At the beginnings of this centuary a man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies (naturally in black and white). But what they really want is ... See full summary »
Rod Taylor plays a policeman sent to return a sensitive case; An Australian citizen, currently acting as high commissioner for peace talks who is wanted for an old charge -- of murder. The ... See full summary »
Professional beach bum and 'knight errant' Travis McGee goes up against psychotic body-builder Terry Bartell. McGee pulls out all the stops when he joins a Carribean cruise to bring the killer to justice.
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Colonel Mostyn is the chief of a section of the British Security Services when they are embarrassed by the number of spies and defections. The Chief tells him to do something about it so he... See full summary »
A World War II vet sets out in 1948 to avenge the death of his wife at the hands of Nazis. His targets are four Germans, a Sicilian, and a Hungarian who committed the atrocities. He is ... See full summary »
An armoured car company is the target of repeated heists. Company leadership is enforcing new measures in order to tighten the security. However, the biggest danger of a new heist lies within the company's own ranks.
At the beginnings of this centuary a man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies (naturally in black and white). But what they really want is stay at one place and open up a cinema. Written by
Three of the four films shown by Pym are not specifically identified. The first seems to be The Grand Duchess and the Waiter (1926) starring Adolphe Menjou and Florence Vidor. The other two are impossible to identify from the short clips shown. One seems to be something like a Tom Mix western. The last contains no recognisable stars and seems to be set in India. No film details nor copyright acknowledgements are included in the credits, except for the one identified film, On Our Selection (1920). See more »
A bittersweet story of Australia's early film history
Few are better qualified than Joan Long to tell this, a story of the trials and tribulation of early Australian cinema. A renown film historian, she based the film on the recollections of real-life picture show man Lyle Penn, but also draws on the rich knowledge of the era she gained by rediscovering and interviewing many of its leading players.
Travelling picture showmen were once common in Australia. Living out of caravans or even tents, they serviced the rural areas that did not yet have their own permanent cinemas, often providing variety acts as part of the show.
The film's tone is somewhat reminiscent of these early films. The story is delineated (and performed) in the same broad strokes as every Australian classic from 'Dad and Dave' to 'The Castle'. All the usual characters are present - the uneasy young man, the eager young tomboy who can't bear to act like a proper young lady, the shifty villian. Yet the simple, enjoyable story is studded with authentic period details such as how films were presented to country audiences, and ultimately the effect that the coming of sound had on the phenomenon of the travelling showman.
Garry McDonald's performance as an opportunistic, shambolic pianist, is probably the most enjoyable, yet fans of `Muriel's Wedding' would do well to look out for an early appearance from Jeannie Drynan, who played Muriel's mother - and, as can be seen here, could once have given Audrey Hepburn a run for her money.
Though very much a product of its time, the film is still a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Australia's rich film history - a fascinating story which, without scholars such as Long, might have disappeared forever.
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