Movies About The Outback (a - r)

The Australian outback has always been a source of inspiration for poets, lyricists, authors and film makers and the movie industry here is as a capable of delivering absolute classics as well as absolute rubbish.

The Australian outback has always been a source of inspiration for poets, lyricists, authors and film makers and the movie industry here is as a capable of delivering absolute classics as well as absolute rubbish.

We've gathered and rated a collection of outback movies that reflect a variety of genres - from horror to thriller to documentary, action and drama. Some are wholly about the outback while others reflect a perspective derived from the vast isolated regions of the country.

If you're looking for a movie that captures the essential feel and look of outback australia we suggest you start with Nicolas Roeg's masterpiece - Walkabout while Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Proposition and Rabbit Proof Fence are also iconic Australian movies with an individual but compelling sense of 'The Outback'.

If you're interested in finding out how to get there then have a look at Where is the Outback?

All the Rivers Run Drama (1983). 1890 Paddle-steamer tale filmed at Echuca. Helped by John Waters, Sigrid Thornton and director George Miller. Wound up on TV as a mini-series. ★★★☆☆
Attack on the Gold Escort Adventure (1911). True story of an 1862 raid on a gold escort at Eugowra. The events were still fresh in 1911 - a pivotal year for Australian film. ★★★☆☆
Australia Action/Romance (2008). Baz Luhrmann's visually beautiful ode to his homeland is pure kitsch. Old style Hollywood western with an Australian look and feel. ★★★☆☆
Back of Beyond, The Documentary (1954). Birdsville Track postman is the focal point of this award winning doco about real life outback characters along Tom Kruse's mail run. ★★★★★
Backroads Action/Drama (1977). Little known social comment road movie by Phil Noyce who went on to direct Newsfront, Clear and Present Danger and Dead Calm, among others. ★★★★☆
Break of Day Drama (1976). Ex Gallipoli soldier, crippled in the war, struggles with his return to a small country town and his relationship with a mature woman artist. ★★★★☆
Bush Christmas Drama (1983). Remake about the story of an outback family struggling to keep the farm. Early movie appearance by Nicole Kidman doesn't save it. ★★☆☆☆
Cars that Ate Paris, The Horror (1974). Peter Weir's debut about the residents of a rural town who stage car accidents in order to loot the victims possessions. Interesting but odd. ★★★☆☆
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Drama (1978). Talented crew and cast tell the true story of racial injustice and a black man's inability to associate at a turning point in Australian History. ★★★★☆
Crocodile Dundee Comedy (1986). Cheeseball trilogy of outback misadventures that hit the mark in their day but looking a little out of place now.★★☆☆☆
Dark Age Horror (1987). Ordinary croc monster 'B' grader with a bit of aboriginal spiritualism thrown in for good measure. Pass. ★★☆☆☆
Devil's Playground, The Drama (1976). Fred Schepisi's semi autobiographical story of 1950's boy's school catholicism and the sexual tensions of that environment. ★★★★☆
Dreaming, The Thriller (1988). Nicely filmed but otherwise boring tale of Canadian whalers butchering aborigines. 400 years later an archeologist releases their spirits. ★☆☆☆☆
End Play Thriller (1975). Potentially promising story of two brothers, one who has murdered a young female hitchhiker and the other a paraplegic. Pass. ★☆☆☆☆
Eureka Stockade Action (1949). Classic period film recreating the events of 1854 and the birth of Australian democracy. British made, but shot on location with local actors. ★★★★☆
Frog Dreaming Family (1986). An American boy falls into an eery pond only to be swallowed by aboriginal spirit monsters. Myths are dispelled as the plot unravels. ★★★☆☆
For the Term of His Natural Life Drama (1927). Big budget silent film from the book by Marcus Clarke tells of a convict sent to Australia and the conditions of the times. ★★★★★
Glenrowan Affair, The Action (1951). Controversial Ned Kelly film told from the perspective of Dan Kelly, Ned's older brother. Interesting but there are better portrayals. ★★★☆☆
Incident at Raven's Gate Sci-Fi (1988). Strange going's-on in a remote S.A. town attract the attention of special branch. Hypnotic atmosphere and imagery. Directed by Rolf de Heer. ★★★☆☆
Irishman, The Drama (1978). Horsey, family drama about a North Queensland family's struggle to stay together. Nothing special but nothing outrageously bad. ★★★☆☆
Japanese Story Drama (2003). Toni Collette is outstanding as a geologist 'babysitting' a Japanese client in the outback. An uneasy relationship turns, sweet, then tragic. ★★★★★
Jedda Romance (1955). Classic Aussie film tells the story of a white-raised Aboriginal girl and tribal aborigine -Marbuck. Romeo and Juliet in the N.T. ★★★★☆
Jindabyne Drama (2006). A group of fishermen find a murdered aboriginal girl in the high country and secure her body to the riverbank so they can continue fishing. ★★★☆☆
Kangaroo Jack Comedy (2003). Two friends are forced to deliver mobster money in the australian outback but a kangaroo ends up with the loot and mayhem ensues. ★☆☆☆☆
Kanowna Drama (2010). 1902 Western Australian goldfields where a policeman fathers a child to a Japanese prostitute. Short film based on a true incident. ★★★★☆
Koala Brothers Outback Christmas Animation (2006). Kids movie that focusses on Frank and Buster and their mission to get a penguin to their outback Xmas party. ★★★☆☆
Last Frontier, The Drama (1986). American single mother marries an Australian station owner but he dies before her arrival and she has to manage a drought stricken property. ★★☆☆☆
Last of the Knucklemen, The Action (1979). Outback miners drink, booze, brawl and behave like Aussie yobbo's. Culminates in a bare-knuckle fight between the protagonists. ★★★☆☆
Last Ride Drama (2009). Fine film about an insensitive and scarred man, hunted by the law, who flees with his young son across the Australian desert. ★★★★☆
Lucky Country Drama (2009). 1902 and a father, son and daughter try to eke a living from a remote farm. Three strangers arrive and shaky relationships are further tested. ★★★☆☆
Razorback Horror (1984). Killer pig terrorizes the outback. The plot should tell you all you need to know about this movie. It really is a horror. ★☆☆☆☆
Mad Dog Morgan Action (1976). Dennis Hopper and David Gulpilil star in this location filmed tale of real-life Dan Morgan - an 1850's New South Wales bushranger. ★★★★☆
Mad Max Action (1988). Futuristic trilogy of films portraying a post-apocalyptic automotive anarchy. The first was the best but the budgets got bigger. ★★★☆☆
Man From Snowy River Action/Romance (1982). Some of the finest horse riding scenes ever filmed, a stunning backdrop and a mediocre re-telling of Banjo Patterson's poem. ★★★★☆
Monkey Puzzle Adventure (2008). 4 Friends set out on easter weekend to find the rare Wollemi Tree only to become lost in an isolated region of the Blue Mountains. ★★★☆☆
Murder in the Outback Thriller (2007). Joanne Lees's true story of the murder of her boyfriend, Peter Falconio, her abduction and her subsequent trial by media. ★★★☆☆
My Brilliant Career Drama (1979). Judy Davis plays a headstrong girl who refuses the conventions of the late 19th century bush and develops into a self-assured woman. ★★★★☆
Naked Country Drama (1985). Ordinary movie told from an aboriginal perspective about the pursuit of an injured man by three aborigines. Could have been better. ★★☆☆☆
Ned Kelly Action (2003). Mick Jagger starred in a 1970 version and Heath Ledger played in this one. If you want a classy production seek out the 1906 version. ★★☆☆☆
No Worries Drama (1993). Gives an insight into a rural farming life during a drought but that's about all. Better ways to spend an hour and a half. ★★☆☆☆
On Our Selection Comedy (1995). The 1932 version is great and Leo McKern and Dame Joan Sutherland don't disappoint in this 1995 adaptation. Have a look and a laugh. ★★★☆☆
Overlanders, The Adventure (1946). Based on an actual event, a team of stockmen drive a 1000 cattle across the top end to avoid them falling into Japanese hands in WWII. ★★★★☆
Phantom Stockman, The Action (1953). An Australian 'western', Chips Rafferty rides throughout he N.T. outback pursuing the gang who murdered the heroine's father. ★★★☆☆
Picnic at Hanging Rock Thriller (1975). Classic tale of a 1900's Valentines Day picnic and a group of missing schoolgirls. Eery, poetic, psycho-surreal and must be seen once.★★★★★
Picture Show Man, The Drama (1977). John Meillon traipses rural New South Wales with his son, showing early black and white movies. Stereotyped but enjoyable. ★★★☆☆
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Comedy (1994). The production is as over-the-top as the subject matter. A transsexual and a pair of drag queens get a cabaret gig in the desert. ★★★★☆
Proposition, The Action (2005). Dark, disturbing story of a 1900th century outlaw that must surrender his older brother or sacrifice his younger brother. Violently good. ★★★★★
Rabbit Proof Fence Drama (2002). 1931 and 3 aboriginal girls escape from a white camp designed to train black servants. Based on fact and beautifully filmed. ★★★★☆
Red Dog of the Pilbara Drama (2011). Based on fact, this story tells of a Dampier dog who was rumoured to have travelled thousand's of kilometres in search of his master. ★★★☆☆
Rescuers Down Under, The Animated (1990). Disney cartoon about a boy who soars above the outback on a golden eagle, evading a poacher and aided by a pair of mice. ★★★☆☆

Continued Page 2 (r - z)

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