The political adviser to Australia's Minister of the Arts investigates the suspicious death of a disgruntled artist.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Murray Whelan
Angelo Agnelli
Julian O'Donnell ...
Red Whelan
Leah Vandenberg ...
Claire Sutton
Andrew S. Gilbert ...
Duncan Keogh
Heather Mitchell ...
Fiona Lambert
Philip Veale
John Clarke ...
Ken Sproule
Wendy Whelan
Alex Menglet ...
Max Katyn
Giles Aubrey


The political adviser to Australia's Minister of the Arts investigates the suspicious death of a disgruntled artist.

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based on novel | See All (1) »


There's nothing abstract about a loaded gun!


Comedy | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

5 September 2004 (Australia)  »

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Did You Know?


When Murray Whelan (David Wenham) goes to visit Giles Aubrey (Alex Menglet), the two young boys with him are wearing black masks/ helmets in the manner of Ned Kelly, the most famous Australian bushranger. Given the Arts theme of the movie, the helmets are also likely to be an homage to the series of Ned Kelly paintings by Australian artist, Sydney Nolan, who painted a large series of paintings about Ned Kelly which featured Kelly's helmet as the central motif. See more »


Follows Stiff (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

"It's an action comedy drama murder mystery (acdmm), Sam"
5 September 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This, the second of the Murray Whelan acdmms, follows the same successful formula as the first. Murray Whelan is an untidy but lovable guy, who stumbles his way through the world trying to serve his masters and love his son, with mixed success. About half way through the movie my wife made the very perceptive comment that everyone so far was playing an idiot; and in a perverse way, that's what makes the humour, even though we wouldn't normally laugh at an idiot per se.

The plot is about art fraud. Not that that is relevant to anything, other than it allows Bruce Spence to play either a gay or merely very foppish role, which he clearly does with great relish.

This is the sort of movie that experienced actors such as Spence, Steve Bisley, Mick Malloy and John Clarke can play in their sleep, and possibly do. It'll never be considered a classic movie, but then again, there is no expectation that it would be. One of the secrets of Paul Hogan's success was that he didn't flood our TV screens with his show, and this movie is equally coy. It's only the second Murray Whelan this year, and one every six months does indeed seem to be the right amount. This would never form the basis of a weekly comedy show, and wisely, it is apparently not going to become such. Many of the gags are telegraphed well in advance (eg, the characters that Murray meets in the elevator), as in often the case with John Clarke, but that doesn't take away from their punch.

Sam Neill is listed as director, and he did a good job. I would have liked to have seen him in the movie as well. And by the way, the acdmm quote in the Summary above is from the TV station promo when John C and Sam N were discussing what these movies would be.

In summary, a good movie to see and enjoy once, delivering exactly what it promised.

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

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