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The Club (1980)

Boardroom and dressing-room intrigues spill on to the field at the Australian Rules football club.


Bruce Beresford


David Williamson (play), David Williamson (screenplay)

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5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Thompson ... Laurie Holden
Graham Kennedy ... Ted Parker
Frank Wilson ... Jock Riley
Harold Hopkins ... Danny Rowe
John Howard ... Geoff Hayward
Alan Cassell Alan Cassell ... Gerry Cooper
Maggie Doyle Maggie Doyle ... Susy
Lou Richards ... Commentator
Toni-Gay Shaw Toni-Gay Shaw ... Stripper
Jack Harris Jack Harris ... 1st Club Official
Frank Raggatt Frank Raggatt ... 2nd Club Official
Jim Cain Jim Cain ... 3rd Club Official
Gary Files Gary Files ... 2nd Football Commentator
Ed Turley Ed Turley ... Tony
Scot Palmer Scot Palmer ... Newspaper Reporter 1


Boardroom and dressing-room intrigues spill on to the field at the Australian Rules football club.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's tough enough on the field, but in the boardroom it's a battleground! In this club nobody plays by the rules See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

18 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Players See more »


Box Office


AUD700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Australian theatrical feature film debut of actor John Howard. See more »


In the movie's end credits, Bob Davis is misspelt as 'Bob David' See more »


[Geoff has arrived late at a training session]
Laurie Holden: [angrily] Where have you been?
Geoff Hayward: [curtly] Get stuffed.
See more »


Featured in 20 to 1: Greatest Sporting Anthems (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Waiting for a remake
20 September 2000 | by nicholas_blackmoreSee all my reviews

Great play, pity about the screenplay is all I can say.

This play remains one of the most insightful views into the world of sports cum business ever scripted. Even truer today than when the play was written, it paints a picture of a club having to face the fact that loyalty and honour don't mean much in the modern game, either to players or their employers. Those who don't or won't accept the new hard nosed and ruthless system seem destined to fail - although the final scene offers a glimmer of hope. The whole thing is served with a big dash of humour - the scene where the bumbling old Jock unknowingly tokes up with troubled star player Geoff and is led through an increasingly unbelievable story of Geoff's patricide and attraction for his sister is priceless.

It is a far deeper examination of the different views of the game and motives of the characters than Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, which is a thousand times more flashy but also considerably more simplistic and unsubtle in its characterisations.

So it is a great play, and if you don't have a theatrical of it handy, the film is better than just reading it.

But the film was made on low production values and without much desire for realism. As a result, there is a significant cringe effect, which distracts from the point of the film. The scene of Collingwood training with a total of about six guys kicking a couple of footballs around encapsulates the refusal of the producers to just go the extra few yards to make this film a little realistic.

If the play is on, see it. Such is the quality of the play, hopefully sooner or later there will be a film remake. Otherwise, see the film, but ignore the visuals and concentrate on the screenplay.

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