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Newsfront


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Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Hunter, Gerard Kennedy, Wendy Hughes, Chris Haywood, John Ewart
  • Directors: Phillip Noyce
  • Writers: Phillip Noyce, David Elfick, Bob Ellis, Philippe Mora
  • Producers: David Elfick, Richard Brennan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B64TZU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Newsfront" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Phillip Noyce, Writer Bob Ellis and Producer David Elfick                        
  • The Last Newsreel
  • The NEWSFRONT Story
  • 1978 Australian Film Awards Excerpts
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Study Guide (DVD-ROM)
  • NEWSFRONT Reviews in Depth (DVD-ROM)
  • The Restoration of NEWSFRONT (DVD-ROM)
  • Original Assessments for the Production of NEWSFRONT (DVD-ROM)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Australian Movie Classic The World Applauded!

Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Phillip Noyce (PATRIOT GAMES, DEAD CALM), NEWSFRONT tells the story of the previously unsung newsreel cameramen, who raced to beat deadlines and dangers to capture on film, for a voracious audience of cinemagoers, the historic moments that were shaping a young nation. But their days were numbered, as a new technology called television threatened to bring the world into the living room instantaneously.

Featuring one of the finest Australian casts ever assembled, including Bill Hunter (MURIEL'S WEDDING, STRICTLY BALLROOM), Wendy Hughes (MY BRILLIANT CAREER) and Bryan Brown (F/X, "The Thorn Birds"), this dynamic drama garnered raves from critics around the globe and won eight Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. NEWSFRONT has been fully restored and remastered in High Definition from original vault materials, and is now presented with exciting Extras for the first time in America!

Amazon.com

The DVD release of Newsfront is cause for celebration, as it finally brings one of Australia's most celebrated films to a worldwide audience. The film earned high praise on the festival circuit, and was hailed by many influential critics as one of the best films of 1978, but it remained largely unseen in the U.S. and Europe, even as the Australian film renaissance began to attract international acclaim. With its clever combination of actual newsreel footage and a quintessentially Australian social drama, Newsfront is a valentine to a passing era, spanning the years 1948-58 when newsreel cameramen were chroniclers of truth Down Under, capturing personal interest stories, natural disasters, political rallies, sports events, and other notable occasions for moviegoers in Australia's pre-television era. Len McGuire (Bill Hunter) and his brother Frank (Gerard Kennedy) are cameramen for competing newsreel companies, CineTone and Newsco, and their professional exploits (both mundane and exciting) are played against a domestic backdrop of complex relationships, such as Len's strained and sexless Catholic marriage, or the erratic affair between Frank's neglected girlfriend Amy (Wendy Hughes) and the politically opinionated editor Geoff (Bryan Brown).

As Australia undergoes a series of social and political upheavals and historic events--including a spectacular re-creation of the devastating Maitland flood of 1955--the newsreel creators face the increasingly difficult challenge of defending their own political and ethical boundaries, and Newsfront achieves unexpected depths of incident and character, both sobering and humorous. As directed by Phillip Noyce (who later enjoyed great success with Dead Calm, Patriot Games, and Rabbit Proof Fence), the film brilliantly matches form to content, changing its visual style and soundtrack to reflect the evolution of filmmaking that occurred during the time-frame of the drama (for example, transitioning from black-and-white to color and adapting its cinematography to approximate subtle advancements in filmmaking technique). The efforts of Noyce and his collaborators paid off handsomely: Newsfront won nearly every major Australian film award, and its remarkable production history is fully explored in an exceptional DVD commentary by virtually every member of the film's primary cast and crew. Other DVD extras include "The Last Newsreel" (a featurette about preservation and restoration of Australian newsreels) and extensive DVD-ROM study materials including an in-depth production history, a generous archive of reviews, and a detailed account of Newsfront's DVD restoration. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A great example of the golden era of Australian film making.
James Duncan
One of the most interesting facets is the way in which the style of cinematography, music and dialogue production change during the course of the film.
Anthony Green
A great cast of prominent actors including the venerable Bill Hunter & Brian Brown.
Geekay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Green on November 12, 2005
Format: DVD
The late 1970s-early 1980s was a time of frenetic activity in the Australian movie industry, one which saw the production of films such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock", "My Brilliant Career", "Gallipoli" and "Breaker Morant". However even against such excellent company "Newsfront" stands out as the finest film of its time, and possibly the best Australian film yet made.

Most Australian films of that time, even the very best, tended to exhibit a slightly self-conscious "Australianness". It was historically a time when Australians rediscovered their "roots" and were keen to present their culture to the world. Consequently many of these films can look a little quaint or provincial, for all their undoubted quality. "Newsfront", in contrast, had a storyline which, whilst it was thoroughly Australian in context, was completely accessible to a woldwide audience.

It also boasted a cast which included some of the best local actors ever to grace the screen, a very strong script, and high production values. The combination of historic newsreel footage studio shots and location photography was perfectly handled, and the score was inspired.

One of the most interesting facets is the way in which the style of cinematography, music and dialogue production change during the course of the film. Just as the story covers a period of great technical change, the film itself evolves during its 110 minutes from shaky black and white handheld shots with an accompanying post war soundtrack to slick colour with a fine orchestral soundtrack. This is not, however just an obvious gimmick - it is a very gradual and subtle change, which may not even be consciously noticed on the first viewing.

A wonderful and rewarding film which is as fresh now as it was on its release in 1978.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Lempriere on March 10, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Phillip Noyce's first major hit "Newsfront" (1978, AFI best film) employs most of Australia's most celebrated actors in a wonderfully edited story about the dying days of cinema newsreels just before the advent of TV. The life of a newsreel cameraman (Bill Hunter, AFI Best Actor) is intercut with genuine newsreel footage of the fifties and sixties in Australia, the flood sequence a highlight. Personal stories are interwoven around the devoted efforts of the competing camera teams to return first with the best footage. Newsreels of the day are fascintating to see now and the talented all-star cast enliven the soap-opera nature of the characters' lives. Angela Punch (AFI best supporting actress) leads an excellent supporting cast including Chris Haywood, Wendy Hughes, Gerard Kennedy, John Ewart, Don Crosbie, Bryan Brown, Drew Forsythe, Gerry Duggan, Anne Haddy and many other familiar faces. On the whole an entertaining and engrossing film about an exciting bygone era.
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By James Duncan on March 20, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A great example of the golden era of Australian film making. Top entertainment for those who remember the period and a lesson for today's filmmakers on how to make movies.
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This movie was a brave effort in 1979, being an entertaining drama that documented the movie newsreel scene in the late 1940's through to the advent of television here in 1956 for the Melbourne Olympic Games. It contained actual archival footage of significant local events during that time, with the lives of the people working in that industry woven into the story. As with many movies of that era, it was a roll call of all of the best Aussie actors of the time, including Bryan Brown who went on to many bigger and better things. The film won eight out of ten available categories in the 1979 AFI awards, and was worth adding to my collection to watch again.
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