Patrick is a 1978 Australian horror film directed by Richard Franklin and written by Everett De Roche. It is the pivotal movie of respected Australian director Richard Franklin's career.

Plot summary

Patrick (1978 film)

Patrick (Robert Thompson) lies in a coma in a Melbourne private hospital. He had murdered his mother and her lover three years ago by electrocuting them in the bath. Patrick, who has psychokinetic powers, falls in love with Kathy (Susan Penhaligon), the new nurse at the hospital, communicating with her via an electric typewriter. Patrick also uses his psychokinetic powers to control the men in Kathy's life and to defend himself against the hospital's bitter Matron Cassidy (Julia Blake) who plots to murder him.


Patrick (1978 film)
  • Susan Penhaligon as Kathie Jacquard
  • Robert Helpmann as Dr. Roget
  • Rod Mullinar as Ed Jacquard
  • Bruce Barry as Dr. Brian Wright
  • Julia Blake as Matron Cassidy
  • Helen Hemingway as Sister Williams
  • María Mercedes as Nurse Panicale
  • Robert Thompson as Patrick
  • Walter Pym as Capt. Fraser
  • Frank Wilson as Det. Sgt. Grant
  • John P. Boddie as the Multi-Colored Mice


This was the second script Everett de Roche had ever written, following Long Weeked (1978). It had been around for a number of years before Richard Franklin became attached. The two men had both worked for Crawford Productions although not together until then. De Roche says when Franklin became involved the script was "a rambling 250 pages" and Franklin taught him the elements of drama and suspense. He says the final scene of Patrick leaping out of his bed was inspired by trip to a carnival Franklin had made where a man in a gorilla suit burst out into the audience, causing everyone to scream. They then started working backwards from this scene.

Franklin brought in Antony I. Ginnane who raised finance. The Australian Film Commission and Victorian Film Corporation contributed about half the budget, with the rest obtained privately. Ginnane later said he thought De Roche's script was one of the best ever written in Australia.

British film actor Susan Penhaligon was imported to play the lead, which Ginnane thought helped secure the film a sale in Britain.

I'd done Eskimo Nell in the Australian idiom, and... my [American] friends didn't understand it. So I thought, well, I'll go to the other extreme and have everybody speaking Queen's English. And so I had everybody doing, not so much English accents as just speaking Queen's English.

Robert Helpmann broke his back during filming trying to lift up Robert Thompson in one scene.


Patrick (1978 film)

The movie was considered a disappointment at the Australian box office but was highly successful internationally, selling to over 30 countries and performing well in the US. The film currently holds a 50% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy notes the similarity between the movie's plot and that of the novel Tetrasomy Two by "Oscar Rossiter" (nom de plume of Dr. Vernon H.Skeels (1918-2007) ).

In Italy, the film was rescored by Goblin.

Richard Franklin says he would refer to this film as "my first film. Even though there were one and a half films before it." However he was unhappy with the American release of the film which was re-dubbed into American accents and recut.



Patrick (1978 film)

In February 2010 director Mark Hartley announced his intent to direct a remake of the 1978 film. The film, which is titled Patrick: Evil Awakens, was released on July 27, 2013 at the Melbourne International Film Festival and stars Jackson Gallagher as the titular Patrick. The film received positive reviews and currently holds a rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Patrick (1978 film)

In 1980 an unauthorized sequel entitled Patrick vive ancora (released in English as Patrick Still Lives and Patrick Is Still Alive). The film followed a young boy named Patrick that was sent into a coma after a roadside accident. The film was billed as and is sometimes referred to as a direct sequel to the events of the 1978 film, but aside from the name and premise of a comatose person with psychic powers, the sequel is unrelated to the earlier film.


Patrick (1978 film)

Quentin Tarantino is a fan of the movie and borrowed from Patrick for a scene in Kill Bill where the bride is in her coma and spits on the orderly, mimicking Patrick. He relates the story in Mark Hartley's documentary Not Quite Hollywood.

See also

Patrick (1978 film)
  • Cinema of Australia


Patrick (1978 film)

External links

Patrick (1978 film)
  • Patrick at the Internet Movie Database
  • Patrick at the Australian screen

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