One intention here is to include any film that might be considered a teenpic, or that includes significant teen-related aspects.
The other is to organise the films into groups in terms of other genres which overlap with the teen category:
teen-centred art or social-problem films (dealing with 'juvenile delinquency', for example)
low-budget horror, sci-fi and slasher films
'gross-out' or 'animal' comedies
teen-centred dramas and romances
musicals and biopics
revhead films, calypso and beatnik films
and what Doherty calls 'clean teenpics': light romances and musicals. [note 1]
Love in Limbo (David Elfick, 1993) aka The Great Pretender; wr. John Cundill; Craig Adams, Aden Young, Maya Stange, Samantha Murray, Russell Crowe, Rhondda Findleton; WA; 90 min. DVD, 99 min. tape; three boys drive to Kalgoorlie to lose their virginity
Hating Alison Ashley (Geoff Bennett, 2005) prod. Elizabeth Howatt-Jackman, John Brousek, wr. Christine Madafferi, novel by Robyn Klein, 1984, dp Steve Newman; Delta Goodrem, Saskia Burmeister, Craig McLachlan, Richard Carter, Alexander Cappelli, Jean Kittson, Tracy Mann, Abby Gudgeon (Jedda); teenpic teen comedy; shooting at Docklands 2004; released 17 March 2005; FFC budget $3,648,687, box office $2,078,777; 103 min.
Teen-centred social-problem films
Blackrock (Steven Vidler, 1997) prod. David Elfick, Melanie Ritchie, Globe Film Company, wr. Nick Enright; Linda Cropper, Laurence Breuls, Simon Lyndon, Rebecca Smart, David Field, Boyana Novakovich, Chris Haywood, Jeannette Cronin, Jessica Napier, Justine Clarke, Essie Davis, Heath Ledger; loosely based on real life events surrounding the rape and murder of Newcastle teenager Leigh Leigh at a surf club party
Delinquents, The (Chris Thomson, 1989) prod. Alex Cutler, Mike Wilcox; wr. Clayton Rohman, Mac Gudgeon; novel Criena Rohan; Kylie Minogue (Lola Lovell), Charlie Schlatter (Brownie Hansen) Angela Punch-McGregor, Bruno Lawrence; 102 min.; see the discussion in Wark, McKenzie 1999, Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace: The Light on the Hill in a Postmodern World, Pluto, Sydney: 85-886, 89; see also: Adrian Martin in Murray 1995: 274: "becomes more interesting, however, if it is viewed as an old-style 'woman's melodrama' rather than a contemporary teen movie."
Fast Talking (Ken Cameron, 1984) wr. Ken Cameron, prod. Ross Matthews for Oldata Productions, dp David Gribble; Toni Allaylis, Steve Bisley, Dave Godden, Peter Hehir, Gail Sweeney, Chris Truswell, Rod Zuanic; Eastman colour, super 16 mm, 95 min.; "'social realist' teen drama" (Adrian Martin, in Murray 1995: 146); Zuanic is expelled from school
FJ Holden, The (Michael Thornhill, 1977) prod. Michael Thornhill, FJ. Films, wr. Terry Larsen, dp David Gribble, design Lissa Coote, Monte Fieguth, ed. Max Lemon, music Jim Manzie, sound Don Connolly; Paul Couzens (Kevin), Eva Dickinson (Anne), Carl Stever (Bob), Gary Waddell (Deadlegs), Graham Rouse (sergeant), Karlene Rogerson (Cheryl), Vicki Arkley (Chris), Sigrid Thornton (Wendy); Eastman colour, 35mm, 101 min.
48 Shades (Daniel Lapaine, 2008) aka 48 Shades of Brown, wr. Daniel Lapaine, novel Nick Earls, prod. Rob Marsala; Richard Wilson, Emma Lung, Robin McLeavy; shot Brisbane; teen romance
Mallboy (Vince Giarrusso, 2000) Kane McNay, Nell Feeney; 81 min. broadcast 0015 18 Dec 2004 SBS; Young Actor's Award (McNay) AFIs 2000
Mouth to Mouth (John Duigan, 1978) producers: John Duigan and Jon Sainken for Vega Film Productions, wr. John Duigan, dp Tom Cowan, ed. Tony Paterson; Kim Krejus, Sonia Peat, Ian Gilmour, Sergio Frazzetto, Walter Pym, Michael Carmen, Roz de Winter; "The film revolves around four homeless, unemployed youths attempting to scratch an emotional and reasonably 'civil' existence out of the wasteland of a heavily industrialised urban environment." (Raffaele Caputo in Murray 1995: 19); Eastman colour, 35mm, 96 min.
Lover Boy (Geoffrey Wright, 1989) wr. Geoffrey Wright; Noah Taylor (Mick), Gillian Jones (Sally), Ben Mendelsohn (Gaz), Daniel Pollock (Duck), Alice Garner (Rhonda), Peter Hosking (Lex), Beverley Gardiner (Mick's mother); 16 mm. 57 min.; inappropriate liaison between teenager and woman three times his age ends tragically; on the DVD with Metal Skin
Hammers over the Anvil (Ann Turner, 1993) wr. Peter Hepworth, Ann Turner, novel Alan Marshall, dp James Bartle, prod. Ben Gannon; Charlotte Rampling, Russell Crowe; point of view is that of a crippled boy (based on novel by Alan Marshall, who had polio)
Heartbreak Kid (Michael Jenkins, 1993) Alex Dimitriades, Claudia Karvan, Steve Bastoni, Doris Younane, Nic Lathouris, William McInnes; teacher-student love affair
High Tide (Gillian Armstrong, 1987) prod. Sandra Levy, wr. Laura Jones; Lillie (Judy Davis) rediscovers abandoned child Ally (Claudia Karvan), who has been brought up by her paternal grandmother, Bet, Jan Adele; Frankie J. Holden is an Elvis impersonator, Colin Friels the love interest; family melodrama; 100 min.
Metal Skin (Geoffrey Wright, 1995) wr. Geoffrey Wright, prod. Daniel Scharf, Southern Star; Aden Young (Joe), Tara Morice (Savina), Ben Mendelsohn (Dazey), Nadine Garner (Roslyn), Chantal Contouri (Savina's mother); drama, thriller; psycho Joe, urban misfit, craves the respect of his peers on the streets and the love of a nice girl who secretly practises black magic
Mull (Don McLennan, 1989) aka Mullaway (video); Nadine Garner, Bill Hunter, Mary Coustas, Nick Giannopoulos; "Mull" is the nickname of main character 17-year-old Phoebe Mullens (Nadine Garner) whose mother contracts Hodgkinson's disease; rites-of-passage story and social drama
One Night Stand (John Duigan, 1984) Cassandra Delaney, Saskia Post, Tyler Coppin, Jay Hackett; the Bomb has just been dropped and four young people are trapped in the Sydney Opera House
Puberty Blues (Bruce Beresford, 1981) Nell Schofield, Jad Kapelja; girls want to surf too
Rage in Placid Lake, The (Tony McNamara, 2003) Ben Lee, Garry McDonald, Rose Byrne
Secrets (Michael Pattinson, 1992) aka Do You Want to Know a Secret? prod. Michael Pattinson, wr. Jan Sardi; Beth Champion (Emily), Malcolm Kennard (Danny), Danii Minogue (Didi), Willa O'Neill (Vicki), Noah Taylor (Randolf); teenpic; five teenagers break into the hotel where the Beatles are staying but get no further than the service basement; trapped there together, they tell each other their secrets, with the Kennard character as the evil catalyst
2.37 (Murali Thalluri, 2006) aka 2:37; Cannes, Toronto 2006
Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002)
Year My Voice Broke, The (John Duigan, 1987) Kennedy-Miller; Noah Taylor, Loene Carmen, Ben Mendelsohn, Graeme Blundell, Lynette Curran; coming-of-age, rite of passage; 105 min.
BMX Bandits (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1983) colour, 35 mm, 90 min., prod. Tom Broadbridge, Paul Davies for Nilsen Premiere, wr. Patrick Edgeworth, dp John Seale, production design Ross Major, ed. Allan Lake, music: Colin Stead and Frank Strangio; David Argue (Whitey), John Ley (Moustache), Nicole Kidman (Judy), Angelo D'Angelo (PJ), James Lugton (Goose); children
Breaking Loose (Rod Hay, 1988) wr. Rod Hay, prod. Phillip Avalon; Peter Phelps (Ross), Vince Martin (Robbie), Abigail (Helen) , David Ngoombujarra (Davie), John Clayton, Tom Richards, Angela Kennedy, Gary Waddell, Sandra Lee Patterson, Sharon Tamlyn, Kris Greaves, Kate Grusovin, Dee Krainz; "Peter Phelps ... as a teenager who heads along the coast to visit a mate only to run into all sorts of confrontations, including the inevitable aggressive motor bike gang. ... [H]ybrid film ... that combines elements of the road movie genre with the more colloquial Australian surf movie." See also: Jim Schembri in Murray 1995: 245; sequel to Summer City
Deck Dogz (Steve Pasvolsky, 2004) released 5 January 2005, prod. Jennifer & Bill Bennett; teen skateboarding film; three boys go to meet hero Tony Hawk; Sean Kennedy, Ho Thi Lu; general release 6 January 2005; budget $4m, P&A $1m; niche target market segment 10-16 yo boys; FFC budget $2,611,539, box office $286,708
Slate, Wyn and Me (Don McLennan, 1987) Film Victoria; ed. Zbigniew Friedrich, production design Patrick Reardon, music Trevor Lucas & Ian Mason, dp David Connell, story editor Tom Burstall, exec. producers Antony I. Ginnane & William Fayman, novel Slate & Me and Blanche McBride Georgia Savage, screenplay Don McLennan, prod. Tom Burstall; Sigrid Thornton (Blanche), Simon Burke (Wyn), Martin Sacks (Slate), Tommy Lewis (Morgan), Lesley Baker (Molly), Harold Baigent (Sammy), Michelle Torres (Daphne), Murray Fahey (Martin), Taya Straton (Pippa), Julia MacDougall (Del Downer), Peter Cummins (Old Man Downer), Reg Gorman (Wilkinson), Warren Owens (Tommy), Eric McPhan Simon Westaway (policemen), Kurt von Schneider (truck driver), 91 min.; Starland; review by Joanne Murray-Smith in Cinema Papers, 65, Septebmer 1987: 53-54; extract repr. in Scott Murray ed. 1995, Australian Film 1978-1994: A Survey of Theatrical Features, 2nd edn, OUP/AFI/Cinema Papers, Melbourne: 229
Flirting (John Duigan, 1990) Noah Taylor (Danny Embling), Thandie Newton (Thandiwe Adjewa), Nicole Kidman (Nicola Radcliffe), Naomi Watts
Nostradamus Kid, The (Bob Ellis, 1993) wr. Bob Ellis, dp Geoff Burton; Noah Taylor, Miranda Otto, Arthur Dignam, Peter Gwynne, Jack Campbell, Erick Mitsak, Loene Carmen, Alice Garner, Lucy Bell, Jeanette Cronin, Hec McMillan, Colin Friels, Bob Maza
Strange Planet (Emma-Kate Croghan, 1999) prod. Stavros Kazantzidis; Naomi Watts, Claudia Karvan, Felix Williamson, Tom Long; 96 min.; romantic comedy
'Gross-out' or 'animal' comedies
Dags (Murray Fahey, 1998) wr. prod. Murray Fahey, comedy; Tanya Bulmer, David Callan, Sheena Crouch, Daniel Cordeaux, Penny Cooper, Sam Makhoul, Murray Fahey, Angus Sampson, Brian Roberts, Paul Arundel, Rebecca de Unamuno, Peter Callan
Fat Pizza (Paul Fenech, 2003) wr. Paul Fenech; Johnny Boxer, Paul Nakad, Jabba; gross-out comedy
Ned (Abe Forsythe, 2003) Abe Forsythe as Ned, Jason Donovan; spoof , grossout comedy; [Abe Forsythe is the son of actor Drew Forsythe]
Garage Days (Alex Proyas, 2002) wr. Alex Proyas, Dave Warner, Michael Udesky; Kick Gurry, Pia Miranda, Maya Stange, Chris Sadrinna, Russell Dykstra, Marton Csokas, Andy Anderson, Tiriel Mora, Yvette Duncan; Priscella Engall, 'Alex Proyas lifts the shades', Metro, 135: 50-54
Star Struck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982) aka Starstruck; prod. David Elfick, Richard Brennan for Palm Beach Pictures, ed. Stephen Maclean, dp Russell Boyd, design Brian Thomson, ed. Nicholas Beauman; Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan, Margo Lee, Pat Evison, Geoffrey Rush, Max Cullen, Melissa Jaffer; musical; Eastman colour, 35mm, 105 min.
Teen horror, slasher, sci-fi and/or fantasy films
Cut (Kimble Rendall, 2000) prod. Martin Fabinyi, Bill Bennett, Jennifer Bennett, wr. Dave Warner, exec. prod. Michael Gudinski, Mushroom Pictures and Beyond Films; released 25 February 2000, thriller, horror; Kylie Minogue, Tiriel Mora, Jessica Napier, Sarah Kants, Molly Ringwald, Simon Bossell, Stephen Curry; killer begins to stalk the actors of a low budget horror film (Hot Blooded), killing them off one by one; group of film students attempt to finish a horror movie that stopped production years earlier when the director was killed; unaware that every attempt to complete the pic coincided with the murders of those involved, the students return to the original location in an isolated part of the country; when filming begins, so do the killings
Dead-End Drive In (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1986) Ned Manning (Crabs), Natalie McCurry (Carmen); based on Peter Carey story, "Crabs", uncredited; 91 min. Sydney
Teen-centred art films
Emma's War (Clytie Jessop, 1988) prod. Andrina Finlay, Clytie Jessop for Belinon, wr. Clytie Jessop, Peter Smalley, dp Tom Cowan, music John Williams, design Jane Norris, ed. Sonia Hoffman; Lee Remick (Anne Grange), Miranda Otto (Emma Grange), Mark Lee (John Davidson), Terence Donovan (Frank Grange), Donal Gibson (Hank), Bridey Lee (Laurel Grange), Pat Evison (Miss Arnott), Grigor Taylor (Dr Friedlander), Noelene Brown (Mrs Mortimer); "story of a young girl's rites of passage", Rolando Caputo in Murray 1995: 248; Eastman colour, 35mm, 95 min.
Not teen films? too old or too young - or not seen - or not sure
Devil in the Flesh (Scott Murray, 1989) aka Beyond Innocence (US), wr. Scott Murray, based on novel Le diable au corps (Raymond Radiguet); c 1985, premiere Cannes 1986; Katia Caballero, Keith Smith, John Morris, Jill Forster; schoolboy falls in love with French woman, who falls pregnant
Devil's Playground, The (Fred Schepisi, 1976) wr. prod. Fred Schepisi, dp Ian Baker; Simon Burke, Arthur Dignam, Tom Kenneally, John Diedrich, Sheila Florance, John Frawley, Jonathan Hardy, Charles McCallum, Nick Tate; based on Schepisi's own experience in a Catholic school; Melbourne, colour, 35mm, 107 min.
Diana and Me (David Parker, 1997) prod. Matt Carroll; wr. Elizabeth Coleman, Matt Ford; Toni Collette, Dominic West, Malcolm Kennard
Fourteen's Good, 18's Better (Gillian Armstrong, 1981) documentary
Holidays on the River Yarra (Leo Berkeley, 1990) wr. Leo Berkeley; Craig Adams, Luke Elliot, Alex Menglet, Tahir Cambis, Claudia Karvan; racism; mercenaries; urban boredom, young male alienation
Lex and Rory (Dean Murphy, 1993) Angus Benfield, Paul Robertson, Fiona MacGregor, Wendy Holics; teen romance fantasy; coming-of-age film about two boys who want to get together with two girls
Love and Other Catastrophes (Emma-Kate Croghan, 1996) wr. Yael Bergman, Emma-Kate Croghan, Helen Bandis; prod. Stavros Andonis Efthymiou; Frances O'Connor, Alice Garner, Radha Mitchell, Matt Day, Kim Gyngell; two female students struggling to complete their (Sydney) university degrees seek a flatmate; at the same time Michael (Matt Day), a medical student, is looking for a new place to stay; Adrian Martin makes an appearance as himself
Mango Tree, The (Kevin Dobson, 1977) wr. prod. Michael Pate, Pisces Productions, from novel by Ronald McKie, dp Brian Probyn, design Leslie Binns, music Marc Wilkinson, ed. John Scott; Christopher Pate (Michael's son), Tony Barry, Carol Burns, Diane Craig, Gloria Dawn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ben Gabriel, Robert Helpmann, Gerard Kennedy, Charles Tingwell; coming-of-age story; Bundaberg, Qld, colour, widescreen, 104 min.
Moving Out (Michael Pattinson, 1983) prod. Jane Ballantyne, Michael Pattinson for Pattinson Ballantyne, wr. Jan Sardi, dp Vincent Monton, music Danny Beckerman, Umberto Tozzi, design Neil Angwin, ed. Robert Martin; Vince Colosimo (film debut), Peter Sardi, Kate Jason, Nicole Miranda, Luciano Catenacci, Sylvie Fonti, Marice Devincentis, Tobor Gyapjas, Sally Cooper, Desiree Smith; Kodak colour, super 16 mm, 92 min.
Playing Beatie Bow (Donald Crombie, 1986) novel by Ruth Park; Imogen Annesley, Peter Phelps
Raw Nerve (Tony Wellington, 1990) aka Things and Other Stuff; Kelly Dingwall, Rebecca Rigg, John Polson; three teens spend intense day together
Sample People (Clinton Smith, 2000) wr. Peter Buckmaster; Kylie Minogue, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Lyndon, David Field, Paula Arundell, Joel Edgerton, Nathalie Roy, Nathan Page, Justin Rosniak, Matthew Wilkinson, Gandhi MacIntyre
Still Point, The (Barbara Boyd-Anderson, 1985) Nadine Garner, Lyn Semmler, Robin Cuming, Steve Bastoni, Alex Menglet; teen movie (for girls); Adrian Martin calls it "teen literature", Murray 1995: 176
Strange Fits of Passion (Elise McCredie, 1999) prod. Lucy MacLaren, dp James Grant; Michela Noonan, Mitchel Butel; coming-of-age black comedy drama
Street Hero (Michael Pattinson, 1984) wr. Jan Sardi, prod. Julie Monton for Paul Dainty Films, dp Vincent Monton; Vince Colosimo, Sandy Gore, Bill Hunter, Ray Marshall, Amanda Muggleton, Peter Sardi, Sigrid Thornton; he wants a career as a rock singer; 100 min.
Sugar Factory, The (Robert Carter, 1998) wr. Robert Carter; Rhondda Findleton, Michaela Noonan, John Waters, Tony Hayes; Best Film Hollywood Film Festival 1998; Matt Day as a mentally disturbed teenager, Harris, tormented by guilt over the death of a child; his half-sister, Christine, was taken away by her mother: he "fretted" and went crazy; also, he shut Rhondda Findleton's daughter in the fridge, playing hide-and-seek, and she died; but he ends up with RF; he tries to make things better, sitting under the house, making bags of "sugar" out of crushed stone
Summer City (Christopher Fraser, 1977) prod. wr. Phillip Avalon, Avalon Films/Summer City Productions, dp Jerry Marek, design Jann Harris, music Phil Birkis, ed. David Stiven; John Jarratt (Sandy), Phillip Avalon (Robbie), Steve Bisley (Boo), Mel Gibson (Scollop), Debbie Forman (Caroline), James Elliot, Abigail, Ward Austin, Sydney, colour, 35mm
Travelling Light (Kathryn Millard, 2003) Pia Miranda, Sacha Horler; a warmly told story of finding your place in the world - a tricky task in stuffy suburban Adelaide circa 1971
Windrider (Vincent Monton, 1986) aka Making Waves; prod. Paul D. Barron, Barron Films; Bush Christmas Productions; Perth, WA; Simon Chilvers, Tom Burlinson, Nicole Kidman, Jill Perryman, Charles Tingwell; budget $2.5mill; dist. Hoyts; 25 December 1986; 35mm.; 92 min.
1 Thomas Doherty 1988, Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenalization of American Movies in the 1950s, Unwin Hyman, Boston: 195, as cited in Steve Neale 2000, Genre and Hollywood, Routledge, London & New York: 120-124.
2 Adrian Martin 1989, 'The teen movie: why bother?' Cinema Papers, 75: 15.
Garry Gillard | New: 12 November, 2003 | Now: 6 March, 2017