Release date1985 Based onplay No Names, No Pack Drill by Bob Herbert WriterBob Herbert (play), Michael Jenkins, John Lind (adaptation) ScreenplayMichael Jenkins, Bob Herbert CastMatt Dillon (Rebel), Debra Byrne (Kathy McLeod), Bryan Brown (Tiger), Bill Hunter (Browning), Ray Barrett (Bubbles) Similar moviesBryan Brown appears in Rebel and Risk
TaglineHe's a fighter and a rebel. She's dynamite, she's dazzling. To the world he's trouble. But to Kathy, he's a hero
Hero rebel 1985 debbie byrne matt dillion
Rebel is a 1985 Australian musical drama directed by Michael Jenkins and starring Matt Dillon, Debra Byrne, and Bryan Brown. It is set in World War Two.
The movie was based on the play No Names, No Packdrill, by Bob Herbert, uncle of Louis Nowra.
The play had its premiere in 1979 at the University of New England.
The play was performed by the Sydney Theatre Company in 1980 starring Mel Gibson and Noni Hazlehurst, directed by George Ogilvie. The production was so popular the season was extended at the Theatre Royal.
It has been revived several times, notably in 2006.
Considerable changes were made from the play, including turning the female lead from a postal worker into a singer in a female band. It was originally hoped to cast Olivia Newton-John in this role but Debra Byrne was cast instead and made a great personal success in it.
Director Mike Jenkins decided to push the musical aspect, and went for a stylised approach in collaboration with designer Brian Thomson. The manager Matt Dillon, who was imported to play the lead, did not like the approach, saying it was too much like a Francis Ford Coppola movie - which Thomson took as a compliment. He wanted his client to appear in a straight period film closer to Breaker Morant. However Jenkins and Thomson's vision prevailed.
The film was not a large success. Director Mike Jenkins later said that:
It's funny, Rebel has attracted some fierce critiques from intellectuals who subsequently liked other things that I've done. But it also won five AFI awards and was the most nominated film of its year. It was a curious piece; it didn't altogether work. I was interested in it because of the basic story about the American boy who wants to desert. It said something about Australia and Sydney in World War II.