Dr. Plonk

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Dr. Plonk
Theatrical film poster
Directed byRolf de Heer
Produced byRolf de Heer
Julie Ryan
Written byRolf de Heer
StarringNigel Martin
Music byGraham Tardif
CinematographyJudd Overton
Edited byTania Nehme
Australian Film Finance Corporation
Vertigo Productions Pty. Ltd.
Distributed byFandango
Release date
5 March 2007 (Adelaide Film Festival)
30 August 2007 (Australia)
Running time
85 minutes

Dr. Plonk is a 2007 Australian silent sci-fi comedy film written and directed by Rolf de Heer. It premiered in Australia at the 2007 Adelaide Film Festival and had live accompaniment by the Stiletto Sisters. The film was also screened at the launch of Australia's National Film and Sound Archive's new cinema, Arc, in August 2007. Its public cinema release was on 30 August 2007.

The film, set primarily in 1907, has been described as "a time-travelling satire".[1] The Adelaide Film Festival program described it as "a black and white, silent comedy shot with a hand-cranked camera and brimming with romance, action and especially, slapstick comedy".[2] Its score was composed by Graham Tardif. It is also notable for a cameo appearance by the South Australian Premier, Mike Rann, playing the 2007 Prime Minister.


The story focuses on Dr Plonk, a scientist and inventor who, in 1907, determines that the world will end in 101 years. However, he is ridiculed for his beliefs and so invents a time machine in order to collect evidence from the future to prove his case. But each visit he makes to 2007 only causes him more problems, and he eventually becomes a wanted man...


  • Nigel Lunghi as Dr. Plonk
  • Magda Szubanski as Mrs Plonk
  • Paul Blackwell as Dr Plonk's assistant, Paulus
  • Reg the dog as Tiberius the dog


De Heer was inspired to make the film after discovering old raw film stock, which prompted him to make a silent movie.[3]


Dr. Plonk was distributed in Australia by Palace Films.



Dr. Plonk grossed $83,450 at the box office in Australia.[4]


Dr. Plonk received mixed to positive reviews from critics and audiences. Despite currently having no approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an Audience rating of 68%.

Urban Cinefile Critics gave a positive review; "Beyond its novelty value, Dr Plonk is fresh and funny, wacky and outlandish as it combines slapstick, situation comedy and an audacious premise."


Award Category Subject Result
Australian Cinematographers Society SA & WA Silver Award for Best Cinematography Judd Overton Won
FCCA Award Best Music Score Graham Tardif Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Film and Sound Archive
  2. ^ Adelaide Film Festival (2007)
  3. ^ Andrew L Urban, "DE HEER, ROLF – DR PLONK", Urban Cinefile accessed 11 November 2012
  4. ^ "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.

External links[edit]