5 user 2 critic
A black and white lowlife duo drives around Australia's Outback in a stolen vehicle and finds trouble after trouble.


Phillip Noyce


Josephine Emery (as John Emery), Phillip Noyce


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Cast overview:
Bill Hunter ... Jack
Gary Foley Gary Foley ... Gary
Zac Martin Zac Martin ... Joe
Terry Camilleri ... Jean Claude
Julie McGregor Julie McGregor ... Anna
Essie Coffey ... Aboriginal Woman
Doc Coffey Doc Coffey ... Card Player
Richard Sullivan Richard Sullivan ... Card Player
Stan Penrose Stan Penrose ... Policeman
Allan Penney Allan Penney ... Shopkeeper
Max Andrews Max Andrews ... Garageman


Backroads tells the story of an aimless white drifter, Bill, who has a chance encounter with Aboriginal man Gary. They steal a car, petrol and supplies as they need them. As they travel they pick up another Aboriginal man on the run from an unsuccessful marriage and the bored white wife of a service station owner. A French backpacker joins them for a short while. Always on the run from police, boredom and guns turn into a deadly combination. Backroads is a raw movie packed with powerful political content in the dialogues between Bill and Gary. You learn a lot about Aboriginal culture and white concepts as you travel with the movie's characters. However, Backroads is sometimes too lengthy. It might go well with the aimlessness of the main characters, but might as well be a result of Backroads being the first feature film of director Phillip Noyce. Written by Paul Gerard Kennedy

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Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

27 June 1977 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Back Roads See more »

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Did You Know?


Rabbit Proof Fence is another film by Phillip Noyce. See more »


Featured in Reading Australian Film (1988) See more »


Written and performed by Zac Martin (as Zac Martin)
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User Reviews

Classic Aussie Aboriginal Cultural Issues Flick

Director Phillip Noyce who also created the classic flick, Clear and Present Danger 1994 and another classic Aboriginal cultural issues flick, Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 has created another 60 minute gem in Backroads.

It stars the late legendary Bill Hunter who has also been in other classic flicks, Gallipoli 1981, Mad Dog Morgan 1976, Every night Every night 1995, Blue Murder 1995, Stone 1974 and the television series Spyforce 1971-73.

Also starring is Gary Foley who was also in the classic flick, Dogs in Space 1986.

I enjoyed the road trip banter, the drinking and the Australian scenery.

If you enjoyed this as much as I did then check out other classic Aussie Aboriginal cultural issues flicks, Ten Canoes 2006, Samson and Delilah 2009, Yolngu Boy 2001, Blackfellas 1992, Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith 1978, Walkabout 1971, Dead Heart 1996 and Jedda 1955.

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