8 user 17 critic

Three Blind Mice (2008)

1:34 | Trailer
Three young Navy officers hit Sydney for one last night on land before being shipped over to the Gulf to fight. Sam has been mistreated at sea and is going AWOL, Dean has a fiancée and the ... See full summary »


Matthew Newton


Matthew Newton
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewen Leslie ... Sam Fisher
Toby Schmitz ... Dean Leiberman
Matthew Newton ... Harry McCabe
Tina Bursill ... Candy
Brendan Cowell ... Glenn
Alex Dimitriades ... Tony
Bob Franklin Bob Franklin ... Warren
Marcus Graham ... John
Jody Kennedy Jody Kennedy ... Esther
Eloise Mignon Eloise Mignon ... Grace
Pia Miranda ... Sally
Heather Mitchell Heather Mitchell ... Kathy
Barry Otto ... Fred
Gracie Otto ... Emma
Sophie Scarf Sophie Scarf ... Kristy


Three young Navy officers hit Sydney for one last night on land before being shipped over to the Gulf to fight. Sam has been mistreated at sea and is going AWOL, Dean has a fiancée and the future in-laws to meet, and Harry just loves playing cards. Throughout the night the boys lose each other, find themselves, and along the way discover courage, friendship and redemption. Written by Anon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See how they run... See more »


Comedy | Drama


Did You Know?


In the opening scene in the hotel, Mathew Newton is wearing epaulettes showing two and a half rings - the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Later when outside his jacket has one ring, the rank of Sub Lieutenant. See more »


References Hey Hey It's Saturday (1971) See more »


Don't Hold back
Written by David Greene (as Greene), Ilan Kidron (as Kieron), Littlemore and Jonny Murphy (as Murphy)
Performed by The Potbelleez
See more »

User Reviews

...a brave little film. Its rawness and honesty show a real freshness and spirit.
7 January 2017 | by info-5342See all my reviews

There's a certain sub genre of film drama that sits somewhere between the conventional scripted narrative and an observational documentary. A sort of flirtatious experiment with layers of realism, hand held cameras and a very loose approach to what feels like a lot of semi improvised dialogue.

The question inevitably, on everyone's mind, "does it work or does it collapse under its own alternative cleverness?"

Scenes play out in almost teal time and dialogue flows, stops, does a few twists and turns as it tends to in real conversations between people, not in the short hand of movie dialogue.

The question inevitably, on everyone's mind, "does it work or does it collapse under its own alternative cleverness?"

We meet three young seaman on the town for a spree without a single sighting of Gene Kelly - it's the classic set up of one last night of innocence and shenanigans before being shipped off to a war zone in the cold light of day.

Director / Writer / Actor, Matthew Newton in a trifecta of effort plays high spirited and repeatedly reckless Harry; Toby Schmitz as the contemplative and responsible Dean; and Ewen Leslie as the somewhat lost lamb Sam.

In the confines of a rather bland hotel room, in semi whispers, Dean and Harry are treading on egg shells concerning something that has happened to Sam... and the teasing out of what it is and why it has happened is beautifully infused into the developing story line.

Now, the extent of naturalistic, real time conversation isn't everyone's cup of tea... a five minute exchange between two characters takes five minutes to play out... and by TV soap opera standards, with their 90 second scenes, this will feel as slow as molasses in January, but it has a function - the protracted time scale allows the actors to really inhabit their character and for us, as an audience, to absorb nuances that otherwise would slip by unnoticed when playing a scene in some contrived short hand.

That said, there are some scenes that might have fared better with some heavy handed pruning at the film editing stage. In particular a card game featuring Newton, Schmitz, Alex Dimitrades, Marcus Graham and Clayton Watson.

While the actors I'm sure were having a wonderful time reaching to the very core of their "he man" bravado, it goes on so long that it starts to feel like an acting improvisation class rather than an integral part of the developing problems for our heroes. I'm not saying it has NO function, but in terms of screen time compared to the payload it delivers, it feels rather disproportionate...

In another sequence, Barry Otto and Heather Mitchell as Dean's prospective in-laws, play out a painful bickering, drunken aversion of all the reality about them -- Again, fascinating character stuff but ultimately, like the card game, is it helping to drive the plot and impact our main characters?

So filming is over. It's eight weeks later, here we are in the editing room and it's time to look at what's in front of us, objectively, and ask that very important question, repeatedly... "Would the audience miss that moment or that moment, if the scene was half the length? Would cutting it down that much actually make the intent of the scene more concentrated and effective in communicating it's intention? More isn't always more... discuss.

While there are those somewhat bloated legatos scenes, there are also tighter, leaner and more focused moments that really demand our attention.

Sam's visit to his Mother and Grandfather is a multi layered glimpse into not just Sam's background but the expectations of Grandad - Bud Tingwell in his last film appearance - and Jacki Weaver in a fascinating and multidimensional characterisation.

Her conflicting disappointment, fear, criticism and love for her son are barely fleeting hints of a very rich and detailed back story. And Tina Bursill, just perfect, as a tired prostitute who, in just a few lines of dialogue, sums up an entire life.

In an Interview with Stuart O'Connor of The Guardian, Newton has said of the film, "I guess I also wanted to show what young men should be doing with their evenings as opposed to going and getting killed or having to kill someone else - making mistakes, getting in trouble, meeting girls, playing cards, trying to figure out what it is to be a man."

The themes of loyalty, commitment, honesty and the abuse of power are all knocked squarely and firmly into their respective pockets... with a surprise twist in the final moments surrounding Sam and Harry's personal decisions. This is no gimmicky twist - not at all - it that feels absolutely right given what they have been through over the course of the evening.

Despite some significant film festival wins, the release of the film in its native Australia, and beyond, was very limited and it was difficult to track it down on DVD six years later.

Three Blind Mice deserved better. It's a brave little film - its rawness and honesty show a real freshness and spirit - Newton and his cast, they really do deliver.

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Release Date:

20 August 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Τρία τυφλά ποντίκια See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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