Monday, 26 November 2012 12:23

The Top 5 Films Set in Australia

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If we're honest, the films set in Australia are a mixed back at best. Amongst the great films there's some to be less proud of, we've put together a list of the top 5 films from Australia.

The films that are set in Australia can be a bit hit and miss, with usually more turkeys than Oscars on offer. However, a range of home-grown talent including Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Eric Bana, Heath Ledger and Cate Blanchett, plus the amazing scenery of the outback and beyond has meant that Down Under has been the scene for a few gems.

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)

Considered to be the first full-length feature film, clocking in at approximately 60 minutes, The Story of the Kelly Gang portrays the life of the notorious Australian criminal Ned Kelly.

However, only 17 minutes remain of the original film, and little is actually known about the cast, and even elements of the plot. What does remain provides an interesting insight into early cinema, and what Australia was like at the turn of the century. Deemed historically important by UNESCO, it has been placed in their Memory of the World Register.

Australia (2008)

It doesn’t get more Australian than this film, with stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, plus director Baz Luhrman all hailing from Oz.

A romantic epic, set during World War II, runs for an impressive 165 minutes (almost three hours), giving real meaning to the category of “epic”.

Kidman plays an English Lady who inherits her husband’s ranch in Australia after he is murdered in the outback. She ends up falling for Jackman’s rancher character, and the film turns into a story about the struggles of running a farm in Australia’s desert, all set against backdrop of war and racial tension against the Aborigines.

 Finding Nemo (2003)

This huge success for Pixar was set in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It tells the story of the hunt for clownfish Nemo after he was captured by a scuba diver and given a new home in a fish tank in a dentist’s office.

The film accurately represents the sheer variety of animals you can expect to find in Australia’s seas, as all the animators involved in the film became qualified scuba divers so that they could get a proper look at what goes on in the coral reefs. If this has inspired you to get out and see the reef for yourself, the best way is to book some flights to Cairns and explore from there.

Mad Max (1979, sequels in 1981 and 1985)

The Mad Max series introduced the world to Mel Gibson in this post-apocalyptic western. Gibson plays Max, a disillusioned ex-cop who hunts down criminals in his Pursuit Special car, as the world suffers from an oil shortage.

The film series is well known for its unusual cars and gory violence, as well as a memorable final scene which directly inspired the Saw franchise of films. Mad Max went on to spawn two follow up films, securing its place as a cult classic, and 2013 is set for another film in the series with Tom Hardy playing the lead role. It’s not been confirmed whether Gibson will don his leather jacket in any role in it yet.

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Created as a film to put Australia on the map in the USA, Crocodile Dundee eventually became Australia’s best-selling film of all time. The film stars Paul Hogan as a rough round the edges bushman who is visited by an American reporter keen to write an article on his unusual lifestyle.

The film influenced a craze of Australian culture in the late 1980s, spurred on further by the follow up film Crocodile Dundee II in 1986.

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