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The Great Macarthy

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Director  David Baker
Music director  Bruce Smeaton
Language  English
5.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Sport
Screenplay  John Romeril, David Baker
Country  Australia
The Great Macarthy movie poster
Release date  7 August 1975
Based on  the novel A Salute to the Great Macarthy by Barry Oakley
Writer  David Baker, Barry Oakley (novel), John Romeril
Initial release  August 4, 1975 (Australia)
Cast  John Jarratt, Judy Morris, Barry Humphries, Chris Haywood, Max Gillies, Bruce Spence
Similar movies  Bruce Smeaton composed the music for The Great MacArthy and The Cars That Ate Paris
Tagline  He's footy's most forward full forward!

The Great Macarthy is a 1975 comedy about Australian rules football. It was an adaptation of the novel A Salute to the Great McCarthy by Barry Oakley. It stars John Jarratt as the title character (in his film debut) as a local footballer who is signed up (or more appropriately, kidnapped) by the South Melbourne Football Club (now Sydney Swans). It also stars Barry Humphries and Judy Morris. It was released at a time of resurgence in Australian cinema but was not very successful despite its high profile cast.


The Great Macarthy movie scenes

The great macarthy 1975 trailer ozploitation ocker comedy


Macarthy is a county football player who is kidnapped by the South Melbourne Football Club and made a star player in the city. The Club Chairman, Colonel Ball-Miller, give Macarthy a job in one of his companies and makes him attend night school. He is seduced by his English teacher, Miss Russell, and has an affair with Ball-Miller's daughter, Andrea.

Macarthy and Andrea get married but then divorce. Macarthy goes on strike to claim the family four tine.


  • John Jarratt as MacArthy
  • Judy Morris as Miss Russell
  • Kate Fitzpatrick as Andrea
  • Sandy Macgregor as Vera
  • Barry Humphries as Colonel Ball-Miller
  • John Frawley as Webster
  • Colin Croft as Tranter
  • Chris Haywood as Warburton
  • Colin Drake as Ackerman
  • Ron Frazer as Twentyman
  • Max Gillies as Stan
  • Dennis Miller as MacGuinness
  • Lou Richards as Lou Arnold
  • Jack Dyer as Jack Diehard
  • Jim Bowles as Les
  • Bruce Spence as Bill Dean
  • Peter Cummins as Rerk
  • Production

    David Baker was an emerging director who was interested in Barry Oakley's novel. Richard Brennan optioned it for him and they agreed to make the film together, hiring playwright John Romeril to do the adaptation. According to Brennan, Romeril's second draft was "fantastic" but later drafts included too much sex and slapstick to make it more like other successful Australian films at the time such as The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and Alvin Purple.

    Philip Adams later claimed he always knew the film would struggle "because of its idiosyncratic and complex nature".

    The film was shot in mid 1974. Half the budget was provided by the Australian Film Development Corporation.


    The film performed poorly critically and at the box office.


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    The Great Macarthy IMDb The Great Macarthy

    Similar Topics
    Barry Humphries
    Barry Oakley
    Bruce Spence