Kangaroo (1987 film)

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Directed by Tim Burstall
Produced by Ross Dimsey
Written by Evan Jones
Based on novel by D. H. Lawrence
Starring Colin Friels
Judy Davis
John Walton
Music by Nathan Waks
Cinematography Dan Burstall
Edited by Edward McQueen-Mason
Distributed by Cineplex Odeon Films
Release date
  • 13 March 1987 (1987-03-13) (USA)
  • 30 April 1987 (1987-04-30) (Australia)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$4.5 million[1] or $3.3 million[2]
Box office A$63,973 (Australia)[3]

Kangaroo is a 1987 Australian drama film directed by Tim Burstall and based on a novel of the same name by D. H. Lawrence.


In 1922, an English writer (Colin Friels) migrates to Australia with his wife (Judy Davis). There he resists joining both a paramilitary group and a socialist group, is caught in a riot, sees a death and loses love and friendship.



In 1972 it was announced the novel would be filmed starring Dirk Bogarde but this did not eventuate. In 1981 Tim Burstall announced he would make the film and he had Leo McKern lined up to play Kangaroo but he was unable to raise finance. He managed to do it several years later, by which time he felt McKern was too old and instead cast Hugh Keays-Byrne. He got Evan Jones to adapt the script because he felt it needed an English writer.[2][4]

Filming was conducted in Melbourne, Australia and went from 21 October to 14 December 1985.[5][6]


The film was nominated for 2 awards in the 1986 AFI Awards and also won in the Best Achievement in Best Actress in a Lead Role (Judy Davis) and Costume Design (Terry Ryan) categories. It was entered into the 15th Moscow International Film Festival.[7]

Home video[edit]

After the film's 1987 U.S. theatrical run, the film was released on videocassette and laserdisc by MCA Home Video. The film was released through Australia-based Umbrella Entertainment on 8 January 2010 as an all-region PAL disc.[8]

Box office[edit]

Kangaroo grossed $68,978 at the box office in Australia.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Interview with Tim Burstall, 30 March 1998 Archived 15 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 14 October 2012
  2. ^ a b David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p186-187
  3. ^ "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office", Film Victoria Archived 9 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 24 October 2012
  4. ^ Interview with Tim Burstall, 30 March 1998 Archived 15 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 14 October 2012
  5. ^ "Production round-up", Cinema Papers, November 1985 p48
  6. ^ "Love, marriage, life and the whole damn thing", Cinema Papers, March 1986 p42
  7. ^ "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  8. ^ "Kangaroo". Umbrella Entertainment. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office

Further reading[edit]

  • Murray, Scott, ed. (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW.: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 263. ISBN 1-86373-311-6. 

External links[edit]