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form y separately published work icon The Boys single work   film/TV  
Adaptation of The Boys Gordon Graham , 1991 single work drama
Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 The Boys
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Inspired in part by Sydney nurse Anita Cobby, who was gang raped, tortured and murdered by five men who kidnapped her as she waited for a bus to take her home late one night, The Boys takes the viewer into the world of a violent and dysfunctional family controlled by the intelligent, malevolent, violent, and manipulative eldest son.

After being released from a twelve-month prison sentence, Brett Sprague returns to his mother's suburban Sydney home and the tension within the family rises almost immediately. His mother tries to keep the peace, only to see her three sons turn on her new boyfriend. The narrative climaxes when after eighteen hours of drinking and fighting, the boys go out and cruise the streets, looking for trouble. It is then that they see a girl waiting for a bus on her own.

[Source: Australian Screen]


  • The police investigation which followed the discovery of Anita Cobby's body led to the eventual conviction of five men - three of whom were brothers.


* Contents derived from the Strawberry Hills, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,:Currency Press , 1998 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Boys : Original Screenplay : Foreword, Stephen Sewell , single work criticism (p. vii-xi)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Form: screenplay

Works about this Work

Sydney Film Festival : 5 Classics Travis Johnson , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 17 May 2016;
The Aesthetics of Conservatism Dean Biron , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 210 2013; (p. 72-79)
Australian Psycho Harry Windsor , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13-14 July 2013; (p. 16-17)
'Violent crime films take realism to a new level and pierce the myth of mateship, writes Harry Windsor.'
Stephen Sewell's Unique Voice Comes to NIDA 2012 single work column
— Appears in: NIDA News , no. 30 2012; (p. 9)
Stephen Sewell and the State of the Nation Denise Varney , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Radical Visions 1968-2008 : The Impact of the Sixties on Australian Drama 2011; (p. 239-266)
Free to Air Melinda Houston , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 18 December 2011; (p. 24)

— Review of The Boys Stephen Sewell , 1998 single work film/TV
Out of the Box : The Boys Holly Byrnes , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 21 December 2011; (p. 41)

— Review of The Boys Stephen Sewell , 1998 single work film/TV
Movie of the Week Doug Anderson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 18 December 2011; (p. 21)

— Review of The Boys Stephen Sewell , 1998 single work film/TV
Untitled Fiona Villella , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , September-October no. 9 2000;

— Review of The Boys Stephen Sewell , 1998 single work film/TV
Untitled Jonathan Dawson , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April no. 34 1999; (p. 163-167)

— Review of The Boys Stephen Sewell , 1998 single work film/TV ; Road to Nhill Alison Tilson , 1996 single work film/TV
'Let's Get Her' : Masculinities and Sexual Violence in Contemporary Australian Drama and Its Film Adaptations Christine Boman , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 76 2003; (p. 127-135, notes 246-247)
Explores the various strategies that playwrights and filmmakers employ to represent masculinities, especially in relation to acts of sexual violence, in a number of texts.
The Decline and Fall of the Laconic, Boozing Hero Brendan O'Keefe , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 7 December 2005; (p. 29)
You Ought to Be in Pictures Sandy George , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 July 2007; (p. 16)
This article discusses the reluctance of Australian filmakers to adapt literary sources to films. Publishers and agents were invited to identify books with strong cinematic poential from their own catalogues. Five film producers decided that eleven (ten from Australia and one from Scotland) would be discussed at the 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival
y separately published work icon The Boys Andrew Frost , Strawberry Hills Canberra : Currency Press National Film and Sound Archive , 2010 Z1690632 2010 single work criticism

'Lauded by many as one of the most powerful Australian films made in the past 20 years, Rowan Woods' stunning debut feature The Boys touched off a storm of media controversy upon its release in 1998.

'The film evoked vivid memories of the 1986 rape and murder of a young Sydney woman named Anita Cobby. Although Woods' film was fictional, The Boys remains inextricably connected to its real-life counterpart in the minds of many viewers.

'But that connection is only part of the story behind the making of The Boys. In this thoughtful and thought-provoking essay, Andrew Frost contextualises the major thematic concerns of the film into the broader context of social anxieties about violence, crime and morality.

'Frost chronicles his own personal journey with the film and its makers from art school to the underground Super 8 filmmaking scene of Sydney in the mid-1980s, from the early short films of director Woods to the multiple award-winning The Boys. Frost discovers new aspects of The Boys even today and wonders if its stinging moral message has been heard among the clamour of everyday suburban life.' (From the publisher's website.)

Rules of Engagement : Cross-Cultural Glances in Critical Writing on Recent French and Australian 'Youth' Films Joe Hardwick , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media and Cultural Studies , vol. 19 no. 1 2005; (p. 73-84)


1998 winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Adapted Screenplay
1998 nominated Australian Film Institute Awards Best Film
Last amended 30 Aug 2017 10:45:54