23 Facts About Peter Weir


Peter Lindsay Weir is a retired Australian film director.


Peter Weir is known for directing films crossing various genres over forty years with films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, Witness, Dead Poets Society, Fearless, The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and The Way Back.


Peter Weir has received six Academy Award nominations, ultimately being awarded the Academy Honorary Award in 2022 for his lifetime achievement career.


Early in his career as a director, Weir was a leading figure in the Australian New Wave cinema movement.


Peter Weir made his feature film debut with Homesdale and continued with the mystery drama Picnic at Hanging Rock, the supernatural thriller The Last Wave and the historical drama Gallipoli.


Peter Weir gained tremendous success with the multinational production The Year of Living Dangerously.


Peter Lindsay Weir was born in Sydney, New South Wales, in 1944, the son of Peggy and Lindsay Weir, a real estate agent.


Peter Weir attended The Scots College and Vaucluse Boys High School before studying arts and law at the University of Sydney.


Peter Weir took a position with the Commonwealth Film Unit, for which he made several documentaries, including a short documentary about an underprivileged outer Sydney suburb, Whatever Happened to Green Valley, in which residents were invited to make their own film segments.


Peter Weir directed one section of the three-part, three-director feature film Three To Go, which won an AFI award.


Peter Weir's first full-length feature film was the underground cult classic, The Cars That Ate Paris, a low-budget black comedy about the inhabitants of a small country town who deliberately cause fatal car crashes and live off the proceeds.


The plot of "Cars" had been inspired by a press report Peter Weir had read about two young English women who had vanished while on a driving holiday in France.


Peter Weir's next film, The Last Wave, was a supernatural thriller about a man who begins to experience terrifying visions of an impending natural disaster.


Peter Weir later starred in the major series The Thorn Birds, set in Australia.


Between The Last Wave and his next feature, Peter Weir wrote and directed the offbeat low-budget telemovie The Plumber.


Peter Weir scored a major Australian hit and further international praise with his next film, the historical adventure-drama Gallipoli.


Peter Weir directed Ford in his only performance to receive an Academy Award nomination, while child star Lukas Haas received wide praise for his debut film performance.


Peter Weir's next film, Dead Poets Society, was a major international success, with Peter Weir again receiving credit for expanding the acting range of its Hollywood star.


In 2003, Peter Weir returned to period drama with Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.


Peter Weir wrote and directed his next film, The Way Back, a historical epic about escapees from a Soviet gulag, which was generally well received critically but not a financial success.


Peter Weir really enjoyed that work when he didn't have actors giving him a hard time.


In November 2022, Peter Weir received an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


On 14 June 1982, Peter Weir was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the film industry.