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Swimming Upstream (2003)

The inspirational life story of Australian swimmer Tony Fingleton.



(autobiography), (autobiography) | 1 more credit »

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4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dora Fingleton
Diane Fingleton
Mitchell Dellevergin ...
Thomas Davidson ...
Kain O'Keeffe ...
Robert Quinn ...
Keeara Byrnes ...
Young Diane
Mark Hembrow ...
Simon Burvill-Holmes ...
Brother Campbell


The true story of Tony Fingleton, a young man from a troubled family who found the inner strength to become a champion. Always overshadowed in his father's eyes by his brothers, it is only when Tony displays an extraordinary swimming talent that he feels he has a shot at winning his father's heart. Written by Crusader Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The pride of a nation. The heart of a champion.


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving alcoholism and domestic abuse | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

27 February 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A contracorriente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$205,360 (Australia) (28 February 2003)


$47,171 (USA) (11 February 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the movie, Tony competes in the 100-meter backstroke, winning a silver medal at the Empire Games in 1962. In 1962, the Empire Games swimming events were measured in yards, and Tony won silver behind another Australian in the 220-yard event. When he is later told that "your event was today" in reference to the 1964 Olympics, it refers to the 200-meter backstroke - the 100 wasn't contested in Tokyo. See more »


Tony Fingleton: [after losing to John] You reckon I could swim from here to America?
Dora Fingleton: You just gonna sit here feeling sorry for yourself?
Tony Fingleton: No, John's the star. He's a better swimmer than me. He always was. He's good, Mum. John's number one.
Dora Fingleton: You know it's just one race. There's gonna be plenty of races for you.
Tony Fingleton: Mum, it's too late, all right? How many years have I been swimming? I wanted to win a medal. I wanted to be a champion and win a medal at the Olympics.
Tony Fingleton: You know? You know, I wanted to BE somebody.
Dora Fingleton: Oh...
See more »


Featured in Swimming Upstream: The Making of a Champion (2005) See more »


When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff
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User Reviews

Hard to like
28 February 2003 | by (Darwin NT Australia) – See all my reviews

This well acted true story drama is a difficult movie and wont be particularly popular. I gave it an 8 out of 10 although I've got to say I didn't like it so much as appreciate it. The test of a good drama for me is whether you talk about it and question aspects of it after its over. This certainly had me and my wife talking, mainly about the relationships issues that it generates (particularly those between parents and their kids). I won't be recommending this to every friend, but for those that I know that appreciate a movie that makes you think, it gets my vote of confidence. My final comment regards Tony Fingleton himself. If you are out there reading this Tony, all I can say is that I wish you and your family in New York every happiness and success. Nobody should have to experience the kind of torment brought upon you by your father.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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So why was Tony disliked by his dad so much? PiKindaGuy
hottie xox_ella_xox
Anyone NOT like this movie? starrypawz
Swimming UpStream MadeleineLeClerc
The lighter side of abuse. . . daemori_chonsa
I met the cast!!!! sweet_rose016
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