Australian Cinema > types > Surf/Beach


Inclusive list of Australasian films in which surf/surfing or the beach are involved in any way

Any Morning (David Sumpter, 1974) 89 min.

Age of Consent (Michael Powell, 1969) wr. Peter Yeldham from book by Norman Lindsay, ed. Anthony Buckley; James Mason, Helen Mirren, Neva Carr-Glynn, Jack MacGowran

As Time Goes By (Barry Peak, 1988) aka The Cricketers; Nique Needles; Surfy in the desert meets Alien who helps him to be reunited with his father who's lost his memory and thinks he killed his son with a six at cricket; there's also a wicked bloke who wants to shunt off sheep to run cattle, make the outback green and use the greenhouse to advantage; there is also a band of sheep killers on old BMW motorbikes

Betrayer, The (Beaumont Smith, 1921) Production Company: Beaumont Smith's Productions. Producer, Screenplay, Scenario, Script: Beaumont Smith. Photography: Lacey Percival. 5500 ft. Cast: Stella Southern (Iwa), Cyril Mackay (Stephen Manners), John Cosgrove (John Barris), Marie D'Alton (Mrs Manners), Mita (Hauraki), Bernice Vere (Eleanor Barris), Maggie Papakura, Herbert Lee, Raymond Hatton, Dunstan Webb. "The settings range widely, from the NZ hot springs and mountain scenery at Rotorua, to the Australian outback, the surf at Coogee, and a fashionable ballroom at Sydney's Wentworth Hotel." (Pike & Cooper)

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

Bra Boys (Sunny Abberton, 2007) Australian release 15 March 2007; DVD available 16 August 2007; doco

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

Breath (Simon Baker, 2017) wr. Gerard Lee, Tim Winton (from his 2008 novel, who narrates the film), Peter Duncan, Simon Baker, prod. Simon Baker, Jamie Hilton, Mark Johnson, dp Marden Dean, Rick Rifici, dist. Arclight, Palace; Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh, Rachael Blake, Samson Coulter, Ben Spence; surfing; WA

Bungala Boys (Jim Jeffrey, 1961) Jimar Productions, [British] Children's Film Foundation; from the novel, The New Surf Club, by Claire Meillon. "Brian, a newcomer to Bungala Beach, near Sydney, forms a new surf lifesaving club; after several exciting rescues his club wins first prize in an important surf-boat race. ... The chief location was Bungan Beach, which Claire Meillon had named Bungala in her original novel, and extensive co-operation was received from lifesaving associations and surf clubs." (Pike & Cooper)

Coolangatta Gold, The (Igor Auzins, 1984) aka The Gold and the Glory; iron-man event; Joss McWilliam, Nick Tate, Josephine Smulders, Colin Friels, Robyn Nevin, Grant Kenny, Melissa Jaffer; Rocky formula

Crystal Voyager (Albert Falzon, 1973) documentary; surfing

Drift (Ben Nott, Morgan O'Neill, 2012) surfing at Augusta, WA

Drown (Dean Francis, 2013) wr. Dean Francis from play by Stephen Davis, prod. Stephen Davis, Dean Francis; Matt Levett, Jack Matthews, Sam Anderson, Harry Cook, Heather Mitchell, Anthony Phelan, Maya Stange; drama involving surf lifesavers

Dust off the Wings (Lee Rogers, 1997) prod. Lee Rogers, Bombshell Films, Zinc, Winning Post Production, wr. Ward Stevens, Lee Rogers; Kate Ceberano, Lee Rogers, Ward Stevens, Phil Ceberano, Rash, Felix Williamson, Simon Lyndon; ; Bondi surfing saga." "In Dust off the Wings, first-time film director, Lee Rogers brings to the screen a fresh, energetic and raw look at the hedonistic lifestyle of Sydney's Bondi Beach." 77 min.

Fighting Fear (Macario De Souza, 2011) doco about surfing

Empty Beach, The (Chris Thomson, 1985) prod. John Edwards, Timothy Read for Jethro Films, wr. Keith Dewhurst from novel by Peter Corris, dp John Seale, design Larry Eastwood, ed. Lindsay Frazer; Ray Barrett, Bryan Brown, Peter Collingwood, Belinda Giblin Kerry Mack, Anna Maria Monticelli, John Wood; crime, investigative thriller; Brown is Cliff Hardy, Peter Corris character in hard-boiled crime fiction story set at Bondi; Kodak colour, 35mm, 100 min.

Girls Can't Surf (Christopher Nelius, tba) wr. Christopher Nelius & Julie-Anne De Ruvo; 1980s surfing

Going Vertical: The Shortboard Revolution (David Bradbury, 2010) surfing; Cannes

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; set in Eden, coastal NSW; 100 min.

Lost Things (Martin Murphy, 2004) wr. Stephen Sewell; Leon Ford (Garry), Charlie Garber (Brad), Lenka Kripac (Emily), Alex Vaughan (Tracey), Steve Le Marquand (Zippo); four teenagers stranded on spooky beach; horror; brief review: Oscar Hillerstrom, Empire, 45, December 2004: 32 (3/5 stars) see also: 38; Stratton review:; 84 min.

Maslin Beach (Wayne Groom, 1997) set at nude beach

Morning of the Earth (Albert Falzon, 1972) documentary

Newcastle (Dan Castle, 2008) wr. Dan Castle; youth drama; surfing, coming-of-age

On the Beach (Stanley Kramer, 1959) novel by Neville Shute; Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins

On the Beach (Russell Mulcahy, 2000) telemovie screenplay wr. John Paxton (1959) from novel by Nevil Shute, teleplay (2000) wr. David Williamson, Bill Kerby, dp Martin McGrath; Armand Assante, Bryan Brown, Rachel Ward, Grant Bowler, Jacqueline McKenzie, Steve Bastoni; apocalyptic scifi drama

Oz: A Rock and Roll Road Movie (Chris Lofven, 1976) shorter version released in USA as 20th Century Oz; prod. Lyne Helms, Chris Lofven; dp Dan Burstall, design Robbie Perkins, ed. Les Luxford; Joy Dunstan (Dorothy), Graham Matters (Wally/the Wizard/record salesman/tram conductor/doorman/face at party), Bruce Spence (bass player/surfie), Michael Carman (drummer/mechanic), Gary Waddell (guitarist/bikie). "Oz is a 'rock'n'roll road movie' with the narrative structure of The Wizard of Oz (1939). Dorothy is now a groupie in search of the king of rock performers, the Wizard; the Straw Man is a vague and gentle surfie, the Tin Man a country car mechanic, and the Lion a timid and self-pitying bikie dressed in fearsome black leather." (Pike & Cooper), colour, 35mm, 103 min.

Palm Beach (Albie Thoms, 1980) prod. Albie Thoms, wr. Albie Thoms, dp Oscar Scherl, music Terry Hannigan, design Dave Fennell, Abe Follington, ed. Albie Thoms; Albie Thoms's only feature film; notable for use of sound; Nat Young, Ken Brown, Amanda Berry, Bryan Brown, Julie McGregor, Lyn Collingwood, John Flaus, David Elfick; Eastman colour, 35mm, 88 min.

Personal History of the Australian Surf, A (Michael Blakemore, 1981) Being The Confessions Of A Straight Poofter (IMDb has 1983) autobiographical documentary, written and directed by Blakemore, in which he plays his own father

Piano, The (Jane Campion, 1993) prod. Jan Chapman; Holly Hunter, Anna Paquin, Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel, Kerry Walker, Genevieve Lemon, Tungia Baker, 121 min.

Puberty Blues (Bruce Beresford, 1981) prod. Joan Long for Limelight Productions, wr. Margaet Kelly, from book by Kathy Lette, Gabrielle Carey, dp Don McAlpine, music Les Gock, Tim Finn, design David Copping, ed. William Anderson; Nell Schofield, Jad Kapelja, Jay Hackett, Ned Lander, Tony Hughes, Sandy Paul, Geoff Rhoe; girls want to surf too; Lesley Speed, "You and me against the world: revisiting Puberty Blues", Metro, 140, 2004: 54-60; Eastman colour, 35mm, 90 min.

Should A Girl Propose? (P. J. Ramster, 1926) Production Company: P J Ramster Photoplays. Producer, Screenplay, Scenario, Script: P J Ramster. Photography: Jack Fletcher. 4000 ft. Cast: Cecil Pawley (Ellis Swift), Thelma Newling (Esma), Rex Simpson, Joy Wood, Norma Wood. "... rescue of the heroine by rope from the surf and rocks at Bondi." (Pike & Cooper)

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; 100 min.

Storm Boy (Henri Safran, 1976) prod. Matt Carroll for South Australian Film Corporation, wr. Sonia Borg, from novel by Colin Thiele, dp Geoff Burton, music Michael Carlos, design David Copping, ed. G. Turney-Smith; Greg Rowe, David Gulpilil, Peter Cummins, Judy Dick, Grant Page; white boy befriends pelican and outcast Aborigine, Fingerbone Bill, banished by his Kunai people, Adelaide, colour, 93 min.

Storm Surfers 3D (Justin McMillan, Christopher Nelius, 2012) Tom Carroll Ross Clark-Jones, Ben Matson; surfing doco

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. "Conceived as a 'road movie' with both action and comedy for the teenage market, Summer City was set in the rock-and-roll era of the early 1960s, complete with clips from Brian Henderson's television show, Bandstand, songs by Australian rock-and-roll stars on the sound-track, and an appearance by the disc jockey Ward Austin. Four young men set off up the coast in their old Chevy for a weekend of surfing and fun." (Pike & Cooper)

Surf Movies (Albie Thoms, 1981) doco

Surfer, The (Frank Shields, 1988) low-budget action-thriller

Sunshine Sally (Lawson Harris, 1922) Production Company: Austral Super Films. Producer: Lawson Harris, Yvonne Pavis. Screenplay, Scenario, Script: John Cosgrove. Photography: Arthur Higgins. Assistant Director: Clyde Marsh. 5000 ft. Cast: Yvonne Pavis (Sal), Joy Revelle (Tottie Faye), John Cosgrove (Spud Murphy), Dinks Patterson (Skinny Smith), Mrs Hutton (Katie Smith), J P O'Neill (Bill Smith), Sheila Moore (Mrs Constance Stanton), Lionel Lunn (Basil Stanton), Mervyn Barrington (James Stanton), Maude Ranier (Salvation Army woman). "Sal is rescued from the surf at Coogee by a bronzed lifesaver, Basil Stanton, and is taken to his wealthy Potts Point home to recuperate." (Pike & Cooper)

Tall Timbers (Ken G. Hall, 1937) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Productions, wr. Frank Harvey from Frank Hurley story, dp George Heath; 89 mins., 35 mm.; Frank Leighton, Shirley Ann Richards, Aileen Britton, Campbell Copelin, Letty Craydon, Peter Dunstan, Frank Harvey, George Lloyd, Joe Valli, Ronald Whelan; "... opening scene of a surf rescue at Palm Beach ..." (Pike & Cooper)

They're a Weird Mob (Michael Powell, 1966) wr. Richard Imrie [Emeric Pressburger], novel by Nino Culotta [John O'Grady]; Walter Chiari (Nino Culotta), Clare Dunne, Chips Rafferty, Alida Chelli, Ed Devereaux, Slim DeGrey, John Meillon, Charles Little, Anne Haddy, Jack Allen, Red Moore, Ray Hartley, Tony Bonner, Alan Lander, Keith Peterson; satirical comedy

Turtle Beach (Stephen Wallace, 1992) novel by Blanche d'Alpuget; Greta Scacchi, Joan Chen, Jack Thompson, Art Malik, Norman Kaye, Victoria Longley, Martin Jacobs, William McInnes, George Whaley; 88 min.

References and Links

Handyside, Fiona 2014, Cinema at the Shore: The Beach in French Film (New Studies in European Cinema), Peter Lang.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 April, 2002 | Now: 23 June, 2020