The Boy Who Had Everything

aka Winner Takes All

Set in Australia, a high achiever from a well-off background has difficulty adjusting to college, with the rituals and induction rites. He also has difficulty relating to his girlfriend. His parents are separated and we only see his mother, who has high expectations of him.

Jason stars as John Kirkland, and his real mother Diane Cilento plays his mother in the film.

The film works to the extent that is shows how someone might not accept the pecking order and the treatment of freshmen, but not know how to make fun of it (as his friend does). In that, it is honest, but there are several aspects which do not ring true. It only takes one outburst with his mother for their relationship to be redefined in a good, healthy way. All his problems then disappear. He regains his girlfriend after splitting up because she had no understanding or sympathy for his issues, as if she was worth getting back with under those circumstances. He still leaves the college/halls of residence to go flatting, but realises that all the abuse he went through is really just good, clean fun. On top of it all, his father hardly rates a mention but for the fact that he is not there, and there are no emotional issues arising from that.

Sky Movies Review

Jason Connery's first star role came in this penetrating look at the childish and almost barbaric rites that apparently still existed in 1965 Australia for unfortunate first-year 'freshers' at some universities and colleges of further education. Certainly a more dislikeable set of characters in any film would be tough to find. It's not easy to understand anyone surviving three whole terms under their jurisdiction. The trouble is that, given this premise, the film never seems to go anywhere, especially in not sending Jason off to Vietnam, when the plot keeps dropping hints that that's what's most likely to happen. Connery has a definite raw-boned charisma and proves a most convincing runner in some of the most realistic race sequences yet filmed. Laura Williams also does well as his suburban girlfriend and a lot of good Australian actors have fun trying to look young enough to be graduates and nasty at the same time