Australian Cinema > types > prison


Inclusive list of Australasian "prison" films - or films somehow related to an experience of incarceration

27A (Esben Storm, 1974) prod. Haydn Keenan, Smart Street Films, wr. Esben Storm, dp Michael Edols, design Peter Minnett, ed. Richard Moir; Robert McDarra, Bill Hunter, Graham Corry, James Kemp, Richard Moir, Max Osbiston; alcoholic imprisoned under section of Qld Mental Act; Melbourne, colour, 16mm 86 min.

Big House, The (Rachel Ward, 2001) short, wr. Rachel Ward, dp Toby Oliver; Tony Martin, Gary Sweet, Kick Gurry; on the Beautiful Kate DVD as an extra; AFI best fiction short 2001; 35mm, 24 min.

Blackfellas (James Ricketson, 1993) exec. prod. Paul D. Barron, Penny Chapman; prod. David Rapsey, music David Milroy, dp Jeffrey Malouf; John Moore (Doug), David Ngoombujarra (Floyd), Jaylene Riley (Polly), Ernie Dingo, Julie Hudspeth, John Hargreaves, Lisa Kinchela; AFI awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Ngoombujarra); WA

Blood Money (Christopher Fitchett, 1980) prod. Tom Broadbridge & Chris Oliver for Filmworks; wr. Christopher Fitchett, John Ruane, Ellery Ryan; dp Ellery Ryan; ed. Chris Oliver; John Flaus, Bryan Brown, Peter Curtain, Chrissie James, Sue Jones, John Proper, Peter Stratford; Eastman colour, 16 mm, 64/72 min.; b/w; VHS

Blood Oath (Stephen Wallace, 1990) aka Prisoners of the Sun (USA); Bryan Brown, George Takei, ... John Polson, Russell Crowe, ... Jason Donovan; war-crimes trials in Ambon

Boxing Day (Kriv Stenders, 2007) wr. Richard Green, Kriv Stenders; Richard Green; prison drama; Adelaide Festival February 2007; takes place in real time

Boys, The (Rowan Woods, 1997) prod. Robert Connolly, John Maynard; David Wenham, Toni Collette, John Polson, Lynette Curran, Anthony Hayes, Jeanette Cronin, Anna Lise, Pete Smith; review by Tim Hunter, Cinema Papers, 124, May 1998: 36-37

Chopper (Andrew Dominik, 2000) Eric Bana, Vince Colosimo (Neville Bartos), Simon Lyndon, David Field; screened Toronto 2000; 94 min.

Convict (George Basha, 2014) wr. George Basha, prod. George Basha, dp Andre Deubel; George Basha, David Field; prison

Cosi (Mark Joffe, 1996) wr. Louis Nowra (also play); prod. Richard Brennan, Timothy White; Barry Otto (Roy), Ben Mendelsohn (Lewis), Toni Collette (Julie), Pamela Rabe (Ruth), Jacki Weaver (Cherry), Paul Chubb (Henry), Colin Hay (Zac), David Wenham (Doug), Colin Friels (Errol), Aden Young (Nick), Rachel Griffiths (Lucy), Kerry Fletcher (OT person), Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Robin Ramsay (the Minister); set in asylum; based to some extent on Louis Nowra's own experience - but he produced Trial by Jury

Dead Heart (Nick Parsons, 1996) wr. Nick Parsons, prod. Bryan Brown, Helen Watts; Bryan Brown, Ernie Dingo, Angie Milliken, Gnarnayarrahe Waitaire, Aaron Pedersen; Bryan Brown as outback cop in story of clash between tribal and white man's law who investigates the death of Tony (Pedersen)

Deadly (Esben Storm, 1992) Jerome Ehlers, Frank Gallacher, Lydia Miller, John Moore, Caz Lederman; review by Karl Quinn in Murray 1995: 336; story about investigation into a black death in custody

Escape from Absolom (Martin Campbell, 1994) aka No Escape (theatrical title), The Penal Colony (working title and title of the book); set in prisons of the future; shot in Queensland; Ray Liotta, Lance Henriksen

Everynight ... Everynight (Alkinos Tsilimidos, 1994) wr. Ray Mooney, Alkinos Tsilimidos; David Field, Bill Hunter, Robert Morgan, Phil Motherwell, Jim Daley, Jim Shaw, Simon Woodward, Theodore Zakos; prison drama

For the Term of his Natural Life (Charles MacMahon, 1908) prod. Charles MacMahon, E. J. Carroll, Messrs Gunn Osborne & Jerdan; from the novel by Marcus Clarke, dp Byers Coates; Martyn Keith, Rosie Knight Phillips, Mrs Barry Lane; 2000ft; prison at Port Arthur, Tasmania

For the Term of his Natural Life (Norman Dawn, 1927) from the novel by Marcus Clarke; George Fisher (Rufus Dawes), Eva Novak, Dunstan Webb, Jessica Harcourt, Arthur McLaglen, Marion Marcus Clarke; prison saga

Fortress (Stuart Gordon, 1993) Christopher Lambert; prison drama

Ghosts ... of the Civil Dead (John Hillcoat, 1989) prod. Evan English, co-DOPs Paul Goldman, Graeme Wood, prod. designers Chris Kennedy, Lucy McLaren - most are graduates of Swinburne; Nick Cave, David Field; prison drama

Hard Word, The (Scott Roberts, 2002) aka Blood and Guts (working title) wr. Scott Roberts, dp Brian Breheny; Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Robert Taylor, Damien Richardson, Joel Edgerton, Rhondda Findleton, Kate Atkinson, Vince Colosimo, Kym Gyngell, Paul Sonkkila; three brothers rob banks although in jail; national release 5 May 2002; 103 min.

Healing (Craig Monahan, 2014) wr. Craig Monahan, prod. Tait Brady, Pointblank Pictures; Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, Xavier Samuel, Anthony Hayes; warden tries to rehabilitate an Iranian-born prisoner, inspired by a real-life alliance between the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and Prisons Victoria; opens Australia 8 May 2014, dist. Pinnacle Films

Hoodwink (Claude Whatham, 1981) dp Dean Semler; John Hargreaves, Judy Davis, Dennis Miller, Wendy Hughes, Max Cullen, Paul Chubb, Kim Deacon, Michael Caton, Geoffrey Rush; Whatham is English; Hargreaves' character was based on Carl Synnerdahl who pretended to be blind for eighteen months, from the time of his arrest until his subsequent transfer to a minimum security prison; Eastman colour, 35mm, 90 min.

Interview, The (Craig Monahan, 1998) wr. Gordon Davie, Craig Monahan, dp Simon Duggan; Hugo Weaving, Tony Martin, Aaron Jeffrey, Paul Sonkkila; 100 min.

Life (Lawrence Johnston, 1995) aka Out of the Blue; wr. John Brumpton & Lawrence Johnston from the play Containment by John Brumpton (La Mama), prod. Elisa Argenzio for Rough Trade Pictures and AFI, dp Mandy Walker; John Brumpton, David Tredinnick, Robert Morgan, Belinda McClory, Libby Tanner, winner Int. Critics Prize Toronto, 4 AFI nominations; Ralph and Des share a cell in T2, the HIV isolation ward; R cert., 82 min.

Proposition, The (John Hillcoat, 2005) wr. Nick Cave, music Nick Cave; shooting Winton Qld October 2004; Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Emily Watson, John Hurt, David Wenham, Tom Budge, David Gulpilil, Leah Purcell, Tom E. Lewis; epic period Western; Australian-British co-production, three brothers charged with brutal crime 1880s; 104 min.

Rise (Mack Lindon, 2015) wr. Mack Lindon, Vision Films Australia, dp Geoff McLeod (Sputnik Films); Nathan Wilson, Martin Sacks, Eric Connor, Gemma Laurelle, Linda Millar; crime, prison; Aust release 21 Oct

Son of a Gun (Julius Avery, 2014) prod. Timothy White, Janelle Landers, exec. prod. Aaron L. Gilbert, John Collee, Bryce Menzies, Aidan O'Bryan; Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander, Brenton Thwaites; crime thriller about a gold heist that goes wrong; prison; WA; Aust release 16 Oct

Stir (Stephen Wallace, 1980) aka The Promoting of Mr Smith; wr. Bob Jewson, prod. Richard Brennan for Smiley Films, dp Geoff Burton, music Cameron Allen, design Lee Whitmore, ed. Henry Dangar; Bryan Brown, Max Phipps, Dennis Miller, Michael Gow, Phil Motherwell, Gary Waddell, Ray Marshall; prison drama; filmed Gladstone Jail, SA; Eastman colour, 35mm, 100 min.

Turkey Shoot (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982) aka Escape 2000, Blood Camp Thatcher; prod. Antony I. Ginnane, William Fayman for Second FGH Film Consortium, wr. Jon George, Neill Hicks, story George Schenck, dp John McLean, music Brian May, design Bernard Hides, ed. Alan Lake; Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig, Carmen Duncan, Noel Ferrier, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Michael Petrovich, Gus Mercurio, John Ley, Bill Young, Steve Rackman, John Godden, Oriana Panozzo; Kodak colour, 35mm, 94 min.

Two/Out (Kriv Stenders, 1998) prod. Catherine Kerr, AFC/POD Film Production; wr. Troy Davies, Kevin Steinberg, based on the play Jack by Jim McNeil; Richard Green, Tony Ryan, 14 min., winner best short film AFI awards 1998

New: 20 February, 2006 | Now: 18 November, 2019 | garrygillard[at]