Forget Hollywood and Bollywood – the land Down Under is home to some iconic pieces of cinema. Whether you like horror, comedy or a touch of drama, there are plenty of fantastic films that will give you insight into Australian culture, language and humour. These five Australian classics are a great place to start for movie amateurs or film buffs alike.
An Australian film for the ages, this movie charts the story of crocodile poacher, safari business owner and legend of the Australian outback, Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee. After surviving a crocodile attack, Mick attracts the attention of Sue, a journalist from New York City. A burgeoning relationship begins to develop, so much so that Sue invites Mick to New York after he saves her from a crocodile while on a tour of his safari park. Mick has never been to New York City, let alone a city, so a clash of cultures and lifestyles ensues as he adjusts to life away from the bush.
This feel-good movie is sacred in Australian pop culture, with many of the movie’s famous lines still being quoted to this day. It follows the working-class Kerrigan family, who live right next door to an airport on Melbourne’s outskirts. They must fight to save their beloved home after the government attempts to evict them from their homes so they can expand the airport. All hope seems lost, until a retired lawyer enters the picture and offers them a hand.
Perhaps the most iconic Aussie film of recent times, Red Dog is based on a true story about a legendary dog that wanders around the Australian bush in search of his long lost owner. During his travels through the outback, Red Dog manages to touch the hearts of everyone he meets. We won’t spoil too much of the movie, but we do advise having tissues handy as Red Dog is a definite tearjerker.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
A worldwide hit upon its release, this iconic Australian film follows the journey of three drag queens who undertake a cross-country journey to perform at a casino in the remote town of Alice Springs. As they roam through the Australian outback in their tour bus named ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’, the trio perform for a variety of characters who both accept and reject their identities.
Animal lovers will enjoy this story about an orphaned pig named Babe, who is won by a farmer called Hoggett at a local festival. While settling into life on the farm among dogs, sheep and a fearful duck, Babe discovers that he has a talent for sheepherding. Hoggett notices this and signs him up for a local herding competition. Despite Hoggett facing ridicule for entering a pig instead of a dog, Babe ends up achieving the highest score and winning the competition.
Action: Mad Max
Drama: Rabbit Proof Fence
Comedy: Muriel’s Wedding
Horror: Wolf Creek