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Top 10 Australian Movies


Late in 2001, the Australian Screen Directors Association polled 100 influential Australians for a list of the 10 most popular Australian films. Price comparisons are for DVDs except where a particular film is not available on DVD, in which case please note that prices refer to VHS videotapes.

Also see Best Australian Films.

1. Gallipoli

Australia's fascination with and fondness for the World War I Anzacs may have helped in propelling this Peter Weir film to its top spot, but it is an engrossing drama in its own right, starring a young Mel Gibson who goes off to the Great War and that epic day which is commemorated yearly in Australia as the national holiday Anzac Day.
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2. Babe

This popular comedy directed by Chris Noonan is about the pig who could. A whimsical film of farm animals and of one young pig who thinks he can be as good as a sheep dog and sets out to prove it at an Australian country fair. Strikes a familiar chord.
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3. Romeo + Juliet

Baz Luhrmann's version of Shakespeare's tragic love story has been brought to the present day in a Miami-like environment. Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam calls the film "a magical story about political factions in a capital city."
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4. Sunday Too Far Away

This 1975 movie directed by Ken Hannam focuses on the problems and rivalries of Australian sheep shearers. Stars a young Jack Thompson against a stark Australian country background. Not currently available.

5. The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith

Fred Schepisi directed this 1978 movie starring Aboriginal actor Tommy Lewis. A story of racial tensions and sought compromises which end ultimately in tragedy. Based on a true story. Not currently available.

6. Newsfront

The work, trials and joys of newsreel filmmakers are celebrated in the 1978 film directed by Phillip Noyce. Actual newsreel footage of the 1940s and 1950s have been seamlessly integrated into the movie to give it the power and feel of fact. Not currently available.

7. Mad Max

The first of the Road Warrior movies starring a young Mel Gibson. The 1979 film directed by George Miller is set in a desolate landscape of the future where wheels and the omnipresent dust combine in a story of explodidng violence and unstoppable revenge.
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8. The Devil's Playground

Boys in a Catholic boarding school come to grips with their sexuality on the puberty road to growing up in this 1976 film directed by Fred Schepisi. Nor are boys' teachers spared of problems.
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9. Breaker Morant

In this 1979 film, director Bruce Beresford tells the true story of three Australian soldiers during the Boer War who become enmeshed in a court martial to serve British political ends. Winner of a number of Australian film awards.
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10. Crocodile Dundee

Paul Hogan's original 1986 Dundee film directed by Peter Faiman tells the story of bushman Dundee who charms water buffaloes and co-star Linda Kozlowski alike. He is brought to New York where fresh adventures await.
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