|Directed by||Tim Burstall|
|Produced by||Tim Burstall|
|Written by||David Williamson|
|Music by||Peter Best|
|Edited by||David Bilcock|
|Distributed by||Roadshow (Australia)
|Box office||$1,363,000 (Aust)|
Petersen was a box office success and received wide distribution in the UK and US under the title Jock Petersen. Petersen is first and foremost a sobering critique of Australian life in the early 1970s. Petersen is one of the better social dramas from the early years of the Australian film revival. Stanley Kubrick praised the film on its release, particularly Burstall's direction and Jack Thompson's lead performance. Jack Thompson won the Hoyts Prize for Best Performance at the 1975 AFI Awards for his performance in Petersen.
Tony Petersen is an electrical tradesman and former football star who is studying arts at the University of Melbourne, and majoring in English. Despite being married to adoring wife Susie, he is having an affair with his lecturer, Trish Kent, and has a fling with student Moira as part of a protest. Trish's husband Charles fails Petersen in his exams and Trish leaves for Oxford. Petersen rapes Trish and returns to his old life.
- Jack Thompson as Tony Petersen
- Jacki Weaver as Susie Petersen
- Wendy Hughes as Dr. Patricia 'Trish' Kent
- Belinda Giblin as Moira
- Arthur Dignam as Prof. Charles Kent
- Charles "Bud" Tingwell as Reverend Petersen
- Helen Morse as Jane
- John Ewart as Peter
- David Phillips as Heinz
- Christine Amor as Annie
- Sheila Florance as Tony's Mother
- Sandy Macgregor as Marg
- Joey Hohenfels as Debbie
- Amanda Hunt as Carol
- George Mallaby as executive
- Anne Pendlebury as Peggy
- Dina Mann as Robyin
Burstall wanted to make the story as the first film from Hexagon Productions and commissioned David Williamson to write a screenplay, the original title of which was Sittin' and Tony Petersen. However Williamson was working on many projects at the time so Hexagon made two Alvin Purple films instead.
Burstall claimed that Graham Burke of Heaxgon did not want to make Petersen, so Burstall tried to get funding from the Australian Film Development Corporation, but when they rejected the film Hexagon came on board. The film also used the working title Campus.
Critical reception to the film was harsh however Petersen grossed $1,363,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $9,200,250 in 2009 dollars. Burstall says it made a profit of $70,000 from its Australian release alone. The film was also released in the US and UK and made a star of Jack Thompson.
- David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p31-33
- Australian screen; curator's notes by Richard Kuipers
- IMDb awards
- Scott Murray, 'Tim Burstall', Cinema Papers Sept-Oct 1979 p495-496
- "David Williamson", Cinema Papers, January 1974 p7
- Richard Brennan, "Wendy Hughes", Cinema Papers, October 1982 p431
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
- Murray, Scott; (ed.) (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW.: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 284. ISBN 1-86373-311-6.