Filmed in Melbourne

Filmed in Melbourne

A search of IMDb Movie database in 2007 showed over 190 films have been filmed in Melbourne including the world's first feature film The Story of the Kelly Gang filmed in Heidelberg and is generally thought to be the 'first ever' full-length feature film.

Other well known films include Mad Max, The Bank, The Castle (our favourite), The Dish, The Man from Snowy River and Phar Lap.

Top 10 Favourite Melbourne Films

1. Malcolm (1986)

One critic said this little gem, which starred Colin Friels and which was shot all over the city, from Thornbury to Kew, was 'gratifying for those parochial Melburnians who can spend almost the entire 82 minutes spotting landmarks of the city, in all its modest glory.'

2. Dogs in Space (1986)

This story of a frontman/junkie (played by a young Michael Hutchence) living in a share house in Richmond was flmed in the actual Berry Street terrace where the director once lived (and where many events that inspired the flm happened).

3. The Castle (1997)

Shot mostly around Strathmore, the most recognisable set location in The Castle is the Supreme Court of Victoria, where lawyer Dennis Denuto argued against the compulsory acquisition of the Kerrigan family home based on 'the vibe' of the constitution.

4. The Club (1980)

Ultimately more about politics than tactics, The Club was shot entirely on location inside the club rooms and boardrooms of Collingwood Football Club's historic home ground, Victoria Park. A few Magpie players of the time, including Tony Shaw and Rene Kink, even made cameos in the flm as themselves.

5. Monkey Grip (1982)

Set in the inner north, this meditation on love and addiction is remembered by one reviewer for a picture-perfect Fitzroy Pool, 'swimmers sunbaking on candy-coloured towels - an image as bright and brittle as a David Hockney painting' .

6. Death in Brunswick (1991)

Before it became a hipster haven, Brunswick was the setting for this black comedy. (Note: The scene in which Sam Neill and John Clarke go looking for an open grave was flmed at Brighton Cemetery in Caulfeld South.)

7. Romper Stomper (1992)

Who can forget the opening moments of Romper Stomper - reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange - when two Vietnamese teenagers are attacked in a tunnel at Footscray Station? (Note: That scene was actually shot at Richmond Station.)

8. Spotswood (1992)

A pleasant dramedy about economic rationalism in a western suburbs moccasin factory, Spotswood also marked the debut of Toni Collette, whose character notes from the factory roof: 'You can see all of Spotswood, over the refneries and right across Yarraville as far as Seddon.'

9. On the Beach (1959)

The city shut down to allow flming everywhere from the Flinders Street clocks to the State Library, and although Ava Gardner never actually called Melbourne 'the perfect place to make a flm about the end of the world' , you could hardly blame her if she had - she also spent weeks flming in Berwick and Frankston.

10. Chopper (2000)

The sterile white walls of H Division (high-security ) at Pentridge Prison were the perfectly ominous backdrop for much of Andrew Dominik's biopic about standover man Mark 'Chopper' Read.

Source: the (melbourne) magazine | TheAge | June 2012

Everyone knows we like to link to our sources, but strangely, we were unable to link to this magazine online. A search for 'Top 10 movies in Melbourne' returns TheAge pages that strangely show pictures (no content) of Duck Soup, Singin' in the Rain and Margaret.

10 Hollywood and international films shot in Melbourne

June 22, 2014

OVER the years Melbourne has established her own slice of the Hollywood pie.

The city is a favoured film location for several Hollywood and other foreign movies. Here's a look at some of them. If you watch them closely you might recognise some of our landmarks.

Melbourne On The Beach (1959)
Melbourne Ghost Rider (2007)
Melbourne Charlotte's Web (2006)
Melbourne Killer Elite (2011)
Melbourne Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Melbourne Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996)
Melbourne Queen of the Damned (2002)
Melbourne Salaam Namaste (2005)
Melbourne Quigley Down Under (1990)
Melbourne Knowing (2009)


Best Victorian Movies

From global hits to indie darlings and fan faves, here are 30 of the best Victorian movies of the past 30 years, selected by SMARTdaily entertainment editor James Wigney.


Billed as the country's first

Muslim rom-com , and filmed mostly around Brunswick and Coburg, Ali's Wedding is sweet-natured , warm-hearted tale of love and tradition and a modern reflection of multicultural Melbourne.


One of the best ever Australian movies, this dark, gritty crime thriller was loosely based on the infamous Walsh Street killings. Writerdirector David Michod zoomed in on a family of criminals to examine the chillingly mundane evil and thuggery lurking in everyday suburbia. Not only was the film a critical hit around the world - and spawned a US TV series - it launched the international careers of veteran actors Jacki Weaver and Ben Mendelsohn. Weaver's calmly terrifying portrayal of family matriarch Smurf earned her an Oscarnomination for Best Actress and Mendelsohn's amoral, calculating gangster Pope, helped make him Hollywood's go-to villain for the next decade.

THE BANK (2001)

Director Robert Connolly tapped into a deep vein of animosity against faceless, financial institutions with his thriller set in the world of high finance. Anthony LaPaglia, channelling his inner Gordon Gekko as a shifty bank CEO, and David Wenham, as a gifted mathematician, were bang on the money.


Director-producer-writerteam Nadia Tass and David Parker had already had hit with the quintessentially Melbourne heist movie Malcolm, and found similarly feel-good form with this breezy comedy starring a young Ben Mendelsohn as a car-mad , lovestruck teen trying to get payback on Steve Bisley's hilariously oily usedcar salesman.


"Tell him he's dreaming." "How's the serenity?" "It's the vibe." Working Dog's first film is one of the most quotable in Australian history. Michael Caton who plays family patriarch Daryl Kerrigan in the David v Goliath story of a knockabout bloke trying to save his house from demolition, says he still gets bailed up regularly by strangers spouting his character's lines back at him. Caton says the spot-on writing and the furious pace helped the movie become a modern Australian classic.

"We just went for it because we couldn't muck around," he says. "It had a beautiful energy about it because we shot it in 10½ days. Usually making a feature film is like watching grass grow but with this it was two takes and on to the next scene."


Victoria has rarely looked better than in this sweetnatured , live-action version of the beloved children's book, with Greendale, Heidelberg and Spotswood admirably subbing in for rural Maine.

CHOPPER (2000)

Eric Bana made an impressive entry into the movie world, first as boneheaded kickboxer Con in The Castle and then as Mark "Chopper" Read in Andrew Dominik's crimedrama-biopic. Bana stacked on the kilos to play the heavilytatted , charismatic career criminal, earning rave reviews, a Best Actor AACTA Award and a calling card to Hollywood. And despite his roles since in blockbusters such as Troy, Star Trek, Hulk and Munich, those early homegrown efforts still have a special place in his heart. "It's something I constantly get reminded of, like The Castle," Bana says of Chopper. "For whatever reason it's really resonated with Australian viewers and I have always felt really fortunate to be a part of Australian cinema in a way that isn't quickly forgotten. It feels like a real privilege and it's not something that I take for granted."


Who knew a comedy set in the sedate, senior citizen world of lawn bowls could be a hit? Comedian and radio presenter Mick Molloy did, writing himself a leading role as smart-arse layabout who helps save an old-school club (actually filmed at the Melbourne Bowling Club in Windsor) from oblivion.


A gem of a black comedy set and shot in the inner-north suburb before it became a haven for hipsters. Sam Neill is in top form as a slightly clueless chef who gets tangled up with drug-dealers , and the late, great John Clarke is at his deadpan best playing his gravedigger mate.


Gorgeous-looking - with a whole town erected at Mount Rothwell just for the shoot " darkly funny adaptation of Rosalie Ham's much loved book. Director Jocelyn Moorhouse assembled an allstar cast and drew a careerbest performance from Liam Hemsworth and a flawless Aussie accent from Oscarwinner Kate Winslet.


Powerful, positive, funny and heart wrenching true story of two men who meet as teenagers at Melbourne's prestigious Xavier College in 1976 and their complicated relationship for the next two decades.


Melbourne director's Craig Monahan's intense, claustrophobic drama centres around a mysterious police interrogation. There are mostly just three actors on screen, but it hardly matters when they are of the calibre of Tony Martin, Aaron Jeffery and Hugo Weaving.

KENNY (2006)

The Jacobson brothers Shane (writer-star ) and Clayton (writer-director ) based the knockabout plumber on their dad and various uncles and his endless optimism and downto-earth attitude struck a chord - and still do to this says according to Shane. "He's the guy who's the ultimate optimist and sees the good in everyone and particularly now, we need Kenny more than ever. He's the friend you want and he always sees the best in everyone." Despite a more muted reception to the TV spin-off Kenny's World, Jacobson remains open to pulling on the overalls again.

KNOWING (2009)

Slick, big-budget sci-fi disaster thriller was set in Boston but shot in Melbourne, with Nicolas Cage staring down the end of the world. The Oscarwinner must have liked the place, he'd also been here a couple of years earlier filming the supremely silly superhero blockbuster Ghost Rider.

LION (2016)

Melbourne director Garth Davis' stranger-than-fiction true story of a young boy who is adopted by an Australian couple after being separated from his family in India. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman - both among the film's six Oscar nominations - led a quality cast, helping make it a global $200m hit.


Charming, indie student romcom , set and shot at the University of Melbourne, with early roles for Frances O'Connor and Radha Mitchell, both of whom would go on to have big success in Hollywood within the next five years.


Criminally critically overlooked in Australia on its release, this heartfelt comedy set in a fictional town on the Murray River and starring a pre-Lord Of the Rings Miranda Otto found love at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Camera d'Or.


Thanks to its gratuitous gore, this absolutely bonkers horror-comedy (with school scenes shot at Kew High School) is not for the fainthearted but became a fan favourite thanks to a star turn from Robin McLeavy.


Already an Oscar-winner for short film Harvie Krumpet, Adam Elliot's stop-motion feature about a lonely Melbourne girl and her obese New York pen pal is an utter delight and attracted a stellar voice cast that included Toni Collette and Phillip Seymour-Hoffman.

NOISE (2007)

Sunshine-set and -shot drama/ thriller about a traumatised, tinnitus-afflicted cop and a murder witness doesn't make for easy viewing but packs a serious dramatic punch.


Given Melbourne gave the world its very first feature film, 1906's The Story Of the Kelly Gang, it's fitting that filmmakers keep going back for more. Neither Heath Ledger's take, nor last year's left-of-field version with Brit George MacKay in the lead, are perfect but are testament to the endless fascination with Australia's most famous outlaw.

ODDBALL (2015)

Based on a true story about a Warrnambool farmer who hit upon the idea of protecting an endangered colony of penguins with his sheepdog, Oddball makes for quality family viewing, largely due to an expertly judged performance from Shane Jacobson and some cute critters.


The more you think about the Spierig brothers' mindbending sci-fi thriller, shot at the Docklands Studios and the Abbotsford Convent, the more it will bend your mind. Baffling though the time-shifting , paradox-prone cult hit may be, it's never boring.

PROOF (1991)

Magnificent comedy-drama from Melbourne director Jocelyn Moorhouse, about a love triangle between a blind photographer, his housekeeper and his friend swept the AACTA Awards that year and helped launch the international careers of Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe.


Just like Michelle Payne's against-the-odds victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, director Rachel Griffiths' biopic is an unashamed crowd-pleaser. "I got savaged by the critics who thought I should have made a racing film that shamed men and I thought 'Well, no one would have seen that film' ," says Griffiths. "I made it for the people - it's not a 'fillum' , it's a movie and it's designed to take everything that was wonderful about that story and repeat it, but hopefully with more." Audiences agreed with her take and flocked to the cinemas, making it the country's highest-grossing homegrown hit of last year.


Set and shot on the then grim, seedy streets of Footscray, with Russell Crowe in vilely, mesmerising form as the leader of a neo-Nazi , Vietnamese immigrantbaiting gang of skinheads, Geoffrey Wright's debut feature film remains as compelling and controversial as when it was released.


Sensitive exploration of the struggles and aspirations of post-WWII immigrant experience, with Eric Bana and Kodi Smit-McPhee forming a tough, tender and touching bond as father and son and shot in rural Victorian locations including Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine.


Fresh from filming his Oscarwinning role as Hannibal Lecter in Silence Of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins found himself in Melbourne's inner west playing an uptight efficiency expert in a gently old-fashioned comedy.

UPGRADE (2018)

Saw creator and hometown hero Leigh Whannell showcased his flair and feverish imagination in this underrated sci-fi-horroraction thriller.

THE WOG BOY (2000)

Many critics savaged Nick Giannopoulos' big screen evolution of the ethnic-based comedy he had been doing for years. Audiences thought otherwise and embraced his mouthy Greek dole-bludger.

Melbourne's Key Role in Cinema

Melbourne parks, beaches and mansions have played key roles writes Karl Quinn.

Unexpectedly spotting a place you know and love on screen is one of life's little pleasures. And living in Melbourne - or, indeed, Victoria

- you get to experience it surprisingly often.

Melbourne has been a filmmaking hub from the start, with Soldiers of the Cross - considered the world's first long-form narrative film - made in 1900 in the attic studio of the Salvation Army's Bourke Street headquarters (you can watch short excerpts of the film in the room where it was shot).

With its mix of period and modern architecture, narrow streets and grand public buildings, central Melbourne has consistently played itself or doubled for somewhere in North America or Europe (the "Paris end" myth might be oversold, but shot from the right angle you almost buy it). Early Australian New Wave film Alvin Purple (1974) let it all hang out in the city, while the 1980s had an explosion (Malcolm, Man of Flowers, Burke & Wills, My Brother Jack) of period and contemporary stories, before the '90s embraced its grittier side (Romper Stomper, Proof, Angel Baby).

Steven Spielberg's big-budget HBO series The Pacific shot Melbourne as Melbourne but other Hollywood productions - Knowing, Ghost Rider, Killer Elite - have preferred to close their eyes and think of ... anywhere else.


In 1906 what is generally accepted as the first feature film ever made, The Story of the Kelly Gang, was shot in Melbourne, a good portion of it in Heidelberg.

In 1990, Tom Selleck paid a visit for Quigley Down Under, and in 2006 the village fair scene in Charlotte's Web was filmed in Heidelberg Park.


For a period in the 1980s and '90s, "Melbourne" on film became shorthand for "gritty urban realism" (read: drugs, poverty and premature death), and even if the city's mood has improved the association remains. The 1975 heroin drama Pure S (Carlton) was ahead of the curve, Death in Brunswick (1990) wore its grimy heart on its tattered sleeve, and Romper Stomper (1992) tore through the streets of Footscray and Sunshine, but plenty of other films - from Dogs in Space (Richmond, 1986) to Pawno (Footscray, 2015) - have imbued the city with a similarly seedy sense of anti-glamour .


It's not just the neo-gothic spires that drew filmmakers to the University of Melbourne; George Miller used the underground car park, with its modernist vaulted ceiling, for Mad Max (1979). Rom-com Love and Other Catastrophes (1996) shot there, as did Jack Thompson's 1974 Petersen, Chris Lilley's series We Can Be Heroes (2005), Jack Irish, Stuart Beattie's I, Frankenstein (2014), Ronny Chieng: International Student (2017) and the Spierig Brothers' mind-bending time-travel thriller Predestination (2014).


No, not Pentridge (though it featured in Chopper and the forthcoming Shantaram, and a cinema complex has just opened on the redeveloped former prison grounds). I mean the grand Victorian-era mansions beloved of filmmakers . Two in particular crop up repeatedly: Werribee Park Mansion appears in Bloom, Winchester, Picnic at Hanging Rock (the series), Preacher, Dr Blake Mysteries, The Devil's Playground and Winchester; and Rippon Lea Estate. The latter appeared in Miss Fisher ( series and movie), Dead Gorgeous, Picnic at Hanging Rock ( series), The Longest Shot, The Very Excellent Mr Dundee, Eye of the Storm, The Bank and Queen of the Damned.

One other period location gets a lot of love: Montsalvat. This strange, beautiful, hotch-potch faux-medieval village has 45 credits on IMDB (most of them for Elephant Princess). Strangely missing are Offspring, where a wedding was filmed in 2016, Kath & Kimderella (2014) and Judy & Punch (2019).


St Kilda beach is a lovely spot to stage a race riot (Romper Stomper, the series) or a heartto-heart between two aspiring actors in LA (That's Not Me).

Williamstown plays genteel suburbia convincingly (Secret Bridesmaid's Business, Five Bedrooms) and industrial chic (Hungry Ghosts). Let's not forget the film that almost ended it all, the nuclear armageddon drama On The Beach (1959), which prompted the famous, but confected, quote attributed to Ava Gardner that the city was the perfect place to film the end of the world.

No show has ever embraced its seaside location quite as thoroughly as The Secret Life of Us did in the early 2000s.


Castlemaine is one of Victoria's most photogenic towns, with its streets and buildings surfacing in Glitch, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Romulus, My Father, Till Human Voices Wake Us, Blue Heelers and Eric Bana's new film , opening on New Year's Day, The Dry. Almost as popular is Clunes, which has enjoyed starring turns in Ned Kelly (Gregor Jordan's 2003 film starring Heath Ledger), Bloom, Tomorrow When the War Began (the TV series), The Leftovers, Picnic at Hanging Rock (the series) and Something in the Air.

This article is from the December 14, 2020 issue of The Age Digital Edition.
To subscribe, visit "".

❊ Web Links ❊

Filmed in Melbourne

Mad Max - Wikipedia

The Story Of The Kelly Gang - ABC

The Story of the Kelly Gang - Wikipedia

The Castle - Wikipedia

On the Beach - Wikipedia

View Clips from these films...

Disclaimer: Check with the venue (web links) before making plans, travelling or buying tickets.

Accessibility: Contact the venue for accessibility information.

Update Page

Tags: shot Melbourne, filmed Melbourne, filming Melbourne

Filmed in Melbourne