A 20-year-old US Marine named “Rebel” (Matt Dillon) is on R&R leave in Sydney in 1942, recuperating from wounds suffered in battle in Guadalcanal.
He is weary of the war and is intent on deserting and escaping from Australia but becomes infatuated with the singer of an all-girl band, Kathy McLeod (Debbie Byrne who started her show business career singing on Young Talent Time) and pursues her.
But Kathy is married – her husband is fighting in New Guinea with the Australian Army – and initially not interested in Rebel. Things change when her husband is killed in action and she begins a whirlwind romance with the young AWOL Marine.
Costars include Bryan Brown, Bill Hunter, Julie Nihill and Ray Barrett.
Rebel was based on a play called No Names . . . No Pack Drill, written in 1966 by Bob Herbert. Olivia Newton-John was originally signed to play the part of Kathy but pulled out of the film after receiving poor reviews for Two of a Kind (1983) in which she co-starred with John Travolta.
The film won five awards at the Australian Film Institute awards in September 1985, for best cinematography, production design, costume design, sound and musical score.
Sheree da Costa