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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



#MoviesDirectorsLists
19Backroads (1977)Phillip NoyceRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
20Caddie (1976)Donald CrombieRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
21Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)Carl SchultzRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
22Celia (1989) Revolvy
Rate Your Music
High On Films
23Dead Calm (1989)Phillip NoyceRevolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
24Dead End Drive-In (1986)Brian Trenchard-SmithFlick Chart
IMDB
Revolvy
25Heatwave (1982)Phillip NoyceRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
26Lonely Hearts (1982)Paul CoxRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
27Long Weekend (1978)Colin EgglestonRevolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
28Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)George MillerRevolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
29Malcolm (1986)Nadia TassRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
30Puberty Blues (1981)Bruce BeresfordRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
31Razorback (1984)Russell MulcahyRevolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
32Stone (1974)Sandy HarbuttRevolvy
Wikivisually
IMDB
33Storm Boy (1976)Henri SafranRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
34Summerfield (1977)Ken HannamRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
35The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)Peter WeirRevolvy
Flick Chart
IMDB
36The Chain Reaction Wikivisually
Revolvy
Rate Your Music
37The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)Fred SchepisiRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
38The Club (1980)Bruce BeresfordRevolvy
IMDB
Rate Your Music
39The Fringe Dwellers (1986)Bruce BeresfordRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
40The Getting of Wisdom (1977)Bruce BeresfordRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
41The Lighthorsemen (1987)Simon WincerRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
42The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)Vincent WardRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
43The Odd Angry Shot (1979)Tom JeffreyRevolvy
Rate Your Music
IMDB
44The Plumber (1979)Peter WeirRevolvy
IMDB
Rate Your Music
453 to Go Revolvy
Rate Your Music
46A Street to Die Revolvy
Rate Your Music
47Annie’s Coming Out Revolvy
Rate Your Music
48Attack Force Z Revolvy
Rate Your Music
49Babe Wikipedia
Wikivisually
50BMX Bandits Revolvy
Rate Your Music
51Breaker Morant Revolvy
Rate Your Music
52Breaker Morant (1980)Bruce BeresfordFlick Chart
IMDB
53Burke & Wills Revolvy
Rate Your Music
54Dot and the Kangaroo Revolvy
Rate Your Music
55Emerald City Revolvy
Rate Your Music
56Evil Angels Revolvy
Rate Your Music
57Kiss or Kill Wikipedia
Wikivisually
58Love Serenade Wikipedia
Wikivisually
59Mad Dog Morgan (1976)Philippe MoraRevolvy
IMDB
60Manganinnie Revolvy
Rate Your Music
61Monkey Grip Revolvy
Rate Your Music
62Muriel’s Wedding Wikipedia
Wikivisually
63My First Wife Revolvy
Rate Your Music
64Next of Kin (1982)Tony WilliamsRevolvy
IMDB
65Patrick (1978)Richard FranklinRevolvy
IMDB
66Petersen (1974)Tim BurstallRevolvy
IMDB
67Phar Lap Revolvy
Rate Your Music
68Proof Wikipedia
Wikivisually
69Roadgames Revolvy
Flick Chart
70Romper Stomper Wikipedia
Wikivisually
71Shine Wikipedia
Wikivisually
72
Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds
 Revolvy
Rate Your Music
73Stork (1971)Tim BurstallRevolvy
IMDB
74Strictly Ballroom Wikipedia
Wikivisually
75The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)Bruce BeresfordRevolvy
IMDB
76
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
 Wikipedia
Wikivisually
77The Big Steal Wikipedia
Wikivisually
78The Boy Who Had Everything Revolvy
Rate Your Music
79The Castle Wikipedia
Wikivisually
80The Killing of Angel Street Revolvy
Rate Your Music
81We of the Never Never Revolvy
Rate Your Music
82Winter of Our Dreams Revolvy
Rate Your Music
83Young Einstein Revolvy
Rate Your Music
8427A (1974) 
High On Films
85A Test of Love (1984)Gil BrealeyIMDB
86Alvin Purple Revolvy
87Backlash Revolvy
88Culture of Australia Wikivisually
89Deathcheaters Revolvy
90Eliza Fraser Revolvy
91Fantasm Revolvy
92Fantasm Comes Again Revolvy
93Fortress Revolvy
94
Ghosts … of the Civil Dead (1988)
 
High On Films
95Going Down Revolvy
96Gorton Government Wikivisually
97Grease (film) Wikivisually
98Harlequin Revolvy
99Hollywood Wikivisually
100Hoodwink Revolvy
101Malpractice Revolvy
102Money Movers Revolvy
103
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
 Wikivisually
104Quentin Tarantino Wikivisually
105Road Games (1981)Richard FranklinIMDB
106Shame Revolvy
107Snapshot Revolvy
108The Dragon Flies (1975)Brian Trenchard-SmithIMDB
109The FJ Holden Revolvy
110The Man from Hong Kong Revolvy
111
The Man From Snowy River II [Return to Snowy River]
 
Rate Your Music
112The Removalists (1975) 
High On Films
113The Rollicking Adventures of Eliza Fraser (1976)Tim BurstallIMDB
114The Sex Therapist (1973)Tim BurstallIMDB
115Thirst Revolvy
116Whitlam Government Wikivisually
117World 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

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