Patrick M

A man lies in a hospital bed, he is connected with tubes and machinery while a young woman stands next to the bed leaning over him.
16 September
Arc Cinema
$12 / $10 or 5 film season pass $50 / $40
Dir: Richard Franklin, M, Australia, 1978, 112mins, DCP,

Patrick (Robert Thompson) has been in a coma since he murdered his mother and her lover 3 years ago. He is a patient in a private psychiatric clinic run by Dr Roget (Sir Robert Helpmann), who treats Patrick as a guinea pig in his study of the transition from life to death.

Nurse Kathy Jacquard (Susan Penhaligon) has just started work at the clinic. When Matron Cassidy (Julia Blake) instructs Kathy to care for Patrick, the nurse realises he can communicate from within his coma.

When Patrick uses his psychokinetic powers to contact Kathy, strange and dangerous events begin to occur and soon Kathy – and those closest to her – are in deadly danger.

Patrick is an essential film of respected Australian director Richard Franklin (1948–2007), a master of the supernatural thriller with an international career including Psycho II (1983).

Patrick proved that Australia had the capacity to export horror movies and thrillers, and Franklin won Best Director at the prestigious Sitges Fantasy Film Festival in Spain for this Ozploitation classic.

‘The inert lead, with help from Richard Franklin's shrewd direction, creates an incredible menace’ Variety  

 This film is held in the NFSA collection.


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Presented in collaboration with Umbrella Entertainment.

This film is part of the NFSA's Australian New Wave program. See the full program listing here.



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