The Ballad Of Les Darcy

Written byTom Arthur and Zac Garred

Project Description

A feature film based on the best-selling book by Peter FitzSimons, this is the true, tragic story of Les Darcy, middleweight boxing champion of Australia at age 19. Born into poverty in 1895 in Maitland, NSW, Darcy was blessed with natural athletic ability and possessed a charm and a heart beyond his years. Driven to provide for his parents and eleven siblings, Darcy rose rapidly through the ranks of Newcastle and Sydney boxing worlds to attract—and defeat—the world’s best fighters. By the outbreak of the Great War, Darcy, “The Blacksmith Boxer”, had become a household name and a national folk hero, but within two years his opponents had dried up, and, although still a minor, his reluctance to enlist saw him hounded, vilified, and outcast by a hostile media. Increasingly desperate and out of options, Darcy skipped Australia for the bustling metropolis of New York City, which embraced him as her own. However, with his past close behind him, this was a journey from which he would never return.

THE BALLAD OF LES DARCY takes place between 1913 and 1917 and follows this remarkable man through a fascinating period of social upheaval in Australian and United States history. The film explores Darcy’s humanity and complexity and is interlaced with some of the most colourful and iconic personas of the early twentieth century, including Tex Rickard, Bat Masterson, H.D McIntosh, Snowy Baker, Jack Johnson, Billy Hughes, Harry Houdini, Charlie Chaplin, Eddie McGoorty and George Carpentier, all of whom play a part in the rise and demise of the man and the legend.

THE BALLAD OF LES DARCY is currently in pre-production.


Robbie button

Hi, My name is Robbie Antony button & Stepen john sams, Aub button’ ( Tony Mack ) is a novocastrian boxer’ he is also our grand father. We visit the statue and read the history of his fights and admire the life of Les darcy and memorabilia’ we would love a opportunity to be apart of this production and help in any way! Thankyou for your time.


Hi, I am currently working at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in Learning and Audience Development.
I was wondeing if you had a release date for the film about Les Darcy.


stone agets

can’t bloody wait been hanging out since i was a teenager to see a movie about the legendary Les Darcy, hope you get a haircut dye your hair black and look like you can box and don’t forget his time in the boxing tents.

thanks heaps you’re a bloody ripper.

p.s. see if you can get one of these muso’s to write a stirring song for the movie Paul Kelly, Sara Storer, Troy Cassar Daley, Neil Murray

hoo roo


Les Darcy was one of my great uncles, I am really looking forward to seeing this movie

Michelle Darcy

Les Darcy was my great great uncle. my great grandfather Raymond was his older brother. Peter Fitzsimmons neglected some facts in his book. Les’s father Ned had a first marriaghe before Les’s mother. The marriage produced 2 children before Ned became a widower and married Margaret O’Rourke. My Great Grandfather Raymond was a regular sparring partner for Les and at times in his corner for fights. I have a photo of My Great Grandfather, Les, Mick Hawkins and their younger brother Frank(Frosty) taken to note their part in his training and fights. Much accurate information on Les and his life can be found in Newcastle Universitys library in the collection donated by Bob Power( a boxing historian and author). He spent 40 years collecting information and items relating to Les Darcy.

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