Money Movers 1979
Money Movers was ahead of its time, and may have suffered because of that. It’s a 'crime procedural’, a genre that is now much more popular.
Morning of the Earth 1972
This successful surfing picture was a visual manifesto for its fans, promoting such counter-culture ideals as living simply and sustainably.
Moulin Rouge! 2001
Moulin Rouge! was a risky venture for director Baz Luhrmann but is a tour de force of imagination and appropriation.
Cecil Kellaway was probably the best actor that Ken G Hall ever worked with. He returned from Hollywood to play the titular little man who learns to assert himself.
Mullet is about how people behave and about how men don’t talk and women do.
Muriel’s Wedding 1994
Muriel’s Wedding took Australia by storm when it opened in 1994, satirising an Australian family in a way that audiences found extremely moving, as well as hilarious.
My Brilliant Career 1979
This feminist warrior and role model came to life on film in the same year as the road warrior in the masculine fantasy Mad Max.
My First Wife 1984
Director Paul Cox made this film about a disintegrating marriage after going through a painful break-up himself.
Mystery Island 1937
Two of the principal actors disappeared at sea after filming finished and what became of them is still unknown.
Medieval Britons journeying through time and space find a contemporary city, where they attempt to fulfil a prophecy that will save them from the plague.
Ned Kelly 2003
Heath Ledger stars as Australia’s most famous outlaw.
Some believe that Newsfront, set in the late 1940s and incorporating extensive newsreel footage, is Australia’s best film.
Next of Kin 1982
On her mother’s death, Linda Stevens inherits an isolated retirement home. Strange events occur, leading Linda to believe an evil force dwells in the house.
This savage satire on the neuroses of the privileged of Sydney’s eastern suburbs was written by the great novelist Patrick White.
This smart script explores the effect that chronic isolation can have on a nation.
No Worries 1993
Drought has a terrible social cost, as the 11-year-old girl who has to move from a sheep station to the city in this film, makes clear.
The Odd Angry Shot 1979
Australia’s role in Vietnam was still a raw issue when this film emerged and some criticised it for not condemning that involvement.
The Office Picnic 1972
Bored employees in a mindless bureaucracy are barely more than automatons until released by alcohol at the office picnic, during which sexual and generational differences explode.
One Night the Moon 2001
One Night the Moon, from director Rachel Perkins, reintroduces song into the Australian landscape. For Indigenous peoples, song has been one of the central means of land management.
On Our Selection 1932
This film was technically innovative and, when it opened in 1932, a box office sensation, rejuvenating the local film industry.
On Our Selection 1920
On Our Selection is a landmark of the silent era in Australian cinema, and one of the key films in the career of Raymond Longford, the greatest director of that period.
Boxing contests between men and kangaroos, as shown in this film, were a frequent ‘attraction’ in travelling tent shows.
Oscar and Lucinda 1997
Drawn together by a passion for gambling, Anglican priest Oscar Hopkins and Australian heiress Lucinda Leplastrier agree on a wager with life-changing consequences.
The Overlanders 1946
As the Japanese threaten northern Australia in 1942, a drover takes a mob of prime beef cattle across 2,600 kms of hazardous country to Queensland.
Oyster Farmer 2004
Writer-director Anna Reeves spent four years immersed in the culture of the beautiful Hawkesbury River area before making this drama.
Director Chris Löfvén was heavily involved in the rock music scene. Oz was his attempt to rework The Wizard of Oz for a mid-1970s youth audience.
Palm Beach 1979
The underrated Palm Beach, set on Sydney’s northern beaches, is very daring in its use of sound.
Patrick proved that Australia had the capacity to produce exportable exploitation movies and is better regarded now than it was in 1978.
Though promoted as a lusty yarn, the frequent and fairly explicit sex scenes between the film’s unhappy characters are hardly titillating.
The Phantom Stockman 1953
A bushman known as ‘the Sundowner’ helps cattle station heiress Kim Marsden investigate the death of her father.
Phar Lap 1983
The film is well constructed, both as a folkloric tale of a young man’s bond with a special horse and as an exciting spectacle with a couple of magically charged moments.
The Piano 1993
The Piano is a film about an artist and the story of a woman whose passionate nature is akin to a form of madness. Both themes are common to Jane Campion’s work.
On St Valentine’s Day 1900, three schoolgirls from an exclusive English-style boarding school go missing, along with a teacher, at Hanging Rock, in central Victoria.
The Picture Show Man 1977
The comic performances from John Meillon and John Ewart as the last of the itinerant vaudevillians are superb.
Playing Beatie Bow 1985
Playing Beatie Bow has the sumptuous look and feel of a period film, thanks to its award-winning cinematography and production design.
Praise has alcohol and tobacco, acid and heroin, sex and oblivion and is like a grungy version of Last Tango in Paris.
This is a textbook example of how to make a film logistically simple without sacrificing complexity and dramatic impact.
The Proposition 2005
Many Australian films present the outback as a dangerous place but probably only Wake in Fright can offer an outback with predatory instincts to match The Proposition.
Puberty Blues 1981
When the two teenage girls at the heart of this film buy a surfboard and teach themselves to surf, they become their own role models.
Pure S 1975
Pure S was originally banned from release and remains one of the most unusual and frank films about drug use ever made in Australia.
The Quiet Room 1996
Why does a seven-year-old girl refuse to speak? Increasingly vicious arguments between the parents are not the whole story.
Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002
For many white Australians, this popular film was the first direct emotional experience of what it meant to be one of the 'stolen generations’.
This is a rare exploration of the emotional interior lives of Indigenous women, in this case, three sisters.
The Rage in Placid Lake is a comic drama, tinged with the absurd, and musician-turned-actor Ben Lee plays the title character with the required amount of chutzpah.
Rangle River 1936
NSW legislation required exhibitors and distributors to invest in, and show, Australian films — but not for long.
The Rats of Tobruk 1944
The Rats of Tobruk may not be Charles Chauvel’s best movie, but it deserves serious consideration as his best movie about war.
The outback town of Gamulla is terrorised by a giant razorback boar.
There are 350,000 young dancers in Australia and the film shows how hard they work — and how much more sensible they are than adults.
The Removalists 1975
The story is a savage microcosm of Australia, rather than just a look at the then-topical issue of police hypocrisy and brutality.
Return Home 1990
Suburbs in Australian cinema are usually the place that characters flee from; this film suggests you can also go back.