Last updated

Directed by James Ricketson
Produced byPaul D. Barron
Penny Chapman
David Rapsey
Screenplay byJames Ricketson
Archie Weller
Based onNovel:
Archie Weller
StarringJohn Moore
David Ngoombujarra
Jack Charles
John Hargreaves
Ernie Dingo
Music byDavid Milroy
CinematographyJeffrey Malouf
Edited byChristopher Cordeaux
Distributed byRonin Films
Release date
Running time
95 minutes

Blackfellas is a 1993 Australian drama film directed by James Ricketson and starring John Moore, David Ngoombujarra, Jack Charles, John Hargreaves and Ernie Dingo. It is an adaptation of Archie Weller's 1981 novel The Day of the Dog. The film won two AFI Awards and had its premier at the Valhalla Cinema in Melbourne on 26 August 1993. [1]



In Perth, Western Australia, Doug Dooligan (John Moore), a young Nyoongar man, is released from prison, where he was incarcerated for assault. Outside, he is picked up by his charismatic childhood friend Floyd "Pretty Boy" Davies (David Ngoombujarra), who was partially responsible for Doug's incarceration, and taken to a remote Aboriginal community in Western Australia. He becomes attracted to a local girl Polly (Jaylene Riley) and, upon learning that Floyd is still involved in criminal activities, decides to leave and visit his mother.

Determined to stay out of trouble, Doug buys back his father's old property, Yetticup, which has traditional roots. Polly joins him at Yetticup and not soon afterward, Doug's father reappears after he had escaped from prison. Doug narrowly escapes the police when his father is apprehended, and the latter dies in prison. Distraught, Doug meets Floyd, and the two become friends again. When Doug tries to stop Floyd from committing a crime, Floyd sacrifices his own life so that Doug can escape and avoid arrest.



James Ricketson became interested in the story in the early 1980s when he was directing an episode of Women of the Sun. [2]


According to Ozmovies:

Proving once again that reviews can’t be banked, the film opened to generally positive reviews amongst mainstream newspaper reviewers but this didn't help at the box office. [3]


AACTA Awards
(1993 AFI Awards)
Best Direction James Ricketson Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Best Actor John MooreNominated
Best Supporting Actor David Ngoombujarra Won

See also

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  1. Kim, Ignatius (18 August 1993). "A universal story", Green Left Weekly . Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  2. "Interview with James Ricketson", Signet, 22 May 1995 Archived 12 January 2013 at accessed 20 November 2012
  3. 'Blackfellas' at Ozmovies, accessed 26 October 2017.