Jack Thompson
Jacki Weaver
Wendy Hughes


Tim Burstall


Tim Burstall, Alan Finney


Film synopsis

One of the most controversial and captivating feature films of Australia’s cinema Renaissance in the 1970s, Tim Burstall’s (ALVIN PURPLE) endearing classic PETERSEN is a searing portrait of a fiery young upstart and the ever present turmoil that surrounds him.

Born to be a better man, Tony ‘Jock’ Petersen (Jack Thompson in an AFI Award winning performance) is a restless individual on the cusp of great change. A married electrician and passionate ex-footballer, he hungers for more in life and sets about a dramatic transformation, enrolling in an Arts course at University and embracing the sexually charged zeitgeist with all the gusto and tenacity of a real ‘red-blooded bloke’.

Falling in with his English Professor’s wife Trish (AFI Award winner Wendy HughesCAREFUL HE MIGHT HEAR YOU), falling out with his ever-faithful wife Susie (OscarĀ® nominee Jacki Weaver – ANIMAL KINGDOM) and getting into all sorts of scrapes in between, Petersen soon finds himself in a class of his own!

Written by AFI Award winner David Williamson (GALLIPOLI, THE CLUB, DON’S PARTY) and featuring a stellar support cast, including Helen Morse, Arthur Dignam, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell and Jon Ewart, PETERSEN is a raunchy triumph that helped catapult Jack Thompson to international stardom.

Running time

103 Minutes

Year of production