BootLeg Betty

Australia’s biggest stars have revealed which films changed their lives

Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey describe friendship for generations of women everywhere,
AUGUST 6, 2018

Mister D: Can somebody from Down Under take the time and tell us who these stars are and what they’re famous for? You can use the message board here or the Facebook Comments on FB.

Some of Australia’s biggest stars have revealed which films changed their lives and some of their answers are very surprising (we’re looking at you, Waleed Aly).

IS there a movie that had such a profound effect on you you’d say it changed your life?

That’s what we asked some of Australia’s biggest stars, including Lisa Wilkinson, Waleed Aly, and Vince Colosimo.

Some of their answers were … interesting.


Movie: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner — 1967
I first saw this movie when I was a teenager. It was set at the height of the 1960s civil rights movement in the US, so I came to it late, but it has everything: truly magnificent acting from Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, a stunning setting, searing writing with beautiful comedic moments, and the most perfect final speech in any movie I’ve ever seen. It still brings me to tears every time I see it.

To my young impressionable mind it was a melting pot of so many of the burning issues of the day: social injustice, class structures, liberalism, and why, in the end, kindness, tolerance, and understanding should always be your guiding light.

Sydney Poitier, Katharine Houghton, and Spencer Tracy in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Limited


Movie: The Princess Bride — 1987

Is any movie more of a landmark in your life than The Princess Bride? Sure, there have been more “important” movies — you know, the kind they study at film school. But no film I’ve ever seen seems to be more joyously quotable.

There’s no moment quite like the one where you discover someone else who has seen it, then proceed to exchange your favorite lines for something approximating an hour. “Inconceivable!” “My name is Inigo Mantoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” “Mostly dead.” “Anybody want a peanut?” To anyone listening, it makes no sense whatsoever. But to those in the know, it’s glorious — like a secret language that creates instant bonds among those who speak it.

We did not expect Waleed to pick The Princess Bride.


Movie: It’s A Wonderful Life — 1946

It’s a movie which challenges the notion that people cannot have an impact and shape the world around them. It argues that even the smallest act of kindness can have a long-term and profound impact on the people around us. It’s a surprisingly uplifting movie.

It’s A Wonderful Life: Matt Preston recommends it so give it a watch.


Movie: Beaches — 1988
I was 10 years old when Beaches was released and it taught me two very valuable lessons. Firstly, about the importance of friendship and secondly to accept people and their differences.

The friendship between Hilary (Barbara Hershey) and CC (Bette Midler) is an unlikely one as the two women live completely different lives. It was an important lesson to learn early on that your friends don’t need to be cut from the same cloth, it enriches your life if they are in fact opposites. I cherish the relationships I have with my closest girlfriends every day.

If you don’t cry when watching Beaches are you even alive?


Movie: Muriel’s Wedding — 1994
It was the first ever movie I got on DVD. Being a young secret gay boy at the time — it blew me away. I initially loved the camp and color of it all but as I grow older, I realize how much more is going on. How can something so sad be so funny at the same time? It’s incredibly Australian.

I watch it a few times a year and every single time I find something new that impresses me. Not a day goes by without a Muriel quote flying out of my mouth and if you don’t instantly understand the reference, then we can’t be friends.

Nath Valvo is performing his stand-up comedy show, Show Pony, at Sydney’s Giant Dwarf on August 25

Nath Valvo doesn’t wanna know ya if you haven’t seen Muriel’s Wedding. Limited


Movie: Raging Bull — 1980
There’s a lot of films that have changed parts of my life here and there, but the one film that just blew me away and still does every time I watch it is Raging Bull.

I just love that film on every level … the story, the performances, the black and white, the sound, the music and the slow-motion fight scenes.
De Niro’s performance was just sublime. When I think of De Niro I like to think if he wasn’t alive and he was able to split his talent into 10 pieces and give a little bit of it to 10 different actors, each of those 10 actors would still be legends. That’s how much I think of him and what he’s done.
Vince Colosimo’s new movie, The Second, is out now on Stan

De Niro won his second Oscar for playing Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Corp Australia


Movie: West Side Story — 1961
Between the dancing, dresses and the vibrancy, it was so amazing and I was completely blown away. It was 1961 and I was a 13-year-old in the junior ballet on Channel 9. All the dance steps came from choreographer Jerome Robbins and I would listen to the LP over and over again, dancing along to it everywhere.

It inspired me and my dancing so much and sparked my career in entertainment.


Movie: Never Ending Story – 1984
I was two when this “epic fantasy story” was released. I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw it, all I know is that it rocked me.

The moment Artax the horse (Spoiler Alert) dies in the Swamp of Sadness “Fight against the sadness, Artax” – I started balling uncontrollably.

I remember in Year 4 my class was going to screen the movie at school… I knew I wouldn’t be able to control the tears and didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the guys so my Mum took the day off work and we stayed home and watched it on video together. I haven’t been strong enough to go back… maybe for my 40th?

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