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The Adventures of Barry McKenzie

UK 30th Anniversary DVD
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Produced by Phillip Adams
Written by Bruce Beresford,
Barry Humphries
Starring Barry Crocker,
Barry Humphries,
Spike Milligan,
Peter Cook
Music by Peter Best
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Editing by John Scott, William Anderson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Video Ltd.
Release date(s) 1972
Running time 114 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget AUD$250,000
Followed by Barry McKenzie Holds His Own

The Adventures of Barry McKenzie is a 1972 Australian film starring Barry Crocker, telling the story of an Australian 'yobbo' on his travels to the United Kingdom. Barry McKenzie was originally a character created by Barry Humphries for a cartoon strip in Private Eye. The movie was the first Australian film to earn a million dollars, and a sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own was made. [1]

Barry Humphries appears in several roles, including: a hippie, Barry McKenzie's psychiatrist Doctor De Lamphrey, and as Aunt Edna Everage (later Dame Edna Everage). Humphries would later achieve fame with the character of Dame Edna in the UK and USA.

The film was produced by Phillip Adams, who became a prominent op-ed journalist and broadcaster, and directed by Bruce Beresford, who went on to direct the Academy-award winning film Driving Miss Daisy in 1989.


Plot summary

Barry 'Bazza' McKenzie (Barry Crocker) travels to England with his aunt Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) to advance his cultural education. Bazza is a young Aussie fond of beer, Bondi and beautiful 'sheilas'. He settles in Earl's Court, where his old friend Curly (Paul Bertram) has a flat. He gets drunk, is ripped off, insulted by pretentious Englishmen and exploited by record producers, religious charlatans and a BBC television producer (Peter Cook). He reluctantly leaves England under the orders of his aunt, after exposing himself on television. His final words on the plane home are, "I was just starting to like the Poms!".

Australian Culture

The Adventures of Barry MacKenzie explores the cultural distance between Australian popular culture and the manners and mores of "Mother" country England. Barry is the extreme embodiment of "Ockerism" of the late fifties and mid-sixties Australia. Swearing, excessive drinking, vomiting, rowdiness and other crassness is glorified. The story of an innocent abroad is as old as the Illiad, and finds new telling with each generation. Like Candide, the sophistication of cultured people is mocked and the simplicity of the uncomplicated clod is held up as heroic.The film also plays with the ideas of the era where the sixties cultural revolution had swept aside the "certainties" of classical education.



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