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DVD Reviews: Puberty Blues

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 25 March 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 87 Minutes

A classic tale of young people coming of age, Puberty Blues is an Australian film made in 1981 based on the story written by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. It's based on a couple of school girls named Debbie and Sue who are desperate to get in with a group of girls that are considered to be the coolest at school. They want it so badly they are prepared to do anything to be there.

What ensues is peer pressure as the young girls experiment with sex, drugs and alcohol as they try to find acceptance in a group of people they are ill equipped to deal with. However acceptance is finally given and oddly enough it's then that they come to realise that they are better than that and try to make their way out of the group to become their own person.

It's surprising that even though this movie clearly shows it's age, it's still good viewing and you will watch with interest throughout the feature. I did think that the movie finished a bit abruptly, it could have gone a little longer. I won't say why as it wrecks the story but once you've seen the movie you'll either agree with me or you won't.

The transfer is not the best for this movie with lots of low level noise surrounding the film for most of the feature. This is especially noticeable in dense black scenes. At the start of the movie, it does this almost to the point of distraction but then clears a lot. It might have been an intended effect but I didn't think it looked very good. Also add to the fact that the soundtrack is in Dual Mono and we're not kicking goals. The film still sounds and looks good but it would have been nice to see these things upgraded a bit. The movie is in widescreen however, which is a plus.

There are quite a number of extras on this disc and they have a bit of meat in them. It is interesting to hear from Bruce Beresford who has a swag of movies under his belt and see what he thought of it all.

This movie is a bit of an odd one to review as I do recommend it, however being a child of the 1970's, I did live through that period and have memories of it. Younger viewers may not be so taken with a film that to look at is quite dated. Do yourself a favour though, and at least rent it out, you'll enjoy it, that much I can guarantee.

Puberty Blues Features

  • Motion Menu
  • 2002 Interview with Nell Schofield and Bruce Beresford
  • Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • Biographies
  • Trivia
  • Umbrella Propaganda


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