Australian Cinema > types > sport

Australasian Sport Features—by category and date

Films to do with surfing have their own page. I've included a few docos here.

Horse racing

Double Event, The (W. J. Lincoln, 1911) horse-racing milieu

Keane Of Kalgoorlie (John Gavin, 1911) Arthur Wright: 'The authorities would not allow Randwick course to be used for picture purposes, so a "scenic" picture of the running of a race in WA (the Perth Cup, I think) was joined up in the film ...'

Cup Winner, The (Alfred Rolfe, 1911) Melbourne Cup drama which included footage of the actual 1911 Cup race

Won On The Post (Alfred Rolfe, 1912)

Hayseeds' Melbourne Cup, The (Beaumont Smith, 1918)

Silks And Saddles (John K. Wells, 1921) aka Queen of the Turf

Carbine's Heritage (Edwin Coubray, 1927) Moa Films Ltd, NZ Radio Films Production, wr. Edwin Coubray, dp Edwin Coubray; Queenie Grahame, Stuart Douglas, Ted Preston, Tom Patten; NZ; horse-racing, includes footage of the Auckland Cup 1926; 8000ft

Thoroughbred (Ken G. Hall, 1936) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Productions, wr. Edmond Seward, dp George Heath, sound Clive Cross; Helen Twelvetrees, Frank Leighton, John Longden, Nellie Barnes; 89 min.

Phar Lap's Son (Dr A. L. Lewis, 1936) aka Phar Lap's Son?; South Seas Films Ltd, technical advisers Jack Welsh, Lee Hill; Harry V. Smith, Peggy/Peggie Collie; NZ; 5623ft, 63 min.

Into the Straight (T. O. McCreadie, 1949) 82 min.; Charles Tingwell, Muriel Steinbeck; horse-trainer drama

Born to Run (Ed Jurist, 1976) (aka Harness Fever); children, horse-racing; 94 min.

Phar Lap (Simon Wincer, 1983) prod. John Sexton for John Sexton Productions, Michael Edgley International, wr. David Williamson, dp Russell Boyd ed. Tony Paterson, music Bruce Rowland, design Larry Eastwood, ed. Tony Paterson; Vincent Ball, Tom Burlinson, Celia de Burgh, Ron Leibman, Judy Morris, John Stanton, Martin Vaughan; Eastman colour, 35mm, 118 min.

Archer's Adventure (Denny Lawrence, 1985) aka Archer; Brett Climo, Robert Coleby, Nicole Kidman (Catherine), Anne-Maria Monticelli, Tony Barry, Paul Bertram, Ned Lander, Doreen Warburton; story of first Melbourne Cup winner; horse-racing; 120 min.

I Own the Racecourse (Stephen Ramsey, 1985) novel Patricia Wrightson; Gully Coote, Tony Barry, Norman Kaye, Rodney Burke, Paul Bertram, Brett Climo, Bob Ellis, Safier Redsepaski; gullible teenager involved in doping scheme

Horseplay (Stavros Kazantzidis, 2003) co-wr. Stavros Kazantzidis, prod. Allanah Zitserman (Kazantzidis's partner), Mushroom Pictures; Marcus Graham, Abbie Cornish, Jason Donovan, Alyssa McClelland, Natalie Mendoza, Damien Richardson; crime caper comedy set around the Melbourne Cup; failed financially: took only $141000 (Australian, 7 July 2004)

Cup, The (Simon Wincer, 2011) Bryan Martin, Stephen Curry, Jodi Gordon; Melbourne Cup 2002

Ride Like a Girl (Rachel Griffiths, 2019) wr. Andrew Knight, Elise McCredie, dp Martin McGrath; Teresa Palmer, Sam Neill, Sullivan Stapleton; Michelle Payne biopic

Dog racing

Gone to the Dogs (Ken G. Hall, 1939) George Wallace; comedy; greyhound

Dalkeith (Leigh Sheehan, 2001) "an old people's home races a greyhound and a whole new world opens up". Lynden Barber, "Let slip the dogs", The Weekend Australian, 31 March-1 April 2001, Outtakes, Arts: R23; Metro, 136: 46-47

Silent Partner (Alkinos Tsilimidos, 2001) David Field (Bill) and Syd Brisbane (John), two drunks, get the chance of a lifetime, to race their own greyhound, [while] unbeknown to them they are being set up for a big sting; Lynden Barber, "Let slip the dogs", The Weekend Australian, 31 March-1 April 2001, Outtakes, Arts: R23; 116 min.

Goat racing

Kid Stakes (Tal Ordell, 1927) based on the character of Fatty Finn, as created by cartoonist, Syd Nicholls (1896-1977) first film to be based on a comic strip; Fatty Finn is the only comic character in Australia to have inspired two films; story concerns a soapbox derby

Motorcycle racing

Sidecar Racers (Earl Bellamy, 1975) aka The Team; prod. Richard Irving, Universal Pictures; wr. Jon Cleary, dp Paul Onorato, music Tom Scott, ed. Robert Kimble; Ben Murphy (Jeff Rayburn), Wendy Hughes (Lynn Carson), John Clayton (Dave Ferguson), John Meillon (Ocker Harvey), John Derum (Pete McAllister), Liddy Clark, Peter Graves, Peter Gwynne, Serge Lazareff, Arna-Maria Winchester; "young American surfer visiting Australia drifts into the world of sidecar motorcycle racing" (Pike & Cooper); 100 min.

World's Fastest Indian, The (Roger Donaldson, 2006) Invercargill, NZ; Anthony Hopkins; life of Burt Munro who set land speed records on his Indian Scout motorcycle

Australian rules football

Great Macarthy, The (David Baker, 1975) novel, A Salute to the Great McCarthy, by Barry Oakley, prod. David Baker, Stoney Creek Films, exec prod. Richard Brennan, dp Bruce McNaughton; John Jarratt, Judy Morris, Kate Fitzpatrick, Sandra McGregor, Barry Humphies, Ron Frazer, Bruce Spence, Colin Croft, John Frawley, Chris Haywood, Max Gillies, Dennis Miller, Colin Drake, Lou Richards, Jack Dyer, Jim Bowles, Bruce Spence, Peter Cummins, Cul Cullen, Maurie Fields, Laidley Mort, Tim Robertson, Sally Conabere, Jon Finlayson, Max Meldrum, Bill Garner, John Derum, Luigi Villani, Burt Cooper; comedy about AFL player falling in love with the chairman's daughter; Barry Humphies won an Honourable Mention for his role at the AFIs 2000

Club, The (Bruce Beresford, 1980) aka David Williamson's The Club; prod. Matt Carroll, South Australian Film Corporation, wr. David Williamson from his play, dp Don McAlpine, design David Copping, ed. William Anderson; Alan Cassell, Margaret Doyle, Harold Hopkins, John Howard, Graham Kennedy, Jack Thompson, Frank Wilson; football; 90 min.

Warming Up (Bruce Best, 1985) prod. James Davern for Film Rep, wr. James Davern, dp Joseph Pickering, design Michael Ralph, ed. Zsolt Kollanyi; Queenie Ashton, Adam Fernance, Kim Grogan, Lloyd Morris, Barbara Stephens, Henri Szeps; comedy: country football team learns ballet; Eastman colour, 35mm, 93 min.

Aussie Rules (Barbara Chobocky, 1993) documentary; football

Year of the Dogs (Michael Cordell, 1997) documentary, re Footscray AFL team, shot on video

Australian Rules (Paul Goldman, 2002) wr. Phillip Gwynne (novel Deadly, Unna?), Paul Goldman, dp Mandy Walker; Nathan Phillips, Lisa Flanagan, Simon Westaway, Luke Carroll, Kevin Harrington, Martin Vaughan, Liz Black; national release 29 August; Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Source AFI Awards 7 November 2002; some of the story involves AFL football; 98 min.

Footy Legends (Khoa Do, 2006) wr. Anh Do, Khoa Do, Suzanne Do, prod. Megan McMurchy; Anh Do, Paul Nakad, Greg Poppleton, Steven Rooke, Angus Sampson, Lisa Saggers, Peter Phelps, Claudia Karvan

Footy: the La Perouse Way (Michael Longbottom, 2006) short; 25 min.

Valentine's Day (Peter Duncan, 2008) TV comedy; football

Blinder (Richard Gray, 2013) wr. Michele David-Gray, Scott Didier, Richard Gray, dp Greg de Marigny; Oliver Ackland, Anna Hutchison, Rose McIver, Jack Thompson, Zoe Carides, Josh Helman, Angus Sampson; AFL; Oz release 7 March 2013; AFL football


Kick (Lynda Heys, 1999) wr. Stuart Beattie; Matt Grant, Claire Andrews, Martin Henderson, Radha Mitchell, Paul Mercurio; champion high school rugby player has a secret desire to be a ballet dancer

Final Winter, The (Brian Andrews, Jane Forrest, 2007) story of the decline of the Rugby League club the Newtown Jets


Bodyline (Carl Schultz, George Ogilvie, Lex Marinos & Denny Lawrence, 1984) mini-series; Hugo Weaving (Douglas Jardine), Gary Sweet, Jim Holt; cricket

Fine Body of Gentlemen, A (Geoff Burton, 2002) documentary; story of the first Aboriginal touring cricket team

I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (Stacey Edmonds, Doug Turner, 2008) wr. Doug Turner; digital; cricket team dismissed by mustachioed serial killer with razor sharp cricket glove and sharpened stumps; killer exacts revenge for torment endured 20 yrs earlier; 80 min.

Save Your Legs! (Boyd Hicklin, 2012) Brenton Thwaites, David Lyons, Brendan Cowell; cricket comedy

Backyard Ashes (Mark Grentell, 2013) wr. Peter Cox, Mark Grentell, prod. Anne Robinson, dp Damian E. Wyvill; Andrew S. Gilbert, Felix Williamson, Rebecca Massey, John Wood, Damian Callinan; cricket


Playbook, The (Darran Scott, 2013) wr. Darran Scott, dp Damien Beebe; Mick Preston, Harry Borland, Kath Gordon, Luc Longley, Dennis Coard, Darran Scott; basketball drama


Dawn! (Ken Hannam, 1979) Eastman colour, 35mm, 115 min. prod. Joy Havill for Aquataurus Film Productions, South Australian Film Corporation, wr. Joy Cavill, dp Russell Boyd, design Ross Major, ed. Max Lemon; Bunney Brooke, John Diedrich, Ron Haddrick, Gabrielle Hartley, Ivar Kants, Bronwyn Mackay-Payne, Tom Richards; biopic of Dawn Fraser

Alex (Megan Simpson, 1992) Aust/NZ; Lauren Jackson, Chris Haywood; children & family; swimming

Swimming Upstream (Russell Mulcahy, 2002) wr. Anthony Fingleton, dp Martin McGrath; Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, Jesse Spencer, Tim Draxl, Mitchell Dellevergin; first screened 31 October 2002; national release in Australia 27 February 2003; written by Anthony Fingleton, it is his own story of growing up in Brisbane in the 1950s; it is Mulcahy's first Australian film since Razorback (1984); Metro, 136: 26-29; 115 min.


Four Minute Mile, The (Jim Goddard, 1988) TV


Never Tell Me Never (1998) Claudia Karvan as Janine Shepherd, skier whose legs are injured in traffic accident; broadcast Channel 10, 19 December 2001

Lawn bowls

Greenkeeping (David Caesar, 1993) wr. David Caesar; Mark Little, Lisa Hensley, Max Cullen, Jan Adele, Gia Carides, Sid Conabere, Willie Fennell, Kristoffer Greaves, Tony Helou, ... Robyn Nevin, ... Grieg Pickhaver, ... David Wenham; greenkeeping at suburban bowling club

Road to Nhill (Sue Brooks, 1997) wr. Alison Tilson; prod. Sue Maslin, dp Nicolette Freeman, Gecko Films/Ronin Films; Tony Barry, Vikki Blanche, Paul Chubb, Lynette Curran, Matthew Dyktynski, Bill Hunter, Patricia Kennedy, Alwyn Kurts, Monica Maughan, Terry Norris, Lois Ramsey, Denise Roberts, Kerry Walker, Bill Young; lady bowlers in road accident

Crackerjack (Paul Moloney, 2002) Mick Molloy, Judith Lucy, Bill Hunter, John Clarke, Samuel Johnson; 89 min.; Metro, 135: 16-20, 22-26


Come Out Fighting (Nigel Buesst, 1973) play by Harry Martin, dp Byron Kennedy, 50 min.; Michael Karpaney, Joey Collins, Bethany Lee , Cliff Neate, Peter Green (Rocko Garibaldi), Kris McQuade ('Sporting World' hostess), John Duigan (student); Aboriginal boxer drama

New: 25 September, 2013 | Now: 21 January, 2019 | garrygillard[at]