The Cars That Ate Paris

Cars that Ate Paris, The (Peter Weir, 1974) prod. Jim & Hal McElroy, Royce Smeal Film Productions & Salt Pan Films, wr. Peter Weir, story Piers Davies, Keith Gow & Peter Weir, dp John McLean, design David Copping, music Bruce Smeaton, ed. Wayne Le Clos; Terry Camilleri, John Meillon, Chris Haywood, Max Gillies, Deryck Barnes, Edward Howell, Melissa Jaffer, Charles Metcalfe, Kevin Miles, Tim Robertson, Bruce Spence; Melbourne, colour, widescreen, thriller; 91 min.

The finest of Australian gothic.

Many Australian critics welcomed it as a change from 'ocker' comedy and for the sophistication of its narrative method; John Meillon's performance in particular as the sinister mayor of Paris was singled out for praise, and for Mike Harris in the Australian, 15 June 1974, the film indicated that, after many 'false dawns... the sun has finally come up' for Australian cinema. Pike & Cooper: 277-278.

The Cars that Ate Paris is an exciting feature film debut and a very personal one. ... Although modestly staged, the film looks far more expensive than its meagre budget would suggest, and Weir skilfully juggles a variety of themes and moods that range from science fiction (the mad doctor and his vegie victims) and Hollywood western (confrontations between goodies and baddies in the town's main street), to rich Australian comedy. ... John Meillon gives the performance of his career as the pompous, devious mayor. Stylish and witty, the film is a genuine original, and very entertaining too. Stratton: 63.


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