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 ...
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When Brad quits his job at a large cinema chain, to open his own picture theatre, his ex-boss sabotages the opening night by switching the Italian film with a non-subtitled version. Brad ... See full summary »
Sydney, Australia in the mid-1920's. Proud and classy Caddie Marsh is forced to get a job as a barmaid and raise two children on her own after her rich cad husband walks out on her. Despite... See full summary »
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
The nationality of the rival picture showman Palmer character was changed from an Australian to American when Rod Taylor was cast in the part. This was due to him having lived in the USA for many years and having an American accent. See more »
Maurice 'Pop' Pym:
My dear fellow, I've been in the picture show business for umm... twenty years, and I've never lost a customer.
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Whimsical and slightly bittersweet tale of competing projectionists (Meillon and Taylor), who traverse the Australian outback, bringing the joy of motion pictures to packed theatres in the 1920's. Their rivalry serves as the backdrop to the surprisingly cut-throat art of picture shows, from the pitfalls of double-acts and faulty equipment, to the looming spectre of talking pictures ("that'll just be a fad" announces Meillon, somewhat cautiously as he rallies his companions for another relentless tour of duty).
It's a peerless homage to the business and its characters, with sympathetic performances from all concerned, Meillon especially well considered in his role of the travelling man, compelled to labour under the extremes for a pittance, resisting the trappings and exploitation in order to preserve the traditions that his business-savvy rival Taylor dismisses as anachronisms, barriers to amassing his fortune.
Great supporting cast includes familiar faces John Ewart as the wily, womanising pianist to Meillon's travelling roadshow, Garry McDonald as Taylor's opportunistic piano-man, Judy Morris, Harold Hopkins and a tremendous sub-plot featuring conniving showman Patrick Cargill and his sultry clairvoyant Jelena Zigon.
The cinematography is pure indulgence of the Australian landscape, its rich colours and textures, wrapping a beautifully crafted tale, a modest, understated and poignant reminder of the way we once were.
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