Release date1982 (1982) WriterMark Stiles (original screenplay), Tim Gooding (screenplay), Phillip Noyce (screenplay), Marc Rosenberg (screenplay) ScreenplayPhillip Noyce, Marc Rosenberg, Tim Gooding CastJudy Davis (Kate Dean), Richard Moir (Stephen West), Chris Haywood (Peter Houseman), Bill Hunter (Robert Duncan), John Meillon, Paul Chubb Similar moviesWalkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Rescuers Down Under, Mad Max, Jindabyne
TaglineOne man. One woman. Caught together in the cold terror of...HEATWAVE
An Australian preservationist (Judy Davis) sleeps with the architect (Richard Moir) of a condo project she opposes.
Heatwave is a 1982 Australian film directed by Phillip Noyce based on the murder of Juanita Nielsen. It was the second of two films inspired by this story that came out around this time, the first being The Killing of Angel Street (1981).
A woman attempts to stop a redevelopment plot which she thought was the cover-up for fraud and other criminal activity.
Around Christmas time a heatwave hits Sydney and an architect undertakes a controversial project.
Judy Davis as Kate Dean
Richard Moir as Stephen West
Chris Haywood as Peter Houseman
Bill Hunter as Robert Duncan
John Gregg as Philip Lawson
John Meillon as Freddy Dwyer
The original script was called Kings Cross and was written by Tim Gooding and Mark Stiles. The final script was by Phil Noyce and Mark Rosenberg. Phil Noyce:
Heatwave was the story of a working-class Protestant boy who made good. I dont know whether audiences realised that, but we had always assumed that he was a working-class Protestant and that Judy Daviss character was a middle-class Catholic girl. She, in the Catholic saintly tradition, had adopted a social cause - had set herself up as the spokesperson and protector of the working class. He, as a working-class boy, of course, was now forced to confront the moral implications of his own success and how that affected other people. In a way, the religious and ethnic backgrounds of the two characters were just a continuation of the conflicts that we had seen in Newsfront, but Australia had by this stage moved from a principally working-class and upper-class society to a principally middle-class society. Thats captured in the atmosphere of inner Sydney, its buildings and the regulations of law and government.
Reflecting on the film Noyce said:
Iâ€™d have no doubt shot it differently â€¦ told the story differently, today... Maybe thatâ€™s because Iâ€™m more conservative. I might have made the connections between the conspirators more certain, rather than implied. Heatwave belongs to a different era in Australian cinema, a time when we took a lot risks. I guess that comes with youth â€“ the youth of the director and the youth of that second new wave of filmmakers. It was a time when there was a love affair between audiences and Australian cinema, something which these days is rather on and off.
The film was nominated for two AFI Awards in 1982.
Heatwave grossed $267,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $776,970 in 2009 dollars.
Heatwave was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in July 2007. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as the theatrical trailer, Umbrella Entertainment trailers, a stills gallery and an interview with Phillip Noyce titled Sweating It Out.