Release Date: 8 April 1982
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Production Company: Palm Beach Pictures | The Australian Film Commission
Jackie Mullens (Jo Kennedy) is an aspiring pop singer in Sydney, Australia where her family run an hotel bar beneath the footings of the Harbour Bridge. Her cheeky 14-year-old cousin Angus (Ross O’Donovan) wants to be her agent and works to bring attention to her career. After securing a backup band at a local club talent night, Jackie and Ross set their sights on getting a spot on the tv talent show hosted by celebrity kingmaker Terry Lambert (John O’May). Things don’t go well as the there are setbacks and betrayals, and then Jackie finds she must win a talent contest to save her family bar.
The movie is extremely corny, but in an irresistibly charming way. Kennedy and O’Donovan are likable characters even when they’re being idiots. And the New Wave music and fashions make this movie a terrific time capsule. The group choreography that goes along with the musical numbers is awkward, and for some reason reminds me of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it’s still enjoyable.
If you’re like me and wonder if a 1980s Australian musical had any involvement from the Finn Brothers, you would be correct. Tim Finn in fact wrote one of the most memorable songs of the film, “Body and Soul.” (Watch the video for the great song and extremely awkward group choreography).