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



Jack Thompson
Jacki Weaver
Wendy Hughes


Tim Burstall


Tim Burstall, Alan Finney