Starstruck (1982 film)
movie poster for Starstruck
|Directed by||Gillian Armstrong|
|Produced by||Richard Brennan
|Written by||Stephen MacLean|
|Distributed by||Australian Film Commission
Palm Beach Pictures
|11 September 1982(Canada)|
|Box office||AU $1,541,000 (Australia)|
Starstruck is a 1982 Australian comedy-drama musical film starring Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan and Margo Lee about two teenagers trying to make their break into the music industry. The film was shot on location in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was marketed with the tagline "A Comedy Musical." The hotel shots were filmed at the Harbour View Hotel in Sydney's "The Rocks" district, near the south pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Jackie Mullens dreams of becoming a singing star and her cousin Angus thinks he has what it takes to be a successful manager. After a spot at the hip club in town (wearing a kangaroo suit) fails to win Jackie any paying gigs, Angus enters her in a major talent competition to be held on New Year's Eve. If Jackie wins, her career is assured, and the $25,000 grand prize will help keep her family's pub open.
The film spawned a soundtrack album, which includes the hit single "Body and Soul" sung by Jo Kennedy. The song was written by Tim Finn of Split Enz. The single made number 5 on the Australian charts in May 1982.
The film also featured music by band The Swingers, who appear on screen playing their instruments during several musical numbers.
- Jo Kennedy - Jackie
- Ross O'Donovan - Angus
- Margo Lee - Pearl
- Max Cullen - Reg
- Pat Evison - Nana
- John O'May - Terry
- Dennis Miller - Lou
- Norm Erskine - Hazza
- Melissa Jaffer - Mrs. Booth
- Ned Lander - Robbie
- Mark Little - Carl
The screenplay was written by Stephen Maclean, who had grown up in a Melbourne pub where his mother used to work, and worked as a child actor. He pitched the idea of making an Australian musical to David Elfick who commissioned a script. The first choice for director was Graeme Clifford who pulled out to make Frances (1982). Then Gillian Armstrong became involved. She was attracted the idea of making a film so different from her first, My Brilliant Career.
The budget was originally $250,000 but David Elfick says it went over by a couple of hundred thousand dollars.
Lead actors Jo Kennedy and Ross O'Donovan were cast despite their limited experience because of their chemistry during auditions.
Starstruck received three AFI nominations, for Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Production Design and Best Original Music Score.
The movie was classified NRC (Not Recommended for Children) which limited its ability to promote itself. Clips from the film were forbidden to be shown on the TV show Countdown despite the fact that clips from Hollywood NRC-rated films screened on the show.
Starstruck grossed $1,541,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $4,484,310 in 2009 dollars.
- David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p147-150
- Scott Murray, "Starstruck", Cinema Papers, April 1982 p111-116
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
- Murray, Scott (editor), Australian Film, 1978-1994, Oxford, 1995. ISBN 0-19-553777-7
- Starstruck at the Internet Movie Database
- Starstruck at AllMovie
- Starstruck at the National Film and Sound Archive