The Night the Prowler

The Night the Prowler (also known as Patrick White's The Night the Prowler) is a 1978 Australian film written by Patrick White, produced by Anthony Buckley and directed by Jim Sharman.[2] Ruth Cracknell was nominated in 1979 for an AFI Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her part.[3]

The Night the Prowler
Penguin 1978 PatrickWhite ScreenplayandShortStory.jpg
Cover of screenplay
Directed byJim Sharman
Produced byAnthony Buckley
Written byPatrick White
StarringRuth Cracknell
John Frawley
Kerry Walker
Music byCameron Allan
CinematographyDavid Sanderson
Edited bySara Bennett
Distributed byInternational Harmony (US)
Release date
2 June 1978 (1978-06-02) (Sydney Film Festival)
15 June 1979 (1979-06-15) (Australia)
Running time
90 minutes



Sharman had worked successfully with White directing the latter's play The Season at Sarsaparilla. White suggested that his book The Night the Prowler might make a film; Sharman agreed and White wrote a screenplay.[4]

The film was shot in November and December 1977.[5]


The film was selected to open the 1978 Sydney Film Festival and was harshly received.[1]


Paul Byrnes of Australian Screen Online wrote the following in his review:

The film is a savage satire on the neuroses of the privileged of Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where White lived, and the director Jim Sharman grew up. Much of the satire verges on invective, and the film was criticised for being ponderous, pretentious and condescending. Parts of it are like that—especially some of the dialogue—but the film also has some moments where everything works.[6]


  1. ^ a b Stratton, David. The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p167-169
  2. ^ The Angus & Robertson Concise Australian Encyclopedaedia (2nd ed. 1986). North Ryde, Sydney, Australia: Angus & Robertson. 1983. p. 505. ISBN 0-207-15305-1.
  3. ^ IMDb awards
  4. ^ Anderson, Robyn & Adler, Sue. "Jim Sharman", Cinema Papers, March–April 1979 p. 270
  5. ^ Dzenis, Anna. "Patrick White's the Night the Prowler", Australian Film 1978-1992, Oxford Uni Press 1993 p. 46
  6. ^ Byrnes, Paul.The Night the Prowler. Australian Screen Online
  • Murray, Scott (ed.) (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW.: Allen & Unwin/AFC. ISBN 1-86373-311-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

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