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The boys - Rowan Woods, David Wenham, Toni Collette, Lynette Curran

Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Brett Sprague (David Wenham) returns to his family home after twelve months in jail.

Things have changed while he has been away - his brother Glen (John Polson) has moved out with his girlfriend Jackie (Jeanette Cronin), younger brother Stevie's (Anthony Hayes) pregnant girlfriend Nola (Anna Lise) now lives with the family, and his mother Sandra (Lynette Curran) has taken on a Maori drifter (Pete Smith).

Re-united with his brothers, Brett uses his first day back to restore order.

Theatrical propaganda posters

The boys theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia Western Sydney Westie prison crime sex girlfriend gay violence repeat offender

Persons of interest

  • David Wenham .... Brett Sprague
  • Toni Collette .... Michelle
  • Lynette Curran .... Sandra Sprague
  • John Polson .... Glenn Sprague
  • Anthony Hayes .... Stevie Sprague
  • Jeanette Cronin .... Jackie
  • Anna Lise Phillips .... Nola
  • Pete Smith .... George
  • Sal Sharah .... Nick
  • Peter Hehir .... Graham Newman
  • Andrew Heys .... Sparrow
  • Gordon Graham .... Playwright
  • Stephen Sewell .... Screenwriter
  • Rowan Woods .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Australian filmmakers have a wonderful ability to see the worst in any story, to find the bleakest, blackest, most painful solution to any problem. The boys is no exception. Endless cycles of poverty, ignorance, unemployment, violence and crime. Anger, hatred, stupidity. These are the people you read about in The daily telegraph (if you have ever been so unfortunate as to read it): the ones who are sent back to jail only months after being released, the ones who - for example - bash Asians, faggots and boongs just because they're there.

The boys throws you into a family with little hope of redemption; like Lawn dogs, another white trash film I saw on the same day and can recommend, you know that the shit is going to hit the fan, it's only a matter of how much and how fast. There is as much hard-edged documentary as there is cinematic fiction, but I found the unusual sense of time (you'll see what I mean) to be confusing for quite a while. A difficult and painful film to watch, it is nonetheless an experience in the waiting.

Media intelligence (DVD box set)

  • Special features:
    • Extras disc including A political arena, a documentary by Robert Connolly on the political and social themes of The boys, The bank and Three dollars
    • Filmmaker kit (CD-ROM): Photos, screenplays, etc from the Arena film catalogue

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Adult themes, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

85 minutes (1:25 hours)
306 minutes (4:26 hours) - Box set

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 10 September 2003
VHS retail: 10 September 2003
DVD retail: 15 February 2006 - Box set

Cinema surveillance images

The boys image

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