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The Night We Called It a Day (2003)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  14 August 2003 (Australia)
6.0
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Reviews: 13 user | 8 critic

Based on the true events surrounding Frank Sinatra's tour of Australia. When Sinatra calls a local reporter a "two-bit hooker", every union in the country black-bans the star until he issues an apology.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barbara Marx
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Hilary Hunter
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Rod Blue
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Audrey Appleby
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Mickey Rudin
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Penny
Stephen O'Rourke ...
Jilly Rizzo
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Phil
George Vidalis ...
Vinny
Peter Demlakian ...
Ruby
Tony Barry ...
Ralph Blue
Vincent Ball ...
Rex Hooper
Jennifer Hagan ...
Doris
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Storyline

Based on the true events surrounding Frank Sinatra's tour of Australia. When Sinatra calls a local reporter a "two-bit hooker", every union in the country black-bans the star until he issues an apology.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This nobody is about to catch a big somebody. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

All the Way  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$113,686 (Australia) (15 August 2003)

Gross:

$246,964 (Australia) (22 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Filmfest Hamburg)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Also titled, "All the Way"... See more »

Goofs

There are a number of anachronisms in the Sydney backdrops, ostensibly set in the 1970s. The most obvious is the catamaran harbour ferry that crosses the screen, in an early night-time shot of the harbour bridge. These were not introduced until 15 years later in 1988. See more »

Quotes

Bob Hawke: [to Sinatra] You are what we call a 'tall poppy'. We have a way of dealing with tall poppies in this country: we cut their heads off!
See more »

Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Mannish Boy
Written by Muddy Waters, Melvin London and Bo Diddley
Performed by Muddy Waters
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User Reviews

 
They should have called it a day a lot earlier
5 January 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is loosely based on events that occurred during Frank Sinatra's tour of Australia where, after referring to a female reporter as a "two-bit hooker" he was black-banned by the local unions.

Sadly, what could have been an interesting look at a clash of cultures, values and strong-willed individuals descends into something resembling a comedy sketch put on by a country repertory company.

Dennis Hopper does a stirling job as Sinatra, with very little directorial support. After a while you start to believe he is Ol' Blue Eyes. But virtually all the other characters are painted in the broad brush strokes of low farce.

Joel Edgerton plays the hapless promoter as a dim-witted surfer with a tendency to fall over or get beaten up in every second scene. Portia de Rossi is so loathsome in her role as the maligned journalist that I found myself cheering for Sinatra and the mob for most of the movie.

And, in a masterstroke of bizarre casting and makeup, David Field blithely appears on screen looking about as much like Bob Hawke as my mum. Moreover, he seems to have made a conscious decision not to even attempt Hawke's accent, nor any of his well known mannerisms. The overall effect is as if the producers had decided to cast Dame Edna Everage in the role and hope that no-one would notice.

Almost every Australian character in the film comes across as either a bumbling half-wit or a self-serving thug. I'm surprised Tourism Australia didn't try to have it banned. The sole exception is the delightful Rose Byrne who, as the love interest/voice of sanity, seems to have been beamed in from a parallel universe.

Lamenting the state of the Australian film industry is a national pastime. I think much of it stems from the industry's long love affair with 'daggyness' for its own sake. Who finds this quirky and endearing any more? It's just embarrassing, and the rest of the world obviously thinks so too. This film, with its woeful dialogue, wooden 'school play level' direction, zero character motivation and absurd plot, admirably demonstrates the problem.


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