Starring – Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward, Vincent Gil, Dewey Hungerford, James H Bowles, Bindi Williams, John Ifkovitch, Lex Mitchell, Rhod Walker, Owen Weingott, Slim DeGrey, Ray Bennett
Review by Noel Baily
In Australia, the ultimate “cult” movie
Back in ’74 the tag line for STONE was “Take the Trip!” By the time the critics had finished savaging this bikie saga, not that many people DID and STONE was headed for cinematic ‘Boot Hill.’ A funny thing happened though – somewhere along the line it was never fully erased from the collective public conscience and in due course the “legend of Stone” was created – to such an extent that now it is regarded as the “Bikie’s bible” and sits proudly in the “70’s Hall of fame” of Aussie film-making.
It’s not even a GOOD flick, either in script, acting or production values. What it DOES offer is high voltage energy and action sequences, mind you the flick is way overlong and quite tedious at times. The plot, such that it isn’t, has cop Ken Shorter (at the time riding high on account of his role in YOU CAN’T SEE AROUND CORNERS) infiltrating a bikie gang to see who is knocking off their members with gay abandon. Now Shorter was about as realistic an underground cop as Mark Wahlberg would be playing Harry Potter.
What the film DOES offer now in retrospect, is a cast-list not far short of the who’s who of seasoned Aussie actors and actresses, all pretty much unknown then. Strictly 70’s film-making it paved the way for such as MAD MAX and must be acknowledged for that. Check out the Funeral scene on the Gosford Freeway! – heady stuff!
For me personally, I will always retain a soft spot for this film. I knew Sandy Harbutt and Helen Morse (then his wife) quite well during the making of this film as they purchased my beloved 1952 Riley 2 1/2 litre sedan from me, for the princely sum of $740. (You could add a zero to that today and then DOUBLE it!)
Like that beautiful car, the film now remains a classic of its time!