Tim Burstall - Rotten Tomatoes

Tim Burstall

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One of the best-known Australian filmmakers of the 1970s, producer/director Tim Burstall charmed filmgoers down under with such homespun comedies as Stork and Alvin Purple. Though he was credited as being one of the earliest filmmakers of the 1970s "Australian New Wave," Burstall later branched out into thriller territory, where his sharp skills for social satire seemed somewhat dulled, resulting in poor box-office returns and a gradual slowing of his productivity in the late '80s. A native of England who immigrated to Australia with his family at age nine, Burstall spent much of his early career working as a journalist and PR representative for the Australian government. A win at the 1960 Venice Film Festival for his early short The Prize found the aspiring director growing increasingly comfortable behind the camera, and in the following years, Burstall would hone his skills on documentaries and as a student assistant at UCLA with work on Martin Ritt's Hombre. In the late '60s, Burstall returned to Australia to helm the drama Two Thousand Weeks, an arthouse hit that quickly ignited the new wave despite critical evisceration. His subsequent comedy, Stork, was met with a bit more widespread enthusiasm, and when the bawdy sex comedy Alvin Purple hit the screens in 1973, audiences came in droves to witness the risqué antics of a nerdy but endearing loser who somehow becomes a sex symbol. Though such later departures as End Play and The Last of the Knucklemen were often cited as entertaining, competently produced films, audiences stayed away, and Burstall's career faded following his 1986 film Kangaroo (an adaptation of author D.H. Lawrence's novel of the same name). A handful of made-for-television features including Great Expectations, the Untold Story and Nightmare at Bitter Creek followed in the late '80s. In late April of 2004, Tim Burstall suffered a fatal stroke in Melbourne, Australia. He was 76.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Bitter Creek
  • Director
1988
No Score Yet Slate, Wyn & Me
  • Producer
1987
No Score Yet Nightmare at Bittercreek
  • Director
1987
No Score Yet Kangaroo
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet The Naked Country
  • Director
1985
No Score Yet Attack Force Z
  • Director
1982
No Score Yet Endplay
  • Director
1975
No Score Yet Alvin Rides Again
  • Producer
1974
No Score Yet Jock Petersen
  • Director
  • Producer
1974
No Score Yet Alvin Purple
  • Producer
  • Director
1973
No Score Yet Stork
  • Producer
  • Director
1971

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