Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles tagged with ‘1980s’

52 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

A

Around the World in 80 Ways feature film – 1986

Eddie and Wally Davis fake a round-the-world holiday for their senile old father.

B

The Big Gig – Series 1 Episode 1 television program – 1989

There’s a rowdy beer-hall type atmosphere to this comedy-variety show, which tapped into a vibrant ‘80s live comedy scene in Melbourne.

BMX Bandits feature film – 1983

A young Nicole Kidman stars in a story of BMX bikes and wannabe bandits.

Buddies feature film – 1983

Buddies is a comedy, dressed up as a frontier romance, and it is relatively unknown and underrated.

Butterfly Island – Series 1 Episode 1 television program – 1985

A young Vietnamese refugee on the run complicates the Wilson family’s attempts to save idyllic Butterfly Island from a crooked resort developer.

C

The Chain Reaction feature film – 1980

The lives of car mechanic Larry and his wife Carmel are placed in danger following an accident at a nuclear waste facility in central Australia.

The Clinic feature film – 1982

Medical student Paul Armstrong spends a day at a Melbourne VD clinic.

The Coca-Cola Kid feature film – 1985

The Coca–Cola company sends its top trouble shooter to boost sales in Australia. He plans to win customers away from a much loved, old-style soft-drink maker.

The Comedy Company – Series 1 Episode 11 television program – 1988

The Comedy Company, with its array of familiar, daggy suburban characters, was a popular sensation.

Cop Shop – Episode 485 television program – 1983

This episode is a good example of the relatively adventurous single-episode stories featured in Cop Shop at this point in its run. These appeared alongside the more usual crime and soap-oriented plotlines.

D

Dead-end Drive-in feature film – 1986

In the 1990s authorities convert a drive-in into a jail for unemployed youths. Falsely imprisoned with his girlfriend, Jimmy ‘Crabs’ Rossini attempts to escape.

Down Under music – 1981

Released in 1981, this catchy pop song was written as a light ‘tongue-in-cheek’ dig at Australian values and became a number one hit in Australia, the UK and US.

E

Emerald City feature film – 1988

Successful screenwriter Colin Rogers moves from Melbourne to Sydney and becomes involved with commercial movie hustler Mike McCord.

Evil Angels feature film – 1988

Evil Angels is a highlight of ‘80s Australian cinema but did not perform as well locally as it deserved, perhaps because it presents the dark side of the easygoing ‘g’day mate’ nation.

An Exercise in Discipline: Peel short film – 1982

In Jane Campion’s Palme d’Or winning student short, a bickering red-headed family on a weekend road trip reach a standoff by the side of a country road.

F

The Final Winter feature film – 2007

Matt Nable drew on his rugby league career to write the script but it was his natural skill as an actor that scored him a Hollywood gig.

The Flying Doctors – Public Property television program – 1986

The Flying Doctors is a drama series set in the fictional town of Coopers Crossing and based on the work and lives of the men and women of the outback medical service.

Fran feature film – 1985

A vivacious young mother is married to a violent man. Her desperate need for love leads her to some tragically inappropriate choices.

Friends and Enemies documentary – 1987

The story of a machiavellian plan to destroy union power, Friends and Enemies follows the bitter fight between Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland government and the ACTU.

G

Going Down feature film – 1983

Four women friends leave behind the feral days of youth after a night of uncontrolled excess in inner-city Sydney during the early 1980s.

Gold Gold Gold: 4 x 100 Metres Men’s Medley Relay spoken word – 1980

Norman May’s dramatic swimming-race call at the 1980 Olympics which has remained close to the hearts of Australians.

G.P. – Toss a Coin television program – 1989

G.P. is a medical drama that looks at topical social issues.

Greetings from Wollongong short feature – 1982

Writer-director Mary Callaghan’s film provides an insight into the creativity and friendships that give meaning to an otherwise desperate existence.

H

The Henderson Kids – Series 1 Episode 2 television program – 1985

Teenage actors Nadine Garner, Kylie Minogue and Ben Mendelsohn feature in this classic 1980s children’s drama from Crawford Productions.

I

Incident at Raven’s Gate feature film – 1988

Strange things are happening around the remote homestead of Raven’s Gate.

I Should Be So Lucky music – 1987

The second single from Kylie’s debut album, Kylie (1988), penned by English pop writing-producing phenomenon Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

J

Jailanguru Pakarnu (Out from Jail) music – 1983

'Jailanguru Pakarnu’ ('Out from Jail’) was the first rock song recorded and released in an Aboriginal language (Luritja).

K

Kaboodle – Series 1 Episode 1 television program – 1987

An anthology of stories for children aged 5-12 years old produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in the late 1980s.

Kingswood Country – There’s No Place Like Rome television program – 1980

A sitcom that lampoons suburban Australian culture, while being equally fascinated with it.

L

Living Room documentary – 1988

This beautiful, unsettling experimental documentary is a meditation on Australian suburbia and notions of home.

M

Man of Flowers feature film – 1983

An elderly aesthete who regularly hires a young woman to strip for him finds his life becoming entwined with hers.

Message Stick – Macumba: Outside Looking In television program – 2003

Macumba tells the story of Australia’s first Aboriginal radio station, the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA).

N

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey feature film – 1988

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.

New Faces television program – 1982

A 1980s episode from the classic talent show hosted by Bert Newton.

Next of Kin feature film – 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.

Not Quite Hollywood documentary – 2008

Not Quite Hollywood is a good-humoured, highly entertaining look at the exploitation movies made in Australia in the 1970s and ’80s.

P

Play School – Bags Wednesday television program – 1984

An episode of the iconic pre-school program Play School from 1984, featuring presenters Noni Hazlehurst and John Hamblin.

R

Razorback feature film – 1984

The outback town of Gamulla is terrorised by a giant razorback boar.

S

Sale of the Century – Series 1 Episode 1 television program – 1980

Host Tony Barber invites contestants to compete for prizes by answering general knowledge questions.

Serious Undertakings documentary – 1983

Serious Undertakings breaks new ground in understanding the construction of meaning and exemplifies the impact of 1970s screen theory on making independent films.

Shame feature film – 1987

Perth lawyer Asta Cadell uncovers a series of sex crimes and dark secrets in a small town in Western Australia.

A Street to Die feature film – 1985

A Vietnam veteran and his wife fight for legal recognition of the damage done to him by the defoliant Agent Orange.

The Surfer feature film – 1986

Vietnam veteran Sam Barlow uncovers a conspiracy in Surfers Paradise involving police, politicians and a Vietnamese gang.

Suzi’s Story documentary – 1987

A mother who has contracted AIDS bravely decides to make a film of the experience.

T

The Time Guardian feature film – 1987

The Time Guardian is one of the great missed opportunities of Australian cinema and symbolic of its wavering fortunes in the 1980s.

V

Voss music – 1987

Voss is an opera about the fateful outback expeditions of Ludwig Leichhardt, as recreated by Patrick White in his iconic novel.

W

We Have Survived music – 1981

The No Fixed Address version of Bart Willoughby’s ‘We Have Survived’ has became an unofficial anthem for Australia’s Aboriginal community.

Wings to Victory documentary – 1984

Celebrating the win by 12-metre yacht Australia II, this was the first time that America had lost the America’s Cup in 132 years.

Winner Take All – Downside Risk television program – 1982

An ABC TV series about the fast-paced world of big business, Winner Take All is an early ‘80s time capsule.

Winter of Our Dreams feature film – 1981

It was surprising that this uncompromising film about a junkie prostitute’s failure to find love, would work so well with audiences.

Women in the Surf documentary – 1986

Documentary on the battle for women to take to the waves, from Isabel Letham in 1914 to Pam Burridge in the 1980s.

Women of the Sun television program – 1982

The colonisation of Aboriginal peoples, and their lands and resources, as seen through the eyes of four generations of Aboriginal women.