Home   >   Movie Stars   >   N   >   Phillip Noyce

Phillip Noyce

Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of twelve. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was eighteen when he made his first film, the 15-minute Better to Reign in Hell, utilizing a unique financing scheme selling roles in the movie to his friends.

In 1973, Noyce was selected to attend the Australian National Film School in its inaugural year. Here, he made Castor and Pollux (1973), a 50-minute documentary, which won the award for Best Australian Short Film of 1974.

Noyce's first professional film was the 50-minute docu-drama God Knows Why, But It Works in 1975. This helped pave the way for his first feature, the road movie Backroads (1977), which starred Australian Aboriginal activist Gary Foley. In 1978, he directed and co-wrote Newsfront (1978), which won Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the Australian Film Awards, as well as proving a huge commercial hit in Australia. In addition to opening the London Film Festival, Newsfront was the first Australian film to screen at the New York Film Festival.

In 1982, Heatwave, co-written and directed by Noyce and starring Judy Davis, was chosen to screen at the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

Noyce's other film credits include the box office hits Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), political thrillers starring Harrison Ford, as well as the acclaimed films Dead Calm (1989) starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane and The Bone Collector (1999) which starred Oscar(C) winners Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

Returning to his native Australia after 12 years working within the Hollywood system, 2002 saw two Noyce films released worldwide at almost the same time: The Quiet American and Rabbit-Proof Fence.

The Quiet American starred Michael Caine in an Academy Award(R)-nominated Best Actor performance, while the film also appeared on over 20 top ten lists for 2002, including the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.

Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on the true story of three Aboriginal girls abducted from their families by Australian authorities in 1931 as part of an official government policy. The film won Best Picture at the Australian Film Awards, and, together with The Quiet American, garnered Noyce numerous best director awards, including National Board of Review in the US and UK's London Film Critics Circle.

In 2006 and 2007 Focus Features/Universal released Noyce's South African set thriller Catch A Fire, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke. The film was named one of the top Independent Films of 2006 by the National Board of Review in the US.

Noyce's television credits include the Australian miniseries The Dismissal (1983) as well as Cowra Breakout (1984), which he also co-wrote, and both produced by fellow director, George Miller. Noyce also directed the pilots for Fox's Tru Calling (2003) and Showtime's "Brotherhood (2006) TV series. In 2010, FX will premiere the series Lights Out, on which Noyce is an Executive Producer.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Phillip Noyce Facts

BirthdayApril 29, 1950 (73)
BirthplaceGriffith, New South Wales, Australia
Height6' 4" (1m93)  How tall is Phillip Noyce compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Mary and Martha
Patriot Games
The Bone Collector
Mark 8:36
One Too Many Mornings 3:4-8
Episode 4
The Giver
Clear and Present Danger
Continue » Find more details on the Phillip Noyce Movies page