7.2/10
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35 user 30 critic

Swimming Upstream (2003)

The inspirational life story of Australian swimmer Tony Fingleton.

Director:

Russell Mulcahy

Writers:

Anthony Fingleton (autobiography), Diane Fingleton (autobiography) | 1 more credit »

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From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Rush ... Harold Fingleton
Judy Davis ... Dora Fingleton
Jesse Spencer ... Tony Fingleton
Tim Draxl ... John Fingleton
Deborah Kennedy ... Billie
David Hoflin ... Harold Fingleton Jr.
Craig Horner ... Ronald Fingleton
Brittany Byrnes ... Diane Fingleton
Mitchell Dellevergin Mitchell Dellevergin ... Young Tony
Thomas Davidson Thomas Davidson ... Young John
Kain O'Keeffe Kain O'Keeffe ... Young Harold Jr.
Robert Quinn Robert Quinn ... Young Ronald
Keeara Byrnes Keeara Byrnes ... Young Diane
Mark Hembrow Mark Hembrow ... Tommy
Simon Burvill-Holmes Simon Burvill-Holmes ... Brother Campbell
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

27 February 2003 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A contracorriente See more »

Filming Locations:

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,520, 6 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$47,171, 13 February 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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.
[sighs]
Tony Fingleton: You know? You know, I wanted to BE somebody.
Dora Fingleton: Oh...
[...]
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Adagio for Strings
Written by Samuel Barber
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User Reviews

 
Emotionally powerful and inspiring; based on a true story
26 December 2004 | by jv333See all my reviews

This film was the "Closing Selection" for the 2004 San Diego Film Festival. The story shows the emotional pain of growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father. And yet, through the violence and strife emerges the eventual best Olympic swimmer from Australia in his event. The movie was about the life story of Tony Fingleton, whom I was fortunate to meet in person after the film. What an outstanding individual as he fielded audience questions with complete honesty and panache.

His story is testament to the tenacity of the human spirit in the face of a troubled and abusive father. Yet despite it all, emerges a positive and intelligent force. There was still a drive to improve one's mind despite a relentlessly critical father in the protagonist's formative years. The emotional family confrontations are not for the squeamish; however, it is a tribute to human optimism and accomplishment. I wish it were revealed a bit more about Tony's drive for education early on, i.e., who inspired that aspect of his development? Geoffrey Rush's acting as the father is stark and striking. The images and messages of this film will stay with you for a very long time!


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