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Hard Knocks (1980)

A young woman from a poor, crime-ridden background tries to forge a new life as a model.


Don McLennan
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tracy Mann ... Samantha
Bill Hunter ... Brady
Kim Rushworth Kim Rushworth ... Tim
John Arnold John Arnold ... Munch
Kristy Grant Kristy Grant ... Debbie
Hilton Bonner Hilton Bonner ... Frank
Max Cullen ... Newman
Tony Barry ... Barry
Penelope Stewart Penelope Stewart ... Raelene
Elizabeth Stevenson Elizabeth Stevenson ... Jean
Jack Allen Jack Allen ... Father
John Murphy John Murphy
Suzanne Dudley Suzanne Dudley ... Liz
Rennie Ellis Rennie Ellis ... Photographer
Murielle Salter Murielle Salter ... Robbery Victim


A young woman from a poor, crime-ridden background tries to forge a new life as a model.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life wasn't meant to be easy... but it wasn't meant to be this hard! See more »









Release Date:

23 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sam See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Company Credits

Production Co:

Andromeda Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Tracy Mann received top / first billing, Bill Hunter received second billing, Kim Rushworth received third billing, John Arnold received fourth billing and Kristy Grant received fifth billing. See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


Who Listens to the Radio
Written by Stephen Cummings and Andrew Pendlebury
Performed by the Sports
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User Reviews

A different type of punk film/youth drama
3 July 2001 | by Mattydee74See all my reviews

If Australia has come close to producing a punk film, Hard Knocks is it. Its a film driven by its music soundtrack full of classic Australian rock music which may not seem "punk" in the limited US or UK sense, but bares its punk teeth more clearly in terms of scripting and plot. (I'd define punk more in terms of alternative living/critique of society rather than as fashion or sound as these are always localised) Its the tale of a young woman named Samantha who is trying to fathom how to live after a life of petty crime sees her locked up in a detention centre. Once freed, she pursues life as a model but can't escape her roots or critical sense of self and society. Tracy Mann is exceptionally powerful in showing the punk girl turned small-scale fashion model and her struggle to move forward in a society filled with unemployment and increasing despair and social disparity. Its also the story of a survivor doing the best she can to be true to herself. Famous Australian singer Deborah Conway appears as a fellow model and Bill Hunter (Muriels Wedding, Priscilla) plays a mean cop. The cast is chock full of great Australian performers like Max Cullen. Its a strong dramatic piece and offers a fascinating snapshot of Australia at the turn of the 70s/80s. A very local punk film with good characterisation and a sharp political edge.

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