Don’s Party

Australian Workers Film Guide


A classic Australian feature comedy about an election night party with a tragic group of bourgeois and university educated Labor Party supporters in suburban Sydney. 

Set on the night of the 1969 election, Don and his friends expect a Labor win after 20 years of conservative government. As the night unfolds and a Labor loss becomes apparent, their disappointment descends into a night of drinking, sexual debauchery and mutual loathing as the reality of their unsatisfying lives mirrors the fortunes of the Labor Party at the ballot box. 

Purporting to espouse working class values of egalitarianism and social justice, the male characters are comically painted as hypocritical chardonnay socialists, self-indulgent narcissists obsessed with their own personal status. The absence of any truly working class character in the film highlights the middle class’ pretentious advocacy of the working class.

During the opening scenes of the film, former Liberal Prime Minister John Gorton performs a cameo of himself at the airport as the then Liberal leader on election day.

Special Notes/Achievements

  • Commercial cinema release, 1976

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 91 mins

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Film Key Cast: Jeanie Drynan – Kath, John Hargreaves - Don, Pat Bishop - Jenny, Ray Barrett - Mal, Veronica Lang - Jody, Graeme Blundell - Simon, Harold Hopkins – Cooley, Clare Binney – Susan, Kit Taylor – Evan, Candy Raymond – Kerry, Graham Kennedy – Mack, John Gorton – Himself as Prime Minister,

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