The Boys
The Boys DVD cover
Directed byRowan Woods
Screenplay byStephen Sewell
Based onThe Boys
by Gordon Graham
Produced byRobert Connolly
John Maynard
StarringDavid Wenham
Toni Collette
Lynette Curran
John Polson
Anthony Hayes
CinematographyTristan Milani
Edited byNick Meyers
Music byThe Necks
Alan Lamb
Distributed byRoadshow Entertainment
Release date
  • 7 May 1998 (1998-05-07)
Running time
86 minutes

The Boys is a 1998 Australian drama film directed by Rowan Woods. The screenplay by Stephen Sewell is based on the play by Gordon Graham, with Graham influenced by the 1986 murder of Anita Cobby,[1] with the play first performed by Griffin Theatre Company under the direction of Alex Galeazzi.


After serving time in prison for an assault on a liquor store employee, Brett Sprague is released from prison and returns home to his two brothers and their girlfriends, mother and stepfather. Things have changed, and as Brett begins to drink his way through the day, he regains his "top-dog" position one argument at a time. This power trip gets Brett and his brothers united in rage against their girlfriends and mother, and they are involved in a heinous crime. The aftermath of the night unfolds through the story with flashforwards.



The Boys is Rowan Woods' directorial debut, and actor Peter Hehir's last film before he retired from acting. Woods "aimed to achieve a combination of documentary-style naturalism with the edge of a thriller." Woods also said that the first time he read the play, he felt "it was an Australian story that had to be told. (…) This is the inside story of a family in crisis, of three boys on the day before a nasty crime takes place, of which they are accused."[2]

The producer of the film, Robert Connolloy, had also produced the play. He met Rowan Woods at film school, and they both suggested to John Maynard they make the movie. The script was adapted by playwright Stephen Sewell.[3]

Shooting was done on location in a rented house in Maroubra, one of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. The location used to shoot the scene of the heinous crime was filmed at the Eastlakes Shopping Centre in Eastlakes, another eastern suburb.


The original music score is composed by The Necks, with other music contributed by sound designer Alan Lamb.[4][5]

Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
(1998 AFI Awards)
Best Film Robert Connolly Nominated
John Maynard Nominated
Best Direction Rowan Woods Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Stephen Sewell Won
Best Actor David Wenham Nominated
Best Actress Lynette Curran Nominated
Best Supporting Actor John Polson Won
Anthony Hayes Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Toni Collette Won
Best Cinematography Tristan Milani Nominated
Best Editing Nick Meyers Nominated
Best Original Music Score The Necks Nominated
Best Sound Peter Grace Nominated
Phil Judd Nominated
Sam Petty Nominated
Best Costume Design Annie Marshall Nominated
ASSG Award Best Location Recording Peter Grace Won
Serge Stanley Won
Michael Taylor Won
Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear[6] Rowan Woods Nominated
FCCA Awards Best Film Robert Connolly Won
John Maynard Won
Best Director Roman Woods Won
Readers' Award for Favourite Australian Film Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Stephen Sewell Won
Best Actor David Wenham Nominated
Best Supporting Actor John Polson Nominated
Anthony Hayes Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Toni Collette Nominated
Lynette Curran Won
Best Cinematography Tristan Milani Nominated
Best Music Score The Necks Nominated

See also


  1. ^ Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2011). Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study. McFarland. p. 108. ISBN 978-0786486922.
  2. ^ "Wettbewerb/In Competition". Moving Pictures, Berlinale Extra. Berlin. 11–22 February 1998. p. 12.
  3. ^ "Interview with Rowan Woods", Signet, 12 May 1998. Retrieved 18 November 2012
  4. ^ Biron, D. 2013. The Aesthetics of Conservatism. Overland, 210, 72-77.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Tony. Minimalist Menace, UTS Publishing, 2005.
  6. ^ "Berlinale: 1998 Programme". Retrieved 15 January 2012.