Idiot Box (film)

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Idiot Box
Directed byDavid Caesar
Written byDavid Caesar
Produced byNicki Roller
Glenys Rowe
StarringBen Mendelsohn
Jeremy Sims
Robyn Loau
Celia Ireland
Graeme Blundell
CinematographyJoseph Pickering
Edited byMark Perry
Music byTim Rogers
Distributed byUIP/Globe
Release dates
Running time
85 minutes
BudgetA$2.5 million[1]
Box officeA$837,689 (Australia)[2]

Idiot Box is a 1996 Australian film starring Ben Mendelsohn and Jeremy Sims. Set in (around 1980's or 90's) middle class city urban Australian youth and young adults culture with local criminal well to do's and widespread general unemployment. The story viewing is shown from the private and illicit side of the activity of friends turning to crime by personal circumstance, all the way to the nitty-gritty of sand-shoes and caring considerate criminals' sincerity. Idiot box is another "era" Australian "bank robber film" entwined with a wry sense of humour.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1997 the soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album.[3]


The story follows two fictional characters Mick (Jeremy Sims) and Kev (Ben Mendelsohn) who have nothing to offer. They are stereotypical bogans with a taste for cheap thrills. Kev's hobby is being angry, his motto is "Maximum fear, minimum time". He is unemployed with "attitude," an antagonistic manner. Mick is his best friend ("mate") and together they kill time drinking beer, watching the Idiot Box and looking for action on the street.

One day Kev tells Mick they have drawn their last dole cheque. Instead of giving in to their limited circumstances, they are going to get rich quick doing the only thing they are qualified for - crime. Conning a friend into driving the getaway car, the gang of three plan a bank robbery. But it is a heist that is doomed from the start when professional criminals target the same bank.


The film's writer-director David Caesar said:

I think that Idiot Box is about two young men who are doing the best they can with the resources available to them. Now, the fact that the resource available, as far as they're concerned, is robbing a bank doesn't change the fact that it's still about them trying, basically not giving up. I'm surprised that people haven't come down on me for saying, 'Oh, this is going to promote people robbing banks.' The issue with the film, from my point of view, is that it was about people who hadn't given in to their circumstances.[4]

Box office[edit]

Idiot Box opened on 42 screens in Australia and placed tenth at the Australian box office with a gross of A$278,769 for the week[5] and went on to gross A$837,689 at the box office in Australia.[2]

Home media[edit]

Idiot Box was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in March 2012. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as the theatrical trailer, behind the scenes, the screenplay and audio commentary with David Caesar and Glenys Rowe.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Idiot Box". Oz Movies. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  3. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "History Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Interview with David Caesar", Signet, 4 April 1997. Retrieved 18 November 2012
  5. ^ "Australia Top 15". Screen International. 7 March 1997. p. 27. $216,100; $1=A$1.29
  6. ^ "Umbrella Entertainment". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.

External links[edit]