End Play

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End Play
Directed by Tim Burstall
Produced by Tim Burstall
Alan Finney (associate)
Written by Tim Burstall
Based on novel by Russell Braddon
Starring George Mallaby
John Waters
Ken Goodlet
Delvene Delaney
Music by Peter Best
Cinematography Robin Copping
Edited by David Bilcock
Distributed by Roadshow
Release date
1 January 1976
Running time
114 mins
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$294,000[1]
Box office A$800,000 (Australia)[2]

End Play is a 1976 Australian thriller film directed by Tim Burstall and starring George Mallaby, John Waters and Ken Goodlet. It was an adaptation of the 1972 novel End Play by Russell Braddon. It was made by Hexagon Productions.[3]


Hitchhiker Janine Talbort is picked up and murdered by an unseen assailant. Mark Gifford, a merchant sailor on leave, then disposes of the body, attracting the suspicion of his wheelchair bound brother Robert. The police become suspicious of both brothers, who are rivals over their half-cousin, Margaret.



Russell Braddon's novel was originally set in England but was relocated to Australia.[4] Burstall made the film as part of a deliberate effort to move away from "ocker material". He was attracted to Braddon's novel because it would be simple to film as it was basically a two hander, while also preparing Eliza Fraser (1976). The movie was budgeted at $244,000 but eventually cost $294,000.[1] Shooting commenced in January 1975.

The two leads, George Mallaby and John Waters, were familiar faces on Australian television at the time.[2]


The film performed reasonably at the box-office and in 1979 reported that it had just broken even. It also rated highly on television, the rights for which earned Hexagon $70,000.[2] Burstall admitted the film might have been more effective as a TV movie, but says it would have been harder to make a profit that way.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Scott Murray, 'Tim Burstall', Cinema Papers Sept-Oct 1979 p495, 576
  2. ^ a b c David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p34
  3. ^ Moran & Veith p.78
  4. ^ Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 297


  • Moran, Albert & Viethm, Errol. Historical Dictionary of Australian and New Zealand Cinema. Scarecrow Press, 2005.

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