Road to Nhill 1997
Four lady bowlers roll their car outside a country town. Amid chaos and panicking menfolk, they save themselves.
A US travel writer and a group of tourists on a boat trip in the Northern Territory are menaced by a giant crocodile.
Romeo + Juliet 1996
Baz Luhrmann’s radical update of Romeo + Juliet boldly shattered conventional wisdom that said Shakespeare as he wrote it would never appeal to a mass audience.
Romper Stomper 1992
Romper Stomper makes viewers participants, forcing them to confront how they feel about violence as entertainment.
Romulus, My Father 2007
This film is one of a small number of high quality films dealing with the lives of migrants, but it doesn’t labour this point.
Samson and Delilah 2009
A heartbreaking and thought-provoking film about two Indigenous teenagers growing up in central Australia.
Director Raymond Longford and leading lady Lottie Lyell wrote this together and it is probably their most successful collaboration.
September is an engrossing film about the economic co-dependency between blacks and whites, made intensely dramatic and personal through the story of a friendship.
The Set 1969
Aspiring young designer Paul Lawrence is drawn into the hedonistic world of Sydney’s upper-class society.
This film catapulted both director Scott Hicks and actor Geoffrey Rush onto the international stage.
The Shiralee 1957
Arguably there are two major themes in Australian cinema – the problem of the landscape, and the related problem of masculinity – and both are the subject of The Shiralee.
Maverick filmmaker Jim Sharman’s first film is unique – an engaging potpourri of sci-fi, rock’n'roll, anarchic comedy and psychological drama.
Short Changed 1985
The script is beautifully weighted so that the political context of the film does not inhibit the personal journey of the characters.
Renowned filmmaker Ken G Hall was concerned that this film would incite religious anger, but it was a smash hit instead.
Sleeping Beauty 2011
A young female university student takes on an unusual, erotic freelance job to support her studies.
A mischievous boy in a small town tries to reform himself, in order to earn a bicycle.
Smiley Gets a Gun 1958
A nine-year-old country boy tries to give up mischief in order to win a much-desired rifle.
Smithy was Charles 'Bud’ Tingwell’s first film. With characteristic modesty, he later said he won the part as a control tower officer because he supplied his own uniform.
Snapshot holds some sort of distinction in thriller ranks for its use of a Mr Whippy ice-cream van as a deadly instrument.
A vulnerable South Australian teenage boy is drawn into a horrific world of murder and torture.
Soft Fruit 1999
This comedy, drenched in grief and family conflict, would be a tragedy if it were not so funny and affectionate.
Abbie Cornish was 21 years old when this film was made and the integrity and vulnerability of her performance is astonishing.
Son of a Lion 2007
The story behind this brave independent film, shot secretly in Pakistan and depicting everyday life there, is as fascinating as the film itself.
Sons of Matthew 1949
Sons of Matthew is an extremely vivid depiction of the heroic conquest of the land by Australia’s white settlers.
Sonja Buloh returns to Hobart 20 years after leaving her violent father, Bojan. Their reunion ignites painful memories of shattered family life.
Splendid Fellows 1934
Famous Australian aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, and his famous plane, have cameo roles in this comedy adventure.
The film is charming, funny, eccentric and affectionate towards its characters, most of whom work in a run-down moccasin factory.
The Square 2008
A married man gets into deep water when he joins his girlfriend in pinching a bag of stolen cash.
Flammable nitrate film fed the fires in the spectacular bushfire finale to Ken G Hall’s The Squatter’s Daughter. The fires rapidly got out of control during filming but no one was hurt.
Gillian Armstrong’s Starstruck is an energetic rock musical comedy, with a kitsch aesthetic very much influenced by the style of early ’80s video clips.
This revealing film about prison life has a violent tone and very bad language, but this helps give it credibility.
Stone Bros. 2009
A fun-loving road movie about two cousins who travel home to Kalgoorlie from Perth to fulfil an obligation they’d made to their uncle.
Stork was important in a business sense: its success lead to the formation of Hexagon Productions, which became a major force in film.
Storm Boy 1976
Seamlessly woven into this story about one boy’s love of a pelican, are such themes as race relations, ecology, and family breakdown.
Audiences of the time loved this film’s boldness and, with its live sound effects and narration, to them it didn’t seem silent.
A Street to Die 1985
A Vietnam veteran and his wife fight for legal recognition of the damage done to him by the defoliant Agent Orange.
Strictly Ballroom 1992
Strictly Ballroom is one of the most popular Australian films ever made. The story may be nothing new but the execution is so colourful and eccentric it hardly matters.
A docudrama based on the memories of Wattie and Agnes Doig, a miner and his wife involved in the Gippsland coal workers’ strike of 1937.
Strike Me Lucky 1934
The Holocaust made vaudeville star Roy Rene’s Jewish caricatures unacceptable in later years, but this wasn’t the case in 1934.
Suburban Mayhem 2006
Katrina, played astonishingly well by Emily Barclay, controls every man in her small kingdom with an overpowering sexuality.
Summer City 1977
Best known as Mel Gibson’s first movie, Summer City is a laid-back road movie that emerges as more than just a throwaway, thanks to strong performances.
The Sum of Us 1994
The Sum of Us presents three generations of characters, all of whom seek the same thing – a meaningful and long-lasting partnership in love.
Sunday Too Far Away 1975
The defining elements of a great 1970s Australian film are all here – empty, confronting landscapes, hard-drinking Aussie blokes, and a sense of 'the great Australian loneliness’.
The Sundowners 1960
The Sundowners is remarkable for the number of Australian actors it showcases. Chips Rafferty plays Quinlan, the contractor at an outback shearing station.
Sunshine Sally 1922
The working-class Sally falls in love with the adopted son of wealthy parents from whom she was kidnapped as a child.
Welsh schoolteacher Stanley Evans takes a posting in Kookaburra Springs, a tiny outback town. He forms a children’s choir which travels to Sydney for a national competition.
The Surfer 1986
Vietnam veteran Sam Barlow uncovers a conspiracy in Surfers Paradise involving police, politicians and a Vietnamese gang.
Ambiguity is filmmaker Jane Campion’s preferred method in Sweetie, and it works superbly as a destabilised narrative because of it.
In 1933 Ruby Rose leaves her isolated home in the Tasmanian highlands to rediscover her past.
Tall Timbers 1937
The finale, in which a whole hillside of trees are felled, was shot as a miniature in the studio after repeated attempts on location.