Barry McKenzie Holds His Own

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own is the 1974 sequel to the 1972 Australian comedy film The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBruce Beresford
Produced byBruce Beresford
Written byBruce Beresford
Barry Humphries
StarringBarry Crocker
Barry Humphries
Donald Pleasence
Dick Bentley
Music byPeter Best
CinematographyDon McAlpine
Edited byWilliam Anderson
Distributed byRoadshow (Australia)
Release date
12 December 1974
Running time
93 minutes
Box officeA$1,407,000 (Australia)

Returning from the original film is Barry Crocker in the title role, as well as Barry Humphries in the role of Barry's aunt, Edna. Also returning in the director's chair is Bruce Beresford. The then Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, along with his wife Margaret Whitlam, made cameo appearances as themselves.[2]

Barry Humphries contends that Barry McKenzie was an inspiration for the later film Crocodile Dundee.[3]


The film continues directly where The Adventures of Barry McKenzie ended with Barry McKenzie (Barry Crocker) and his aunt Edna returning home to Australia from England.

During the flight two henchmen of Count Plasma (Donald Pleasence) (a Dracula-type Minister of Culture from the People's Republic of Transylvania) mistake Edna for the Queen of England and kidnap her during their brief stopover in Paris, believing that she will draw tourists to their country.

It is then up to Barry, his identical twin brother the Reverend Kevin McKenzie, his Parisian expatriate Aussie friend "Col the Frog" (Dick Bentley) and his other expatriate mates in France and England to head a team of Australian agents to be parachuted into Transylvania and rescue Edna.

Barry and Edna return home to Australia and are greeted by Gough Whitlam and his wife. Whitlam makes Edna a dame.



Bruce Beresford wanted to make a film of The Getting of Wisdom but was unable to raise finance. The movie was entirely funded by Reg Grundy.[4] Shooting began in February 1974. Most of the film was shot on location in England, Wales and Paris, with some studio scenes shot in London. Edna's home movie footage was shot at Palm Beach, Sydney, in December 1973. British unions constantly objected to Australian cast and crew working in Britain.[1]

Box office

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own grossed $1,407,000 at the box office in Australia,[5] which is equivalent to $9,497,250 in 2009 dollars.


  1. Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998 p283
  2. Stephens, Tony (14 November 2005). "Historian laments the loss of '70s larrikins who could hold their own". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  3. Barry Humphries (2003). Barry Humphries Gives Us the Good Oil (included as an extra on the Barry McKenzie Holds His Own DVD) (DVD). Australia: Umbrella Entertainment.
  4. David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p46
  5. "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
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