Italian sports journalist Nino Culotta is lured to Sydney during the mid-1960s to work for his brother's new magazine for migrant Italians. When he arrives in the country, however, Nino finds out that there is no magazine and that his brother has taken off with the investors' cash. Left in the lurch is his brother's business partner, Kay Kelly. Nino vows to pay off his brother's debt and gets a job as a builder's labourer. In doing so, he learns how to talk, act, and drink like an Australian male. His numerous attempts to woo Kay are repeatedly rebuffed with humorous results, but in the end she falls in love with him. Nino's introduction to the country and its culture finds him bemused but ultimately confident that he has a future here.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image suggests this film is 'very much a product of the assimilationist view dominating Australian immigration policy at the time'.
'Popular Australian film comedy since the early 1970s has been dominated by reinventions of the national type. These reinventions involve transformations of the urban larrikin and the bush battler, first established in silent film classics such as The Sentimental Bloke (Raymond Longford 1919) and in Cinesound Studio's Rudd family comedies of the 1930s, directed by Ken G. Hall. These comic types continue to surface in popular film and television as the larrikin, ocker or decent Aussie bloke, exemplified in the 1970s by Bazza McKenzie, in the 1980s by Crocodile Dundee, in the 1990s by Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle, and most recently by cable TV showman Steve Irwin until his untimely death in 2006. Yet despite decades of multiculturalism, little attention has been paid to the impact of post-war, non -British immigration on Australian comic types. This chapter examines three popular comedies which champion ethnically marked characters as either 'New Australians' (They're a Weird Mob, Michael Powell 1966), 'wogboys' (The Wog Boy, Alexsi Vellis 2000) or `chockos' (Fat Pizza, Paul Fenech 2003). It asks whether 'wogboys' and 'chockos' - as diasporic, multicultural or new world comic types - have trumped the larrikins and ockers of Australian screen comedy, or whether 'wogsploitation' films are popular with Australian film and television audiences precisely because they tap into a long. standing national type without disturbing its key characteristics.' (Publication abstract)