113 user 35 critic

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.


Peter Weir


David Williamson (screenplay), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Hunt ... Billy Kwan
Mel Gibson ... Guy Hamilton
Bembol Roco ... Kumar
Domingo Landicho Domingo Landicho ... Hortono
Hermino De Guzman Hermino De Guzman ... Immigration Officer
Michael Murphy ... Pete Curtis
Noel Ferrier Noel Ferrier ... Wally O'Sullivan
Paul Sonkkila ... Kevin Condon
Ali Nur Ali Nur ... Ali
Dominador Robridillo Dominador Robridillo ... Betjak Man
Joel Agona Joel Agona ... Palace Guard
Mike Emperio Mike Emperio ... Sukarno
Bernardo Nacilla Bernardo Nacilla ... Dwarf
Bill Kerr ... Colonel Henderson
Sigourney Weaver ... Jill Bryant


Guy Hamilton is a journalist on his first job as a foreign correspondent. His apparently humdrum assignment to Indonesia soon turns hot as President Sukarno electrifies the populace and frightens foreign powers. Guy soon is the hottest reporter on the story with the help of his photographer, half- Chinese dwarf Billy Kwan, who has gone native. Guy's affair with diplomat Jill Bryant also helps. Eventually Guy must face some major moral choices and the relationship between Billy and him reaches a crisis at the same time the politics of Indonesia does. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Risking it all was just part of the job. See more »


Drama | Romance | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Peter Weir cast Linda Hunt in the role of Billy Kwan after failing to find an actor who could play the part in the way he wanted. See more »


The rear window of Guy's car is smashed when the mob attacks it. The next shot is from inside the car, which shows the rear window still intact. See more »


[first lines]
Billy Kwan: June 25th, 1965. Dossier H-10. Hamilton, Guy. Born 1936 under the sign of Capricorn. Occupation: Journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Service. Jakarta: first assignment as foreign correspondent.
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Referenced in Pittsburgh (2006) See more »


Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On
By Curly Williams (uncredited) and Sunny David (uncredited)
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
Courtesy of Sun International Corporation
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User Reviews

this is a gem in so many ways
5 August 2007 | by brent-websterSee all my reviews

Let me dispense of babble up front before the meat and potatoes. Nick Nolte did Guy Hamilton better in Under Fire. Nonetheless. If you are a Weir fan, you are a Weir fan. Except for the nauseating Witness, I am. How many Spottiswoode fans are there? Don't want to rehash---there are a thousand AWESOME reviews at this site. Michael Murphy will never get his due. I want to hone in on the neglect ( a couple posters got it) of the Gibson-Weaver sizzle. Having Sigourney laugh her ass off during most of the courtship was starling and brilliant. Reminded me of what real people do...Guy Hamilton chain-smoking during opera music thinking of her was priceless...their "blue-drink" afternoon, mesmerizing; him cornering her her at an embassy party then crashing curfew to that unforgettable score: unforgettable. A poster, quite a few entries below, mentioned what you remember in Wier's films long after it's over is the romance. Somewhat true. How do you explain Gallilopi? Regardless, this is a dangerous film with unforgettable cinematography and acting. And the romance rules! Politics outside your own realm of personal understanding are as dangerous as romance, but this film artfully understands this. In fact, that's probably the point. I love to see this once a year to remind me how good movies can be.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Australia | USA

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Year of Living Dangerously See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,000, 23 January 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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