The Everlasting Secret Family is a 1988 Australian film directed by Michael Thornhill about a secret society of gay men. It was based on Frank Moorhouse's so-named collection of four short stories published in 1980.

The Everlasting Secret Family
Directed byMichael Thornhill
Produced byMichael Thornhill
Antony I. Ginnane
Written byFrank Moorhouse
Based onstories by Frank Moorhouse
StarringArthur Dignam
Mark Lee
Heather Mitchell
Dennis Miller
John Meillon
Paul Goddard
Anna Volska
Music byTony Bremner[1]
CinematographyJulian Penney[2]
Edited byPam Barnetta[2]
Hemdale Film Corporation
International Film Management
Release date
Running time
94 mins
Budget$2.5 million[3]
Box office$280,000 (Australia)[3]

The movie was financed by Antony I. Ginnane's IFM company.[4]

IFM pre sold the movie to Hemdale Film Corporation for $1.5 million but Hemdale were later unable to meet its presale obligations.[3][5]


A fictional group (acting similar to Freemasons) of middle-aged homosexual men (including a senator) hold influence and power over young school boys from the fictional Saint Michael's Private School for Boys.[6] The film follows one of these boys (called only 'Youth'), as he rises through the ranks of the secret society.[7]



Janet Maslin of The New York Times in 1989, thought that the film was divided into two halves, the first engrossing and the second ridiculous....The action becomes farfetched, the actors hopelessly unconvincing, and everyone ages so badly - thanks to too much eyebrow pencil and talcum powder - that the film winds up looking like a high school play.[2]

RS reviewing for Timeout stated that All the gay characters are 'elderly pervert' stereotypes, cruel, calculating and vampirish. Yet, for a film that takes so rigidly homophobic a stance, an awful lot of time is spent dwelling on youthful tanned muscles and taut buttocks.[8]


  1. ^ "The Everlasting Secret Family (1987)". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (1989). "Reviews/Film; An Australian Tale of Sex And the Power It Confers". NYTimes. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c HEMDALE HOLDS OUT ON PRE-SALE PAYMENTS TO IFM By MARK LAWSON Australian Financial Review 29 March 1988 p 34
  4. ^ David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p163
  5. ^ GOLDFARB RENEGES ON PRE-SALE DEBT By MARK LAWSON Australian Financial Review 28 April 1988 p 36
  6. ^ Michael Ferguson and Michael S. Ferguson Idol Worship: A Shameless Celebration of Male Beauty in the Movies, p. 215, at Google Books
  7. ^ Neal Drinnan (editor) The Rough Guide to Gay & Lesbian Australia, p. 310, at Google Books
  8. ^ "The Everlasting Secret Family Film". Retrieved 12 August 2018.

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