The Big Steal is an Australian caper film directed by Nadia Tass starring Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan and Steve Bisley.

David Parker was the scriptwriter and cinematographer. The film won three Australian Film Institute awards. The film was released on the 20th of September 1990. 

The movie was shot from the 6th of November to the 22nd of December 1989.

The film follows a young Danny Clark (Ben Mendelsohn) and his mates Mark Jorgensen (Damon Harriman) and Vangeli Petrakis (Angelo D’Angelo).

As the film unravels you find that there is only two things in life Danny wants more than anything else, one is a Jaguar car and the other is Joanna Johnson (Claudia Karvan).

On Danny’s 18th birthday his parents give him their beloved 1963 Nissan Cedric, which he trades for a A Jaguar XJ6.  Danny works up the courage to ask Joanna out on a date.  One problem is that he tells her that he owns a Jaguar. 

Danny finds a second hand car dealership owned by Gordon Farkas (Steve Bisley).

Spotting Danny admiring a used 1973 XJ6 in the lot, Farkas pounces and uses all his charm, cunning and every used-car salesman trick in the book to convince Danny that this is the car for him.

With the deal done and the Cedric gone, Danny heads home with his new pride and joy. But this is where things start to unravel.

His father is not impressed about losing the Cedric, and while out on his long-awaited date with Joanna, the Jag’s engine blows up.

Danny is shattered, particularly when he upsets Joanna and she leaves him stranded alone in the empty streets with a broken-down car.

Closer inspection reveals the engines had been swapped after Danny had signed the contract, with a dud motor put in his car.

Realising he has been done-over by the crooked Farkas, Danny and his mates hatch a plan to get revenge over the shonky car salesman and hopefully win back the hand of the lovely Joanna.

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