An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an off-shore island to try once more. On the island he rediscovers his muse in the form of a young girl.
Although initially passed intact with an 'X' the distributors decided to opt for an 'A' certificate for UK cinemas and the film was cut accordingly. The nudity during the opening bedroom scene was removed, as was some suggestive dialogue and shots of the nude Cora posing for Bradley. Video releases were raised to a 15 but featured the same cut print though the 2008 Sony DVD finally saw the film restored and uncut. See more »
Compared to the many classics Michael Powell had previously directed, this Australian film is just a light, piece of fluff, but it is worth watching to see the young Helen Mirren and another solid performance by James Mason, who must have had a particular interest in playing this part as he also co-produced the film. Don't be misled by the title, the issue of sexual relations between an older man and an under-age girl is only really hinted at, the main theme being the need for an artist to find new inspiration. The tone of the film is essentially light, and, for me, the highlight is a couple of hilarious scenes in which Jack McGowran, as Mason's scrounging mate Nat Kelly, meets his comeuppance at the hands of a man-hunting neighbor of Mason's.
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