noel Hansen .... telecine dailies
Julia MacLeod .... negative matcher (as Julia Macleod)
Rochelle Oshlack .... first assistant editor
Bill Daly .... post-production executive (uncredited)
Justin Heitman .... telecine colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Noel Ancell .... artistic director: choir
Doug Brady .... music editor
Edmund Choi .... conductor: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Lynette Clarkson .... liaison: choir
Graeme Evans .... musician: horn solo
Barb Glaser .... orchestra manager (as Barbara Glaser)
Jane Kennedy .... music producer
Michael Kisin .... concert master
Sonny Kompanek .... orchestrator
Ron Layton .... orchestra contractor
Lawrence Manchester .... score mixer
Lawrence Manchester .... score recordist
Geoffrey Payne .... musician: trumpet solo
Markus Stenz .... artistic director: music
Markus Stenz .... chief conductor
Peter Sullivan .... composer: additional music
Christine Woodruff .... music licensing
Transportation Department
Maurice Randall .... vehicle supervisor
Other crew
Brett Anderson .... safety supervisor
Ian Anderson .... liaison: Cinevex
Jim Atkins .... engineer: ABC
Cassandra Barbour .... rights and clearances
Tony Bartuccio .... choreographer: dance hall
Bernadette Breitkreuz .... assistant accountant
Tom Dillon .... production runner
Greg Duncombe .... helicopter pilot: second unit
Jeanette Fisher .... caterer: Sweet Seduction
Sarah Gilligan .... unit assistant
Jeremy Gray .... insurance: AON insurance
Wendy Gregory Walker .... production assistant (as Wendy Gregory)
Gordon Gribbin .... copyist
Nikki Hamilton-Cornwall .... second production assistant (as Nikki Hamilton)
Foster Hart .... legal
Pauline Hirsh .... second unit coordinator
Pauline Hirsh .... unit publicist
Mika Lentz .... researcher: stock footage (as Mika Holliday)
Jane Manning .... researcher: stock footage
Susannah Mott .... production coordinator
Vanitha Naidu .... production accountant
Chris Peters .... safety supervisor
Arch Roberts .... safety supervisor (as Archie Roberts)
Ian Russell .... liaison: Atlab Australia
Antonetta Russo .... accounting assistant
Laura Sevier .... rights and clearances
Greg Sitch .... legal
Kate Thomson .... assistant production coordinator
Sophie Vickers-Willis .... catering: office
Sophie Vickers-Willis .... food stylist
Brenda Vincent .... assistant: Sam Neill
Polly Watkins .... assistant to executive producer
Anne Went .... continuity (as Annie Went)
Miriam Baltuck .... grateful acknowledgment (as Dr. Miriam Baltuck)
Nicholas Bell .... thanks: assistance
Rupert Burns .... grateful acknowledgment
Kristen Coney .... grateful acknowledgment
Brian Coote .... grateful acknowledgment
Walter Cronkite .... thanks: assistance
Davids Darzins .... grateful acknowledgment
Mike Dinn .... grateful acknowledgment
Ron Ekers .... grateful acknowledgment (as Prof. Ron Ekers)
Derek Fellows .... grateful acknowledgment
Lynn Gailey .... thanks: assistance (as Lynne Gailey)
Frederic N. Gaines .... thanks: assistance
Lorraine Hall .... thanks: assistance
Will Houghton .... grateful acknowledgment (as Mr. Will Houghton QC)
Yvonne Hutton .... grateful acknowledgment
Ben Lam .... thanks: assistance
Fox Mason .... grateful acknowledgment
John Masterson .... thanks: assistance
Billy Pinnell .... thanks
Greg Ross .... grateful acknowledgment
John Saxon .... thanks: assistance
John Scott .... grateful acknowledgment
Sharon Scott .... thanks: assistance
Cliff Smith .... thanks: assistance
Jeff Stilson .... thanks
Helen Stuckey .... grateful acknowledgment
Bruce MacA Thomas .... grateful acknowledgment
Noriko Watanabe .... thanks: assistance
David Williams .... grateful acknowledgment
Alan Woodruff .... thanks: assistance
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
101 min | France:97 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film is set in the town of Parkes, in New South Wales, Aus., but was actually filmed in Forbes, which is a neighboring town a few miles down the road. The reason for the re-filming is because Parkes has changed over the last 30 years, but Forbes hasn't changed as much - Forbes still looked like a 1960s town, like Parkes did 30 years before.See more »
Factual errors: Although shown as such out the window of the antenna control room, the Moon was never full during the Apollo 11 mission.See more »
[first lines]
Worker:Excuse me sir, I'm afraid you've come in the wrong way.
Cliff Buxton:I'm sorry...
Worker:Yeah, this is the old entrance. The visitors center is back out and around to the left.
Cliff Buxton:Right well, I'll wander out then.
Worker:Well worth it. Some amazing times.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Clock (2010)See more »
Wings of an EagleSee more »


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62 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
A priceless moment in Australian Cinematic History, 31 January 2003
Author: microbit from Melbourne, Australia

The Dish delivers the way some of Michael Crichton's best novels do : Take a true story and build fiction around it so you can entertain the reader/viewer with technical accuracy and focus on the fictional characters, and the role they play. And boy, does The Dish entertain.

First credit must go to Rob Sitch's absolutely brilliant direction. On one hand it comes as no surprise that part of the old "D-Generation" line-up (Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy) wrote a comedy full of sharp wit in the tradition of the infamous "Late Show" that ran on the ABC (Ch 2) in 1992-1993. Glen's (Tom Long) question "Who's the guy ?", when Al (Patrick Warburton) volunteers his admiration for Neil Armstrong and that he'll be walking on the moon is on a par with the Late Show "It's academic" 1993 sketch where the Santo/Rob/Tom Ivanhoe College team is faced with the challenge : "How much change do you receive from 7 Dollars if you purchase 7 items at 98 Cents each ?" - Rob's answer " What are the items ? " is unforgettable.

That same team performed at its best yet when The Dish's script was written. The Dish is also quite unique as a movie that can be watched over and over again without the need to skip many parts of the story. This could mainly be attributed to the story's characters, and how we are compelled to care about each and every one of them, no matter how insignificant they might seem.

The core of The Dish revolves around Neil Armstrong's first historic steps on the Moon at 12:56 PM, Monday 21 July 1969 AEST. When 600 Million people (1/5th of mankind at that time) tuned in and witnessed the TV pictures from the Eagle Lunar Module, 3 tracking stations were receiving these signals simultaneously. They were CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope, Honeysuckle Creek tracking Station near Canberra and NASA's Goldstone station in California. During the first 9 minutes of the broadcast, NASA alternated between these 3 stations. When they switched to the Parkes pictures, they were of such superior quality that NASA remained with them for the rest of the 2 1/2 hour Moonwalk. Of course the audience knows the good outcome to the events, so the writers can fully focus on the fictional part of the story and remind us how human nature can marvel by putting a man on the moon and safely return him home.

The Dish is so refreshing because it doesn't need to resort to adult themes, violence or excessive profanity to flag your attention to the townfolk of Parkes, their involvement in the mission and how they are "over the moon" about it.

The film accurately portrays the spirit of Aussie people in 1969. I found the camerawork simply stunning at times, capturing the beauty of Parkes : the dusty road to the Telescope, the farmer with dog and sheep, the (empty) Fuel station and Parkes' sleepy shops. The wonderful soundtrack attends to the "missing pieces" with songs like "Good morning Star shine" and "Come on". Dramatization is resourcefully completed by Edmund Choi's composition and direction of The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (under Jane Kennedy's guidance).

The Dish succeeds in a non-pretentious and honest way to convey its great emotion and charm to the viewer. Working Dog excelled itself and surely must face great difficulty to surpass this masterpiece. "Frontline" and "The Castle" were very clever indeed, but The Dish is perceived by me as the best Australian Movie ever made, a priceless moment in Aussie Cine history.

Charles "Bud" Tingwell's cameo appearance as the Priest is the icing on the cake. The amount of research to realize the Dish must have been extensive, to adhere for example to the 2.2825 GHz Apollo 11 frequency, the solid minus 90 dBM signals etc. in the script.

It is worthwhile to note that NASA delayed the Parkes pictures by 6 seconds before its worldwide broadcast, in the event of an accident. Australian viewers saw mankind's giant leap 6.3 seconds earlier than the rest of the world !! (A 300 mS delay for the INTELSAT satellite link from Sydney,Australia to Houston,USA was incurred).

I still watch The Dish regularly and the movie, if nothing, conveys greater emotion than it first did. Highly recommended : great acting across the entire cast, almost flawless camerawork, fantastic soundtrack, fast paced yet non-engaging script, witty comedy. A treat for the whole family. 9.5 out of 10 !!!

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