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The First Kangaroos (1988)

The story of the Australian Rugby League's first visit to England.


Frank Cvitanovich


Nigel Williams


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Waterman ... Albert Goldthorpe
Chris Haywood ... James Giltinan
Dominic Sweeney Dominic Sweeney ... Dally Messenger
Philip Quast ... Bluey Burdon
Tony Martin ... Dan Frawley
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ... Mrs. Messenger
Jim Carter ... Arthur Hughes
Alex Broun Alex Broun ... Morton (as Alexander Broun)
Wayne Pygram ... Abie Rosenfeldt
John Dicks John Dicks ... Reverend Green
Nell Schofield ... Betty
Kelly Dingwall Kelly Dingwall ... Devereaux
Robert Giltinan Robert Giltinan ... Reporter
Harold Kissin Harold Kissin ... Trainer
Allan Surtees Allan Surtees ... George the Barman


The story of the Australian Rugby League's first visit to England.

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Plot Keywords:

rugby | See All (1) »


Drama | Sport




Australia | Canada | UK



Release Date:

21 April 1988 (UK) See more »

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User Reviews

excellent dry humor from a bygone age
16 September 2008 | by penguin-60See all my reviews

I found this a delightful surprise. A bit slow to begin with but as the dry nature of the humor, much of it deadpan, kicks in it is the acting more than the story that leaves a memory. The casting is excellent throughout, aided and abetted by well thought out costumes and off beat locations. The Australians act like Australians and the rugby mob in the north of England are equally well presented. Great attention has been paid to the detail, deliberately understated and full of Kaurismäki style black humor. The events depicted in this film are portrayed in an improbable way but this adds to the almost dreamlike pace of the story. The lack of any real villains is not a shortcoming. Everyone is in their own way a hero and as everyone knows Rugby League in Australia is now a well patronized sport, particularly in the Eastern states. This little gem is currently being shown on cable TV. Catch it if you can, you will not be disappointed.

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