The Night the Prowler

The Night the Prowler

Cover of screenplay
Directed by Jim Sharman
Produced by Anthony Buckley
Written by Patrick White
Starring Ruth Cracknell
John Frawley
Kerry Walker
Music by Cameron Allan
Cinematography David Sanderson
Edited by Sara Bennett
Chariot Films
New South Wales Film Corporation
Distributed by International Harmony (US)
Release dates
2 June 1978 (1978-06-02) (Sydney Film Festival)
15 June 1979 (1979-06-15) (Australia)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget AU$417,000[1]

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]

Paul Byrnes from Australian Screen Online described:

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.[4]



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.[5]

The film was shot in November and December 1977.[6]


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


  1. 1 2 Stratton, David. The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p167-169
  2. The Angus & Robertson Concise Australian Encyclopedaedia. North Ryde, Sydney, Australia: Angus & Robertson. 1983, second revision 1986. p. 505. ISBN 0-207-15305-1. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. IMDb awards
  4. Byrnes, Paul.The Night the Prowler. Australian Screen Online
  5. Anderson, Robyn & Adler, Sue. "Jim Sharman", Cinema Papers, March–April 1979 p.270
  6. Dzenis, Anna. "Patrick White's the Night the Prowler", Australian Film 1978-1992, Oxford Uni Press 1993 p.46

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