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      Don's Party

      1976 1h 30m Comedy Drama List
      83% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 63% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Don Henderson (John Hargreaves) and his wife, Kath (Jeanie Drynan), invite their friends over for drinks to celebrate the impending victory of Don's political affiliation, the Australian Labor Party. It soon becomes clear, however, that Don's party is not going to win, as everyone had originally expected. Don's guests begin to drink heavily, leading to some unexpected revelations, and eventually to the realization that everything in their lives may not be quite as it seemed. Read More Read Less

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      Don's Party

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (6) Critics Reviews
      David Denby New York Magazine/Vulture It's a dispiriting, ugly experience, cliched rather than illuminating, smarmy rather than funny. Sep 10, 2020 Full Review Gary Arnold Washington Post Don's Party owes a good measure of its comic gusto and accuracy to the impression that the filmmakers not only know these supposedly enlightened brutes but get a considerable kick out of their uncouth impulses. Apr 23, 2018 Full Review Brian Susbielles InSession Film The political loss also reflects the men and their hallow selves in Bruce Beresford’s scandalously funny film. Mar 7, 2023 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 4/5 Jul 23, 2005 Full Review Lori Hoffman Atlantic City Weekly Aussie version of 'The Big Chill' Rated: 4/5 Jan 5, 2005 Full Review Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality & Practice Don's Party reveals the silliness and immaturity of male bonding when it remains on the infantile level. Feb 4, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Australian Gold. A movie made from a play by our most famous playwright at the top of his form. Quintessentially Australian. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Audience Member Australian playwright David Williamson's 'Don's Party' is one of the pivotal movies of the 'Ozploitation' renaissance in the 1970s. Never more than here, has such a motley assortment of boorish, crass, booze party guests said more about not just Australian culture, but drinking culture at large. The representation of character types at this drunken soirée, runs the gamut from the passive to obscene, suffering housewives to self-empowered feminists (Candy Raymond), mannered prudes (Graham Blundell) to oafish, sexually arrogant cowboys (Cooly played by Harold Hopkins). Amidst it all is Don (John Haergraves)- a leftist intellectual from a privileged background who has no clear direction in life, and after a few drinks his wife doesn't think so either. This is Don's night. It's the federal election and the votes are being counted on TV but much like the evening itself, the hope of the 'Liberal (conservative)bastards losing' begins to fade like the hopes and dreams of everyone at this booze-soaked celebration. 'Don's Party' is a film with universal resonance much like the 1971 Aussie cult classic 'Wake In Fright' and for that matter 'The Lost Weekend'. It delves into the dark side of human nature through the breakdown of inhibitions and it does so with great performances and razor sharp wit. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Bloody great film. Should be subtitled "Brocialist Apocalypse" Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Considered an Aussie classic and directed by Bruce Berseford, Don's Party sounded like a nostalgic Australian movie. Based on the play of the same name, Don's Party successfully makes the transition from theatre to screen very easily. This is largely thanks to Bruce Beresford's impressive directorial work among other things. Don's Party is a really intriguing film due to a lot of reasons, and not one of them is made to seem ridiculous, farfetched, dramatised or dull. In actual fact, although Don's Party remains the utmost simplicity of a film adapted from a play, it also contains many of the complex undertones of the script. It may have a lot of characters and many themes and concepts to keep up with, but it remains all in the context of a simple story about a gathering of people at a party on the night of the 1969 Australian election. With Bruce Beresford directing, Don's Party easily maintains the subject matter and language of the play script without censoring any language or even hiding any if the nudity, be it male or female. He takes the film to its full potential and ensures that it is a worthy and thought provoking experience which remains strong even in the many decades that have followed since the release of the film. It remains relevant largely because of the context in which the film was produced. Set in 1969 and released in 1976, Don's Party consistently falls into place as being a film from the counterculture era which it fits the profile of easily due to its time frame and the subject matter. The characters in the film act upon behaviour which today would not be considered the appropriate social norm with reckless nudity and defiance of monogamy all in the events of one night and one location. The tale benefits fro m the political backdrop of its setting and an interesting contrast of characters who all discuss interesting concepts. The screenplay in the film is strong because it deals with themes that any viewer can keep up with but remains hilarious enough to maintain consistency as a good Australian comedy. The way that Don's Party approaches edgy subject matter and deals with it in a manner which leaves audiences thinking and laughing about ideas such as monogamy, politics or even defecation. Don's Party stands up as a simple yet funny and intelligent film which is rich with Aussie charm. Like with many Australian films from the prior decades, Don's Party is elevated by the fact that it depicts the nature of general Australian social society, and so it is bound to strike entertainment with viewers of the homeland because Bruce Beresford once again proves that he knows what viewers want and respects them enough not to shy away from handling the material with truth and creativity. I'll admit that Don's Party is not perfect because the plot is limited and there are quite a few characters to keep up with, but the main thing that I got from it is that the 1960's were a turning point for society in Australia as well as the rest of the world while the 1970's were a good step forward for our cinematic culture. There is a lot of progress in Don's Party, and so it is absolutely grand viewing even for its most simple values. Don's Party is an example of how far a film can go simply on the basis of its writing in a limited setting, and it maintains the feel of a play without ever conveying a sense that it is limited by the fact it is adapted from a play script. Bruce Beresford's work on the film is just brilliant, so it is one of his best earliest pieces with his directorial work being of AFI award calibre. And the cast in Don's Party have no problem bringing the spirit alive. Of all the cast members, the funniest actor in Don's Party is Harold Hopkins. The instant he walks into the story and delivers the line "G'day c*ntpeaches", he just lights up the screen. There are so many cast members in Don's Party who generate laughter, but none of them reach the level of success maintained by Harold Hopkins. He is consistently over the top with his energy without ever transitioning into ridiculous territory, and he keeps the laughter going by never stepping out of his overconfident and arrogant persona. He is a very welcome member of the cast in Don's Party. Graham Kennedy does a great job as well. With Don's Party giving him a role which has both comedic and subtle dramatic value, Graham Kennedy takes the opportunity and runs with it by delivering a performance befitting to the role in the way that he shows off a saddened sense of loss which remains restrained to play second fiddle to a general sense of comic energy in him. He is a sympathetic character who also succeeds in bringing laughter to the viewers, meaning that he ties into the dramatic and comedic nature of Don's Party really well. John Hargreaves works well at the heart of the film as the titular Don Henderson, dealing with some edgy situations well and keeping the laughter alive with his drunken antics as he loses his inhibitions more and more as the tale progresses. Pat Bishop and Jeanie Drynan also do a good job of bringing a sense of drama to the film as the long suffering wives of the party drongos, and they share a strong chemistry with everyone else. Clare Binney does her part, Graeme Blundell maintains a certain sense of appropriate stiffness consistently and Candy Raymond is a capable actress. So while Don's Party may have a surplus of characters to keep up with and doesn't have a consistently developing story, the brilliant nature of the script and the strong performances of the cast under directorial work from Bruce Beresford ensures that it comes off as a complicated, edgy, timely and hilarious Australian film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review s r Crazy, Australian, mid lied crises oriented party. I guess I need to go to Australia to truly experience these truly authentic chaps. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member All guests have a miserable time at Don's party to watch the Australian election in 1969. The dozen guests spend the party inexplicably revealing strange secrets about themselves and openly trying to cheat on their spouses. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Don Henderson (John Hargreaves) and his wife, Kath (Jeanie Drynan), invite their friends over for drinks to celebrate the impending victory of Don's political affiliation, the Australian Labor Party. It soon becomes clear, however, that Don's party is not going to win, as everyone had originally expected. Don's guests begin to drink heavily, leading to some unexpected revelations, and eventually to the realization that everything in their lives may not be quite as it seemed.
      Bruce Beresford
      David Williamson
      Production Co
      Australian Film Commission
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 9, 2018
      1h 30m
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