bmx by PoOwbFh



                        Dir: Brian Trenchard-Smith
                        Writers: Patrick Edgeworth
                               Russell Hagg

                    Review by: Ashley Jay Meaden

David Argue         -   Whitey
John Ley            –   Moustache
Nicole Kidman       –   Judy
Angelo D‟Angelo     –   PJ
James Lugton        –   Goose
Bryan Marshall      –   The Boss
Brian Sloman        –   The Creep
Peter Browne        –   Police constable
Bill Brady          –   Police Sergent
Linda Newton        –   Policewoman
Bob Hicks           –   Heavy 1
Guy Norris          –   Heavy 2
Chris Hession       –   Heavy 3
Norman Hodges       –   Drunk
Tracey Wallace      –   Buxom Lady
Michael Gillette    –   Vicar
Brian Best          –   Supermarket manager
Jerry D‟Angelo      –   Boy 1
Malcolm Day         –   Boy 2
Ray Marshall        –   Foreman
Patrick Mansfield   –   Crane Driver
Alan McQueen        –   Workman
Anthony Alafaci     –   Fat kid

Craig Hopcroft         –   Kid 1
Marty Irwin            –   Kid 2
Fiona Gage             –   Young girl
Paul Flaherty          –   Businessman
Andy Clarke            –   Man with Mattress
Claude Lambert         –   Trendy Delivery man
Rocky McDonald         –   Man on escalator
Deanne North           –   Lady golfer
Wayne Pearce           –   Man on ladder
Avril Wynne            –   Waitress
Chris Galletti         –   Road gang foreman
Jeff Brown             –   Worker
Gavin Critchley        –   Frasers Foam Man 1
Jack Morton            –   Frasers Foam Man 2

Produced by

Tom Broadbridge        – producer
Brian Burgess          – associate producer
Paul F. Davies         – producer

Original music by

Colin Stead
Frank Strangio

Cinematography by

John Seale

Film editing by

Alan Lake

Casting by

Susie Maizels

Production design by

Ross Major

Costume design by

Lesley McLennan

Makeup Department

Sally Gordan                    – makeup artist
Willi Kenrick                   – hair stylist

Production Management

Carolynne Cunningham            – production manager

Second Unit or Assistant Director

Roxanne Delbarre                –   fourth assistant director
Bob Howard                      –   first assistant director
Ian Kenny                       –   second assistant director
Murray Robertson                –   third assistant director

Art Department

Derrick Chetwyn                 –   property buyer
Danie Daems                     –   construction supervisor
Igor Lazareff                   –   stand-by props
Terry Lord                      –   construction worker

Sound Department

Gethin Creagh                   –   sound mixer
Andrew Cunningham               –   assistant sound effects editor
Ken Hammond                     –   sound recordist
Phil Judd                       –   sound mixer
Robin Judge                     –   assistant sound editor
Steve Miller                    –   boom swinger
John Patterson                  –   post-production sound
Andrew Steuart                  –   supervising sound editor
Jim Walker                      –   sound effects editor

Special Effects by

David Hardie                    – special effects technician
Chris Murray                    – special effects co-ordinator

Visual Effects by

Roger Cowland


Bob Hicks                       –   stunt   co-ordinator
Robbie Moreton                  –   stunt   rider
Jim O‟Neill                     –   stunt   rider
Craig White                     –   stunt   rider

Other crew

Rosslyn Abernethy                 –    production secretary
Kimbal Anderson                   –    production runner
Ross Berryman                     –    additional photographer
Sam Bienstock                     –    electrical best boy
Sue Blainey                       –    assistant editor
Sally Bryant                      –    unit nurse
Gary Carden                       –    assistant grip
Andy Clarke                       –    safety officer
Miriam Cortes                     –    negative matcher
Jan Croker                        –    unit publicist
Carolynne Cunningham              –    location manager
Candice Dubois                    –    production accountant
Derry Field                       –    clapper loader
Reg Garside                       –    gaffer
Bill Gooley                       –    laboratory liaison
Louis Irving                      –    additional photographer
Boris Janjic                      –    best boy grip
Joanne Kennedy                    –    tutor
Peter Mardell                     –    key grip
Steve Mason                       –    focus puller
Jenny Miles                       –    stand by wardrobe
Linda Ray                         –    continuity
Helen Rixon                       –    caterer
Joanne Rodney                     –    production assistant
Phillip Shapiera                  –    assistant grip
Mark Sullivan                     –    assistant clapper loader
Bliss Swift                       –    still photographer
Kathy Troutt                      –    caterer
Des White                         –    technical advisor: BMX

AUSTRALIA       –   22 DECEMBER 1983
SWEDEN          –   22 FEBRUARY 1985
HUNGARY         –   12 JUNE 1985

Manly, New South Wales, Australia
New South Wales, Australia
Northern Beaches, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Warrigah Mall, Brookvale, New South Wales, Australia


Colour film Ltd., Sydney, Australia

Film negative format

35 mm

Cinematographic process

Panavision (anamorphic)

Printed film format

35 mm

Aspect ratio

2.35: 1


Distributed by Magna Pacific Pty Ltd. 2004.
 Arc light Films 1983

After completing a search on the World Wide Web, I have found no
interviews on the filmmakers or writers of this production.

The movie was made in 1983, and the Australian Film Commission
only archives the list of movies back to 1990.

This is a shame; it would have given an insight into a cult 80‟s
teen film. A retrospective interview with the director, asking
about the films place in Australian culture, would also be very

There are no professional critical reviews on this film
available. Searching the web, I have found small pages and
snippets of information on the film. Any reviews that I could
find are from people who have bought the DVD or are reminiscing
their favourite childhood films.

The Internet Movie Database contains many „user comments‟, which
does provide an insight into the plot and narrative. Critical
comments made on the production side of the film are pretty non-

Film database sites also contain very little information on this
film. It makes me wonder, if Nicole Kidman did not star in this
movie, would there be any information at all. The film can be
found on cult and b-grade movie lists.

Links to reviews and information on BMX Bandits:

Rotten Tomatoes


MSN Movies


Memorable TV

Movies Rewind





BMX Bandits begins with two teenagers
Goose (James Lugton) and PJ (Angelo
D‟Angelo), going for a ride around Manly,
New South Wales on their BMX cycles.
Little do they know that at the same
time, a gang of thieves are organising a
bank robbery at the local bank. Dressed
in Pig masks they smash their white van
into the bank and hold up the bank with
guns. Goose and PJ, oblivious to this fact, are zooming around
the streets of Manly, irritating passing pedestrians and

Goose and PJ, not only cycle around the town, but also do all
kinds of stunts and BMX tricks, which causes some havoc, but
evolves into humorous results. The gang of thieves make an escape
and swap cars, leaving the original car untraceable. We are taken
back to the town centre, where we meet the third central
character, Judy (Nicole Kidman). Judy is working at the local
supermarket when PJ and Goose crash into the shopping trolleys.
This accident causes Judy to lose her job, the job she needs to
save for her own BMX.

The three defeated youth‟s head for the arcade amusement parlour,
where they make jokes about their lack of income. The decoy and
second getaway car pulls into a warehouse, where the monetary
exchange is made between the gang members and The Boss (Bryan
Marshall). The next plan of attack is formed between „The Boss‟
and Whitey (David Argue) and Moustache (John Ley). The order is
given for the two thieves to pick up the walkie-talkies that are
essential to the overall crime plan.

The three teenagers go out on Whitey‟s fathers boat, travelling
across the bay until they reach a jetty. Stretching their legs on
the jetty, they find, submerged into the water, the thieves‟
stash of walkie-talkies. For excitement, the three teens take the
stash and head back into town. On the way back, they cross paths
with Whitey and Moustache, them later realising the three
teenagers have taken their loot. The two criminals start to
pursue these teenagers all across Manly, including water parks
and cemeteries.

Goose, PJ and Judy start to sell the walkie-talkies off, to make
money for Judy‟s BMX. They make enough money to buy her the bike
plus outfit themselves with the latest (1980) BMX helmets, pads,
and t-shirts. The three prepare and skilfully practise their BMX
skills through the street and along the coastline. Judy performs

especially well, proving herself more than capable of riding a
BMX. Goose and PJ just stare on in admiration and acceptance.

Using the walkie-talkies themselves, they communicate to each
other. The problem is that Whitey and Moustache can hear
everything they say, and so can the police. Keeping track on
their every move, Whitey and Moustache follow them all around and
try to regain their stolen goods. The two thieves finally catch
Judy in an old fishing boathouse, posing as undercover police
officer; they try to trick Judy in giving them back the walkie-
talkies. Not to be confused with a „sucker‟, Judy is on to them
at first sight and makes lame jokes about lawyers and mouldy

              PJ and Goose hear Judy‟s torment through the
              walkie-talkies and set out to help their friend.
              They race to the rescue, almost flying through the
              air on their bikes, doing spins and turns and
              jumps. They ride over golf courses and through
              people‟s houses, manoeuvring their bikes across
              Manly. Other children look on in amazement as they
              effortlessly gain tred in their chase. Pedestrians
              run as soon as they come in contact with the two
              BMX riders, as do removalists and city dwellers.

               In the meantime, Judy makes a run for it and gives
them the slip. Judy hides in various boats situated in the
marina. Finding a dingy on the jetty, Judy starts to row out in
the water, but the boat is still tied to the jetty (ARGH!!!).
Goose and PJ come the rescue and knock Whitey and Moustache into
the water, foiling their plans. The three flee the scene leaving
the two criminals desperate and more aggravated. Getting
themselves out of the water, Whitey and Moustache re-start the

In an effort to escape the thieves, the three teenagers take to
the water park slides. They slide down the tubes with their BMX
bikes still intact. Whitey and Goose, presume to do the same
thing, but as the story goes, with lesser results. The police who
have also been tracking everyone‟s whereabouts, starts to pursue
the case further. The chase continues through malls and
restaurants. The three skilful riders make their way to the
Police where they come clean bout what they have done.

Not to spoil the ending for those who are actually going to rent
it, they find something about themselves and gain a little
responsibility as well. But there is also the final showdown and
BMX race, leading to the “Goons Hideout”. The reward might just
be theirs.

BMX Bandits marks the first feature film starring Nicole Kidman.
But it is much more than that. The film is a cult landmark in
Australian family film entertainment, making way for American
versions of the same, RAD (1986, Hal Needham). Bandits is a
frothy live action ensemble with a punchy 80‟s pop soundtrack to
match. Set in Manly, NSW, the films adventures take you on a
journey of fun filled romps.

In 1980, the world was set alight with tight pop music and fluro
everything. The popular culture was BMX Bikes, namely the brand
Mongoose. Bandits contains all these elements with the chosen
bicycles being Mongoose, to the bright and fluro coloured
costumes. The attention to detail with costume is spot on. People
may roll their eyes at what I just said, but lets remember it si
all in context, that of the 1980 era.

The three teenagers are smart and often amusing, their voices
laden with Australian comic twang. The hairstyles are that of an
old hairdressing salons books, situated in the Morley Markets
side of the Galleria               (has not yet changed since
1983). Nicole Kidman               herself sports a very high,
large, curly red mop               and is proud of it. Other
signature                          accessorises included in the
film were supplied by              leading brands Malvern Star
and Redline.

The movies characters              are typical of a cartoon that
has come to life.                  Think Scooby-Do or anything
that has the bad guys              defeated by the good children
or teenagers. All characters are very animated, using serotypes
to display common traits. The use of Judy as a tomboy will give
the young female viewers something to chew on, it‟s not just a
young males movie. The female role is also that of a young love
interest, with both boys vying for Judy‟s attentions. The two
male leads are both portrayed as typical young Australian youths
growing up in the suburbs, interested in BMX riding.

The dialogue used in the film is defiantly not intellectual or
even complex. The script allows for simple and straight to the
point speech and words, resulting in a less sophisticated
approach. This can be dissected as pointless and can devalue the
film, but it is my opinion that this approach makes Bandits what
it is today. The acting is also very bad and would probably make
good old Nicole cry. All the actors, even the adults ones, are
very wooden and fake.

The soundtrack is excellent, featuring a large score of 80‟s
rhythms, created by what sounds like a Casio keyboard and
synthesiser. All the sound effects for the jumps and stunts have
„electronic swish‟ sounds. The movie contains only two full songs
with vocals. However, these two songs are not credited at the end
of the movie, but are repeated throughout the film. The two songs
could have been created by the hit factory, Stock Aitkin
Waterman, but who will ever know.

The set design and decoration is of low budget and just below
average standards. With slapped up furniture on the cheapie side
and the use of old run down buildings does very little to presume
a large budget. The saving grace is that the script relies on
actual boathouses and abandoned sheds and broken down or small
boats. This would have saved them a bundle of cash and fits
perfectly into the narrative of the film.

The stunts are „awesome‟ (sorry couldn‟t resist), and quite
realistic, apart from the electronic sound the come after. There
are large quantities of explosions and stunts that involve car
chases and everything a thirteen-year-old boy would like. The BMX
race is also great, combing bike riding with aerial dynamic
jumps. For an Australian children‟s or family film in 1983, this
is quite impressive.

There is not too much critical information on this
movie that I can find. The comments come from
people that own or who have watched the film or are
purchasing the DVD. There is a huge lack of
professional reviews for this feature; I can‟t seem
to find one. The Australian Film Commission doesn‟t
have this movie on their website, as the archive
starts from 1990 onwards. People that use IMDB
( have left their own review of the
film, most are pretty positive and consider BMX
Bandits to be a leader in cult 1980‟s films.

Many people that have seen the film saw it for the first time
when they were young. Usually watching the film with a group of
friends, trying to learn the different BMX moves. Arc light
Films (http://,
along with the many others, simply describe Bandits as Nicole
Kidman‟s first film. This interest is understandable, considering
that it is her first film and also pre-Tom Cruise makeover. The
role of the 22-year-old neurosurgeon in Days of Thunder (1990,
Tony Scott) was years away.

Reviewers on the net, also share a common love for the film, as
do I. The movie was a high achievement in family film within
Australia. Most reviewers talk about holding the cover and
fighting over how many times they are going to watch it. Some
reviews just slam the movie, making nothing more of it than

light-hearted trash
( Trash or not,
the film is a great trip down the nostalgic road, representing
what being a child in the 1980‟s was – GREAT if not EXCITING.


Brian Trenchard-Smith – Director

Smith went on to direct a few feature films and many television
min-series. Smith directed mostly Australian films with the
exceptions of, Night of the Demons 2 (1994) and Leprechaun 3

Other highlights include:

Dead-End Drive In (1986)
Frog Dreaming (1986)
Out of the Body (1989)
The Siege at Firebase Gloria (1989)

Nicole Kidman – Judy

Nicole Kidman starred in her first feature film,
playing the character Judy, in BMX Bandits. From then the actress
has starred in numerous Australian Television mini-series and
Hollywood movies. Nicole is considered one of Australia finest
actresses, even though she was born in Hawaii.

Other highlights include:

     Bush Christmas (1983)            –   Helen
     Vietnam (1987)                   -   Megan Goddard
     Bangkok Hilton (1989)            -   Katrina Stanton
     Flirting (1991)                  -   Nicola
     Malice (1993)                    -   Tracy Kennsinger
     To Die For (1995)                -   Suzanne Stone Maretto
     The Portrait of a Lady (1996)    -   Isabel Archer
     Eyes Wide Shut (1999)            -   Alice Harford
     Moulin Rouge! (2001)             -   Satine

     The Hours (2002)                   -   Virginia Wolf
     Dogville (2003)                    -   Grace Margaret Mulligan
     Cold Mountain (2003)               -   Ada Monroe
     Birth (2004)                       -   Anna

James Lugton – Goose

James Lugton starred in his first feature role as Goose, in BMX
Bandits. Lugton starred opposite Nicole Kidman once again, in the
little seen or heard of, Watch the Shadows Dance (1987). Lugton
went on to make one other movie in the 1980‟s, Candy Regentag
(1989), and then seemed to fade into obscurity.

Other highlights include:

BMX Bandits (1983)               -   Goose
Watch the Shadows Dance (1987)   -   Tote „Ali‟ Bent
Candy Regentag (1989)            -   Greg
Garage Days (2002)               -   Freddy‟s Dad

Angelo D‟Angelo – PJ

Angelo went on to feature in a few Australian movies in the
1980‟s. Angelo also starred in the 1985 American-Australian
crossover film, The Coca-Cola Kid. Angelo has had a fairly steady
presence on Australian television.

Other highlights include:

BMX Bandits (1983)          - PJ
Fast Talking (1985)         - Scott Harris
The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)    - Projectionist
Inchiesta, L (1987)
The Big Steal (1990)        - Vangeli Petrakis
Home and Away (TV) (2003)   - Ross McLuhan

David Argue – Whitey

Argue has head a steady if not successful career as a working
actor in Australian film and television. Starring in movies
greats as Gallipoli (1981) and Angel Baby (1995), Argue is
currently filming Candy (2005) with Heath Ledger.

Other highlights include:

Gallipoli (1981)            - Snowy
Coming of Age (1986)        - Stoned Cabbie/Street Monster

Backlash (1986)            - Trevor Darling
Breathing Under Water (1993)
Hercules Returns (1993)         - Brad McBain
Lilian‟s Story (1995)           - Spruiker
Angel Baby (1995)               - Dave
Candy (2005)                    - Lester

John Ley – Moustache

After BMX Bandits, Ley went on to land bit parts in various
Australian movies. Most of the films ranged in various qualities
and Ley has also faded into obscurity. Ley also starred in one of
Australia‟s cult classic horror films, Cassandra (1986).

Other highlights include:

Platypus Grove (1986)           -   Leo Baldwin
Cassandra (1986)                -   Barman
Tender Hooks (1989)             -   Ad director
Cappuccino (1989)               -   Player #2
Candy Rengentag (1989)          -   Client with

Bryan Marshall – The Boss

Marshall as had a long and satisfying career in cinema and
television. Before BMX Bandits he starred with Michael Cane in
the original Alfie (1966). Since then he has starred in popular
TV series like Neighbours and Home and Away.

Other highlights include:

Alfie (1966)                    -   Lorry driver
Bliss (1985)                    -   Adrian Clunes
Return to Snowy River (1988)    -   Hawker
The Punisher (1989)             -   Dino Moretti
Chicken (1996)                  -   Dwight Serrento
Selkie (2000)                   -   Malcolm


BMX Bandits is filmed throughout many locations around inner city
New South Wales, Australia. The film represents a modern urban
landscape of Australia, rather than the „usual‟ Australian
outback. The set pieces are not distinctively Australian, and
therefore might help in the marketing of this film overseas. The
film contains shots of Australian bays and scenery, where you can
hear native birds and distinct Australian animals in the
background (Kookaburras). Statistics on the box office takings
from the overseas market could not be found.

The film itself may be classed as a „teenpic‟. The films
narrative is based around the adventures of three teenage youths.
The common rule of a teen movie is that it tells the story of the
period between childhood and adulthood. The movie is and was a
popular favourite with Australian audiences. Bandits is a
landmark „teenpic‟ for the 1980‟s era, and is a formulated
children‟s movie. Marketing the use of the popular BMX cycle and
providing BMX stunts, ensures the movies popularity with
youngsters (Neale 118).

Australian film consisted of two types of categories, the
„quality‟ film and the „ocker‟ film. The 1980‟s made way for
increased budgets and the rival entertainment institution, the
home video player. BMX Bandits, was neither a „quality‟ film or
an „ocker‟ one. The film may have been geared for home release or
„sell through‟ video sales from the very start. The product
placement from Castrol, Malvern Star and Mongoose, would secure
some financial backing and popularity (Regan 118).

Tom O'Regan 1989, 'The enchantment with the cinema: film in the
1980s', in Albert Moran & Tom O'Regan eds., Australian Screen,
Penguin, Ringwood: 118-145.

Steve Neale 2000, Genre and Hollywood, Routledge, London & New
York: 118-125.

Australian Film Commission (bibliography)

Australian Film Institute (bibliography)


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