Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train

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Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train
Directed by Bob Ellis
Produced by Ross Dimsey
Patric Juillet
Written by Bob Ellis
Denny Lawrence
Starring Wendy Hughes
Colin Friels
Norman Kaye
Music by Peter Sullivan
Cinematography Yuri Sokol
Edited by Tim Lewis
Release date
  • 10 March 1988 (1988-03-10) (Australia)
  • 31 March 1989 (1989-03-31) (U.S.)
Running time
130 minutes (original cut)
118 minutes (director's cut)
91 minutes release)
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A $2.5 million[1]

Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train is a 1988 Australian film directed by Bob Ellis. Nominated at the AFI Awards in the Best Achievement in Cinematography (Yuri Sokol) category.


Working as a prostitute on the weekend train to Sydney Jenny (Wendy Hughes) meets The Man (Colin Friels), who seduces her so that she will murder for him.



Bob Ellis said the idea for the film came to Denny Lawrence as he and Ellis were travelling on a train and they wrote the script together. Ellis said "the idea was that each client would be some part of the Australian male".[2]

Ellis said funding of the film was dependent on casting Wendy Hughes, who he always thought was miscast, although he says her performance was excellent and she was a joy to work with.[2]


The film was greatly shortened by producer Ross Dimsey and Ellis described the making of the movie as one of the worst experiences of his life.[2] Ellis:

It was one of the best scripts I've ever written. We made the grave error of agreeing to let Dimsey produce it and then the worse error of moving the whole thing to Melbourne. So I was away from home. And there was this whole 10 BA set-up with shifty lawyers who, I didn't know, had kind of agreed to fire me at a certain point if I fulfilled certain expectations. Which I didn't. But I got fired quite late in the day and then 64 laughs, by my count, were removed. It wasn't meant to be funny, but it was a viable experience. I had Yuri Sokol shooting it. He's a wonderful cameraman but he's an awful bastard and he would sometimes light with candles... It was a nasty experience, as nasty as I've experienced. So it really ditched me as a director. Because it would have been - had my cut, which fortunately several people like Al Finney and Bob Weiss saw and said it would have been the best Australian film - had my cut survived and been shown (but it was burnt with our house), I would have then had a directing career not unlike that of, say, Simon Wincer where I would have had some credibility overseas and so on.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian Productions Top $175 million", Cinema Papers, March 1986 p64
  2. ^ a b c David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p134-135
  3. ^ Interview with Bob Ellis, 13 August 1996 accessed 14 October 2012
  • Murray, Scott, ed. (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 312. ISBN 1-86373-311-6. 

External links[edit]