Fatty Finn (film)

Fatty Finn is a 1980 Australian film, directed by Maurice Murphy and starring Ben Oxenbould with Rebecca Rigg. It is based on the 1930s cartoon-strip character, Fatty Finn, created by Syd Nicholls and is loosely based on the 1927 silent film, The Kid Stakes.

Fatty Finn
Directed byMaurice Murphy
Produced byBrian Rosen
Written byBob Ellis
StarringBen Oxenbould
Rebecca Rigg
Jeremy Larsson
Martin Lewis
Music byGrahame Bond
Rory O'Donoghue
Childrens Film Corporation
Australian Film Commission
Finn Productions
Distributed byHoyts Distribution
Release date
18 December 1980
Running time
91 minutes
Box officeAU $1,064,000 (Australia)[2]


Set in inner-city Woolloomooloo in Sydney, New South Wales in 1930, the neighbourhood nice guys are led by Fatty (real name Hubert Finn), an ambitious 10-year-old with an eye for making a quid. From shady frog jumping contests to a fixed goat race, Fatty uses his enterprise to raise enough money to buy a crystal set (radio without a separate power supply) that's worth seventeen shillings & sixpence (17/6), more than his Dad is able to save up in a year. Bruiser Murphy the bully and his gang try to stop him. Fatty uses his brains against his enemies' brawn to eventually triumph.



Screenwriter Bob Ellis says it was his idea to make the film. He complained about interference from the film's producers, John Sexton and Yoram Gross, claiming Sexton in particular wanted a lot of changes, but changed his mind after David Puttnam praised Ellis' original draft. He later said of the film that "all the performances are dreadful, the conspicuous exception being Bert Newton's."[3]

Of the $350,000 budget, $120,000 came from the AFC.

The movie was set in Woolloomooloo but the area had changed a lot since then so was shot in and around Glebe. Filming took place in January and February 1980.[4]


Box Office

Fatty Finn grossed $1,064,000 at the box office in Australia,[5] which is equivalent to $3,777,200 in 2009 dollars.


The film was nominated for seven Australian Film Institute Awards in 1981 winning in the categories of 'Best Achievement in Costume Design' and 'Best Original Music Score'.[6]

See also


  1. "Bert Newton makes his big-screen debut 'Fatty Finn'". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 19 March 1980. p. 46. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  2. "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office", Film Victoria Archived 9 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine accessed 24 October 2012
  3. Richard Brennan, 'Bob Ellis, Cinema Papers, Oct-Nov 1980 p 386
  4. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p343
  5. "Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  6. "Fatty Finn – Awards". IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
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