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Palm Beach

The ultimate Surf movie by Albie Thoms

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Palm Beach


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Palm Beach is a reflection of the suburban sub-culture of Sydney’s Northern Beaches area. A tale of surf, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, it reveals 48 hours in the lives of a handful of young Australians. 

This is the story of Nick Naylor, a surfing champion who has ‘made it’ and is living comfortably in Palm Beach. His easy-going lifestyle is interrupted by Joe Ryan, an old surfing chum from the Southside suburb of Maroubra. Joe has a problem: he desperately needs a supply of drugs to pay off an urgent debt. Nick reluctantly agrees to ‘help out his old mate’.
Then there is the story of Leilani Adams, a teenager who has run away from home. She has been hanging out with older men, including an American yachtsman. Unknown to Leilani, she is being searched for by a private detective hired by her worried mother.
Finally there is the story of Paul Kite, a surfboard shaper who can’t find work. He is unhappily dependent on his girlfriend, Kate O’Brien. Sick of being a bludger, Paul seeks a desperate solution to his problems.
These stories are woven together as the characters move through the beach-side suburbs leading to Palm Beach. They are all unconsciously bound together by the Sydney radio station they all listen to as it blasts out its continuous stream of on-the-spot news, hard-sell commercials and high-energy rock. Eventually, all the characters find themselves together at the same Palm Beach party. The different things that happen to them there have dire consequences for all of them. In the next 24 hours their problems are resolved in ways none of them could have imagined.

PALM BEACH shared First Prize for “Best Australian Film” at the 20th Adelaide International Film Festival, and was nominated in the “Best Original Screenplay” category in the Australian Film Awards.

Producer, director, script, editor: Albie Thoms
Photography: Oscar Scherl
Sound: Michael Moore, Rick Creaser,
Dubbing Mixer: Julian Ellingworth
Music: Terry Hannigan
CAST:  Nat Young - Nick Naylor, Kenneth Brown - Joe Ryan, Amanda Berry - Leilani Adams, Bryan Brown - Paul Kite, Julie McGregor - Kate O'Brien, John Flaus - Larry Kent, Bronwyn Stevens-Jones - Wendy Naylor, David Lourie - Zane Green, Peter Wright - Rupert Roberts, John Clayton - Eric Tailor, Lyn Collingwood - Mrs. Adams, Adrian Rawlins - David Litvinoff, P.J. Jones - Detective Sgt., Robinson Mick Eyre - Magazine Editor, Jim Roberts - Art School Dean, Cathy Power - Art School Student, Mick Winter - Board Polisher, Tony Hardwick - Boardshop Owner, David Elfick – Projectionist

Read more about Albie Thoms:

“Palm Beach is perhaps one of the outstanding Australian films of recent years. It is masterful filmmaking breaking a lot of the conventional rules with great effectiveness” – CANBERRA TIMES

“A film that can be truly tagged Australian...a creative often intriguing film that adds a new dimension to cinema” – HOBART MERCURY

“Strong, aspiring, well worth mentioning...a quasi documentary fiction film about the surfer milieu around Sydney...a concise description of everyday life.” – COLOGNE STATE NEWS

A fast-paced thriller of the most commercial kind....Tech. credits are all commendable, but standout is Terry Hannigan’s music....a quick slick flick.” – VARIETY NEW YORK

“A brilliant achievement in Australian cinema...a small masterpiece of social exploration, technical innovation an pure cinematic will...sharply analytical, overwhelmingly realistic and endlessly amusing...the most exciting, far-sighted and courageous Australian film to appear in a long time.” -SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“An original, flamboyant and thoroughly entertaining film.” – ROLLING STONE

“A thoroughly entertaining and dramatic tale of life in modern Sydney.” – RAM

A penetrating look at youth...a welcome relief from the nostalgia trip most Australian directs have been taking in the past decade.” – WEST AUSTRALIAN

“Head and shoulders above the ordinary run of Australian films...possibly our highest achievement in truly national cinema...perceptive, inventive and brave in its use of everyday elements to cut so deeply into the youngish yet already slightly wizened Australian heart.” – ABC BROADBAND


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