Watch Heatwave

"One man. One woman. Caught together in the cold terror of...HEATWAVE"
  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.4  (410)

Heatwave is a gripping Australian drama movie from 1982, directed by Phillip Noyce, which captures the essence of a sweltering heatwave in a small outback town. The plot evolves during a typical summer day, where temperatures reach an unbearable high, and a scorching wind only adds to the discomfort. The movie stands apart from other crime movies of its time, offering a realistic portrayal of Australian society in the early 1980s, filled with political tension, corruption, racism, and mistrust.

The film takes place in a fictitious town of Riley, where most people are struggling to make ends meet. The plot revolves around the story of a young woman named Kate Dean (played by Judy Davis), who works as a journalist for a local newspaper. Kate takes her job seriously and is always on the lookout for a good story, even in the midst of the heatwave. What she does not expect is a series of events that will put her investigative skills to the test.

The town is preparing for the upcoming elections, and things are heating up, literally and figuratively. Mayor Hardy (played by Chris Haywood) is running for re-election and trying to cover up a series of scandals that could tarnish his reputation. Meanwhile, the local police force, headed by Sergeant James (played by Bill Hunter), is trying to contain the growing unrest among the Aboriginal community. The situation becomes volatile when a young Aboriginal man is brutally murdered, and the police are quick to frame the victim's friend, an innocent man.

Kate's journalistic instincts drive her to uncover the truth, but she is met with resistance from both the police and the Mayor's office. As she delves deeper into the story, she finds herself in danger, both from those who want to keep the truth hidden and from her own personal demons.

The movie's tension builds up and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, as it leads to a gripping climax that is both explosive and revealing. While the film's pace may be slower than that of modern-day thrillers, it sets a naturalistic mood that reflects the harsh and dry landscape of Australian outback. The acting performances of the cast are first-rate, particularly Judy Davis's portrayal of a tough and capable woman fighting against a male-dominated society. Richard Moir's character, Stephen West, adds both depth and romance to the story while providing a refreshing break from the underlying tension. Chris Haywood, as the corrupt Mayor, makes the audience despise him with his polished truths and fake promises.

In addition to its compelling storytelling, Heatwave brings attention to the plight of Aboriginal people in Australia. The movie portrays their struggle for respect and equality in a society that often disregards their rights and identity. It captures their plight and makes direct references to the Stolen Generation, a period of forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families. The film adds a significant cultural layer to the movie, which sets it apart from standard crime thrillers of its time.

In conclusion, Heatwave is a movie that has aged well despite being nearly four decades old. Its themes of political and social corruption, racial tension, and journalistic integrity make the movie as relevant today as it was in 1982. The performances of its talented cast, the direction of Phillip Noyce, and the accurate portrayal of Australian political and cultural landscape make it a must-see movie.

Heatwave is a 1982 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Where to Watch Heatwave
Heatwave is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Heatwave for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (410)