Vinnie is a teenage boy who is an outcast at school, alienating teachers and students alike. He is a local courier for the local Mafia boss. He lives in welfare housing with his mother (Peta Toppano), a young brother and sister, and his Mum's lover who he can't stand. Vinnie takes out his aggression with the world practicing boxing at the local gym. He is haunted by images of his father (when just a boy he witnessed his father's murder) and his father's boxing career. His music teacher (Sandy Gore) encourages him to get involved as a drummer with the school band, and his girlfriend Gloria (Sigrid Thornton) and others influence him to stay away from the Mafia.
Street Hero was nominated for seven AFI awards in 1984 including Best Actor (Vince Colosimo), Best Supporting Actress (Sandy Gore), Best Supporting Actress (Peta Toppano), Best Original Screenplay (Jan Sardi), Best Original Music Score (Garth Porter), although it only won Best Achievement in Sound.
Vince Colosimo as Vinnie
Sigrid Thornton as Gloria
Sandy Gore as Bonnie Rogers
Bill Hunter as Detective Fitzpatrick
Ray Marshall as George
Amanda Muggleton as Miss Reagan
Peta Toppano as Vinnie's Mother
Luciano Catenacci as Ciccio
Peter Albert Sardi as Joey
Robert Noble as Mick O'Shea
Tibor Gyapjas as Freddo
Vince D'Amico as Nino
John Lee as Vice Principal
Fincina Hopgood as Trixie
John Murphy as Old Harry
Tony Volpe as Sylvester
Libbi Gorr as Alexia
Laurie Dobson as SP Bookmaker
Shane Feeney-Connor as Yokel's Mate
Pip Mushin as Yokel's Mate
Jenny Apps as Yokel's Moll
George Bidlo as Large Man
Lois Collinder as Travel Lady
George Harlem as Pimp
Tiriel Mora as Junky
Chris Hargreaves as Policeman
Graham Brooke as 1st Boxing Opponent
Colosimo, Sardi and Pattinson had previously made Moving Out (1982). When making that film Sardi and Pattinson discovered music teachers would help underprivileged children by encouraging them to become involved in music, which inspired this film. Pattinson took the script to Bonnie Harris of Roadshow Entertainment, who got Paul Dainty involved.
The movie was a conscious effort on the part of Pattinson and Sardi to make something more commercial than their first film, while still having something based in reality. The director later admitted that the choice of music used in the film - including Leo Sayer, Sharon O'Neill and Dragon - was "maybe a bit too middle of the road".
Street Hero took in $729,344 (AUS) at the box office, making it the 203rd most successful Australian Film (1996–2008).
"Every Beat Of My Heart" (Garth Porter) - Jon English, Renee Geyer - 3:04
"New Hero" (Ian Morrison, Les Barker) - Dear Enemy - 4:19
"Blood Red Roses" (Sharon O’Neill) - Sharon O’Neill - 4:58
"Haunting Me" (Leo Sayer, Vini Poncia) - Leo Sayer - 4:52