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The Picture Show Man (1977)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  February 1979 (USA)
6.7
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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 »

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Title: The Picture Show Man (1977)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Palmer
...
Maurice 'Pop' Pym
...
Freddie Graves
Harold Hopkins ...
Larry Pym
Patrick Cargill ...
Fitzwilliam
Jelena Zigon ...
Madame Cavalli (as Yelena Zignon)
...
Miss Lockhart
Garry McDonald ...
Lou
Sally Conabere ...
Lucy Lockhart
Jeanie Drynan ...
Mrs. Duncan
Don Crosby ...
Major Lockhart
Delore Whiteman ...
Mrs. Summers (as Dolore Whiteman)
Gerry Duggan ...
Hall Secretary
Tony Barry ...
Policeman
Ernie Bourne ...
Bookmaker
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Storyline

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 Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You haven't been to the movies until you've seen...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Picture Showman  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

AUD 600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Duncan: Your repertoire must be tremendous.
Freddie Graves: Music can practically create pictures. What does that suggest?
Mrs. Duncan: I think coming action.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rod Taylor: Return to Oz (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Tap Tap On My Window
Performed by John Meillon
See more »

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User Reviews

A bittersweet story of Australia's early film history
29 July 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

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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