My First Wife

My First Wife is a 1984 Australian drama film directed by Paul Cox. The film won several AFI Awards in 1984.

My First Wife
Promotional poster
Directed byPaul Cox
Produced byPaul Cox
Jane Ballantyne
Written byBob Ellis
Paul Cox
StarringJohn Hargreaves
Wendy Hughes
David Cameron
Music byAnn Boyd
Renée Geyer
CinematographyYuri Sokol
Edited byTim Lewis
Release date
13 September 1984 (1984-09-13)
Running time
96 minutes
Box officeA$413,199 (Australia)


The film follows the dissolution of John and Helen's marriage and the aftermath.



The film was based on the breakdown of Cox's marriage. He started writing the script, showed it to Bob Ellis and the two men wrote the screenplay together. (Ellis says they spent a day and a half on it.[2])

The film was shot mostly at a house in Williamstown in Melbourne.[1]


Coir: Members of the Tudor Choristers directed by David Carolane

Christoph Willibald Gluck: "Orpheus & Euridice".

Berliner Symphoniker – Hermann Prey

Conductor – Horst Stein

Joseph Haydn - "Paukenmesse"

Bayerischen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

Conductor – Rafael Kubelik, Polygram

Ann Boyd - "As I crossed a Bridge of Dreams", "Cycle of love", Faber Music Ltd.

Carl Orff - "Carmine Burana"

Czech Philarmonic Orchestra & Chorus, Conducted by Vaclev Smetacek, Supraphon

Rene Geyer - "Hot Minuets", Mushroom Records, Australia

Frans Sussmayr - "Grandfather's Birthday Celebration", Hungarian Radio Children's Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Conductor – Laszlo Csanyl

Box office

My First Wife grossed $413,199 at the box office in Australia,[3] which is equivalent to $1,049,525 in 2009 dollars.


My First Wife won in 1984 AFI Awards in the Best Actor in a Lead Role (John Hargreaves), Best Director (Paul Cox), Best Original Screenplay (Paul Cox, Bob Ellis) categories and was nominated in 4 more categories. Paul Cox also won the 1986 Grand Prix award at the Flanders International Film Festival in 1986.[4]

See also


  1. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p99-100
  2. Interview with Bob Ellis, 13 August 1996 accessed 14 October 2012
  3. Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office Archived 25 November 2010 at WebCite
  4. IMDb awards
  • Murray, Scott; (ed.) (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW.: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 275. ISBN 1-86373-311-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

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