Action/Adventure, Best Movies, Classics, Crime/Mystery, Drama, Foreign-Language, History, Romance, War, Western

The Best Australian New Wave Films

“What are the best Australian New Wave Movies?” We looked at 117 of the top Australian New-Wave, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 18 films, all appearing on 4 or more “Best Australian New-Wave” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 75+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 18 Australian New Wave Movies



18 .) Bliss (1985) directed by Ray Lawrence

Bliss (1985)

Lists It Appears On:

  • High On Films
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

An advertising executive dies and goes to hell… except nothing changes. Well, his daughter is buying drugs with sexual favours from her brother, and the number of cancer-causing products is on the increase. But the notes he writes to himself to prove he hasn’t gone insane are getting more disjointed, and he runs off with an ex-prostitute called Honey Barbera.



17 .) Crocodile Dundee (1986) directed by Peter Faiman

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

When a New York reporter plucks crocodile hunter Dundee from the Australian Outback for a visit to the Big Apple, it’s a clash of cultures and a recipe for good-natured comedy as naïve Dundee negotiates the concrete jungle. Dundee proves that his instincts are quite useful in the city and adeptly handles everything from wily muggers to high-society snoots without breaking a sweat.



16 .) Crocodile Dundee II (1988) directed by John Cornell

Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

Australian outback expert protects his New York love from gangsters who’ve followed her down under.



15 .) Don’s Party (1976) directed by Bruce Beresford

Don's Party (1976)

Lists It Appears On:

  • High On Films
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

Don’s Party stars John Hargreaves as Don Henderson, a schoolteacher living with his wife, Kath (Jeanie Drynan), in 1969. Out of boredom, he invites a small group of friends to celebrate a predicted Australian Labor Party (ALP) election victory, much to the dismay of his wife.



14 .) My Brilliant Career (1979) directed by Gillian Armstrong

My Brilliant Career (1979)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

A young woman who is determined to maintain her independence finds herself at odds with her family who wants her to tame her wild side and get married.



13 .) Newsfront (1978) directed by Phillip Noyce

Newsfront (1978)

Lists It Appears On:

  • High On Films
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

Surprisingly adventurous saga of an intrepid group of cinematographers and reporters who risk life and limb to capture footage of breaking news for the movie-going public.



12 .) Sunday Too Far Away (1975) directed by Ken Hannam

Sunday Too Far Away (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Friday night he’s too tired. Saturday night too drunk.



11 .) The Road Warrior (1981) directed by George Miller

The Road Warrior (1981)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Max Rockatansky returns as the heroic loner who drives the dusty roads of a postapocalyptic Australian Outback in an unending search for gasoline. Arrayed against him and the other scraggly defendants of a fuel-depot encampment are the bizarre warriors commanded by the charismatic Lord Humungus, a violent leader whose scruples are as barren as the surrounding landscape.



10 .) The Year My Voice Broke (1987) directed by John Duigan

The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Set in 1962, a young prepubescent boy in rural Australia watches painfully as his best friend and first love blossoms into womanhood and falls for a thuggish rugby player, changing the lives of everyone involved.



9 .) Walkabout (1971) directed by Nicolas Roeg

Walkabout (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

Under the pretense of having a picnic, a geologist takes his teenage daughter and 6-year-old son into the Australian outback and attempts to shoot them. When he fails, he turns the gun on himself, and the two city-bred children must contend with harsh wilderness alone. They are saved by a chance encounter with an Aborigine boy who shows them how to survive, and in the process underscores the disharmony between nature and modern life.



8 .) Gallipoli (1981) directed by Peter Weir

Gallipoli (1981)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank, both agile runners, become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.



7 .) Mad Max (1979) directed by George Miller

Mad Max (1979)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikivisually

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.



6 .) The Devil’s Playground (1976) directed by Fred Schepisi

The Devil's Playground (1976)

Lists It Appears On:

  • High On Films
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

A powerful drama relating the intimate aspect of teenage boys and their priest/educators behind the walls of a religious institution where rigid discipline backfires natural feelings are deemed unnatural acts and human lives are controlled in the names of good intentions.



5 .) The Last Wave (1977) directed by Peter Weir

The Last Wave (1977)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • High On Films
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy

White Australian lawyer David Burton agrees with reluctance to defend a group of aborigines charged with murdering one of their own. He suspects the victim was targeted for violating a tribal taboo, but the defendants deny any tribal association. Burton, plagued by apocalyptic visions of water, slowly realizes danger may come from his own involvement with the aborigines and their prophecies.



4 .) The Man from Snowy River (1982) directed by George Miller

The Man from Snowy River (1982)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Jim Craig has lived his first 18 years in the mountains of Australia on his father’s farm. The death of his father forces him to go to the low lands to earn enough money to get the farm back on its feet. Kirk Douglas plays two roles as twin brothers who haven’t spoken for years, one of whom was Jim’s father’s best friend and the other of whom is the father of the girl he wants to marry.



3 .) The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) directed by Peter Weir

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Australian journalist Guy Hamilton travels to Indonesia to cover civil strife in 1965. There, on the eve of an attempted coup, he befriends a Chinese Australian photographer with a deep connection to and vast knowledge of the Indonesian people and also falls in love with a British national.



2 .) Wake in Fright (1971) directed by Ted Kotcheff

Wake in Fright (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema

Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney, but as one night stretches into several he plunges headlong into his own destruction.



1 .) Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) directed by Peter Weir

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Rate Your Music
  • Revolvy
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikivisually

In the early 1900s, Miranda attends a girls boarding school in Australia. One Valentine’s Day, the school’s typically strict headmistress treats the girls to a picnic field trip to an unusual but scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Despite rules against it, Miranda and several other girls venture off. It’s not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes the girls and one of the teachers have disappeared mysteriously.




The 75+ Additional Best New Wave Movies From Australia



# Movies Directors Lists
19 Backroads (1977) Phillip Noyce Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
20 Caddie (1976) Donald Crombie Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
21 Careful, He Might Hear You (1983) Carl Schultz Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
22 Celia (1989)   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
High On Films
23 Dead Calm (1989) Phillip Noyce Revolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
24 Dead End Drive-In (1986) Brian Trenchard-Smith Flick Chart
IMDB
Revolvy
25 Heatwave (1982) Phillip Noyce Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
26 Lonely Hearts (1982) Paul Cox Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
27 Long Weekend (1978) Colin Eggleston Revolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
28 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) George Miller Revolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
29 Malcolm (1986) Nadia Tass Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
30 Puberty Blues (1981) Bruce Beresford Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
31 Razorback (1984) Russell Mulcahy Revolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
32 Stone (1974) Sandy Harbutt Revolvy
Wikivisually
IMDB
33 Storm Boy (1976) Henri Safran Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
34 Summerfield (1977) Ken Hannam Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
35 The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) Peter Weir Revolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
36 The Chain Reaction   Wikivisually
Revolvy
Rate Your Music
37 The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) Fred Schepisi Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
38 The Club (1980) Bruce Beresford Revolvy
IMDB
Rate Your Music
39 The Fringe Dwellers (1986) Bruce Beresford Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
40 The Getting of Wisdom (1977) Bruce Beresford Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
41 The Lighthorsemen (1987) Simon Wincer Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
42 The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) Vincent Ward Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
43 The Odd Angry Shot (1979) Tom Jeffrey Revolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
44 The Plumber (1979) Peter Weir Revolvy
IMDB
Rate Your Music
45 3 to Go   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
46 A Street to Die   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
47 Annie’s Coming Out   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
48 Attack Force Z   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
49 Babe   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
50 BMX Bandits   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
51 Breaker Morant   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
52 Breaker Morant (1980) Bruce Beresford Flick Chart
IMDB
53 Burke & Wills   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
54 Dot and the Kangaroo   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
55 Emerald City   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
56 Evil Angels   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
57 Kiss or Kill   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
58 Love Serenade   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
59 Mad Dog Morgan (1976) Philippe Mora Revolvy
IMDB
60 Manganinnie   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
61 Monkey Grip   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
62 Muriel’s Wedding   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
63 My First Wife   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
64 Next of Kin (1982) Tony Williams Revolvy
IMDB
65 Patrick (1978) Richard Franklin Revolvy
IMDB
66 Petersen (1974) Tim Burstall Revolvy
IMDB
67 Phar Lap   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
68 Proof   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
69 Roadgames   Revolvy
Flick Chart
70 Romper Stomper   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
71 Shine   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
72
Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds
  Revolvy
Rate Your Music
73 Stork (1971) Tim Burstall Revolvy
IMDB
74 Strictly Ballroom   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
75 The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) Bruce Beresford Revolvy
IMDB
76
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  Wikipedia
Wikivisually
77 The Big Steal   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
78 The Boy Who Had Everything   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
79 The Castle   Wikipedia
Wikivisually
80 The Killing of Angel Street   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
81 We of the Never Never   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
82 Winter of Our Dreams   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
83 Young Einstein   Revolvy
Rate Your Music
84 27A (1974)  
High On Films
85 A Test of Love (1984) Gil Brealey IMDB
86 Alvin Purple   Revolvy
87 Backlash   Revolvy
88 Culture of Australia   Wikivisually
89 Deathcheaters   Revolvy
90 Eliza Fraser   Revolvy
91 Fantasm   Revolvy
92 Fantasm Comes Again   Revolvy
93 Fortress   Revolvy
94
Ghosts … of the Civil Dead (1988)
 
High On Films
95 Going Down   Revolvy
96 Gorton Government   Wikivisually
97 Grease (film)   Wikivisually
98 Harlequin   Revolvy
99 Hollywood   Wikivisually
100 Hoodwink   Revolvy
101 Malpractice   Revolvy
102 Money Movers   Revolvy
103
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
  Wikivisually
104 Quentin Tarantino   Wikivisually
105 Road Games (1981) Richard Franklin IMDB
106 Shame   Revolvy
107 Snapshot   Revolvy
108 The Dragon Flies (1975) Brian Trenchard-Smith IMDB
109 The FJ Holden   Revolvy
110 The Man from Hong Kong   Revolvy
111
The Man From Snowy River II [Return to Snowy River]
 
Rate Your Music
112 The Removalists (1975)  
High On Films
113 The Rollicking Adventures of Eliza Fraser (1976) Tim Burstall IMDB
114 The Sex Therapist (1973) Tim Burstall IMDB
115 Thirst   Revolvy
116 Whitlam Government   Wikivisually
117 World War II   Wikivisually



8 Best Australian New-Wave Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
Flick Chart The Best Australian New Wave Movies of All Time – Flickchart
High On Films The 9 Best Films of the Australian New Wave – High On Films
IMDB Australian New Wave – IMDb
Rate Your Music Australian New Wave films – Rate Your Music
Revolvy Australian New Wave | Revolvy
Taste Of Cinema The 10 Best Films of The Australian New Wave « Taste of Cinema
Wikipedia Australian New Wave – Wikipedia
Wikivisually Australian New Wave – WikiVisually

You Might Also Like