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Restored ! with nudity!
ptb-819 June 2005
THE AGE OF CONSENT made in 1969 on Dunk Island of the great barrier (coral) reef was quite a success in Australia in its day. Apparently though it was heavily cut Internationally with some nude scenes deleted and the first 10 minutes shortened. Well the planet can now rejoice because a carefully restored complete version is now available and has had a premiere screening in Sydney in the magnificent 2300 seat State Theatre as part of the 2005 Sydney Film Festival. It will appear Internationally in festivals and then on DVD for all to savor. The story is by Norman Lindsay, a world renowned artists whose bacchanalian paintings of luscious nude sirens have caused erotic reactions (good and bad) for over 100 years. (See the film SIRENS)..... THE AGE OF CONSENT details an artist (here called Bradley Morrison) similar to Lindsay, played by a fit and tanned James Mason who travels to tropical isolation in an attempt to regain his artist eye. He does of course with the form of shapely nude teenage island muse, Cora: Helen Mirrenin her first voluptuous role. There is so much to enjoy in THE AGE OF CONSENT from Mason and Mirren's balanced careful performances to the secondary characters, mainly in the form of spectacular handsome and virile 24 year old Harold Hopkins, an Australian actor in one of his first appearances. He has been unjustly ignored in this film's reputation and it is time to celebrate his appearance (as the spunky gauche youth, Ted) and recognize his astonishing good looks and hilarious turn trying to be Cora's boyfriend. Ten years ahead of Mel Gibson and far better looking, fitter and far more screen presence. Unfortunately his film career did not succeed as well. Today, Hopkins is not well known and looks more like Andy Warhol. Celebrated Brit director Michael Powell whose comedy THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB was a massive local success in 1966 turned his adept hand to this romantic tropical artistic fruit salad with generally very enjoyable results. Certain sequences just between Mirren and Mason are so effective that the viewer is left with the extraordinary feeling of having actually been there with them that day on the beach. Sadly this was Powell's last film in a career lasting over 30 years producing endurable classics in both the UK and Oz. Subplots involving Mason's racing pal who pesters him for cash and follows him about, to Cora's hag-like granny who berates her beauty are overplayed and create pantomime, but this is a small detraction from what is a generally astonishingly visually beautiful romantic drama of loneliness and artistic endeavor. The color photography, I was thrilled to learn, was achieved by duplicating the original Technicolour method of a three reel tint (YCM) on black and white stock then matching all three to create a color negative. As I marveled at the sublime color of this restored print I had wondered how it was so perfect. An after-film Q&A segment revealed this color film(ed) method and I am happy to pass on this important piece of tech info. THE AGE OF CONSENT is a film of its time but also with content explicit and exquisite for a new century audience. If one gets the opportunity to see this restored version, it contains visual delights and location atmosphere captured carefully and restored lovingly that transfers to the viewer with humorous ease. Yes Mirren has hairy legs and Mason doesn't wear underpants and the lesser characters are Aussie parrots..but that's part of the story! Enjoy THE AGE OF CONSENT. It is a film of which Helen Mirren today would be especially so would Harold Hopkins. One scene where Cora wistfully buys herself a cheap children's plastic handbag at the local store is genuinely touching depicting her lonely wish to own something 'nice'. The delusion and loneliness captured perfectly for this beautiful sad girl stuck in paradise but without real appreciation (except for Mason). The opening scene is now hilarious with a risqué painting of the Columbia woman Logo as part of a provocative art exhibition.
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A light film, with some hilarious moments.
pinback-324 October 1999
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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He only wanted her for her body
jshoaf13 May 2004
He only wanted her for her body--to paint, of course....

I just saw this film and found it absolutely delightful. As others have noted, Helen Mirren is a wonder as a young girl working out the relationship between her body's strength and its beauty, and how each can help her get what she wants. There is one moment, when she takes control of a motorboat after having dumped a would-be lover overboard, when I saw the future Jane Tennison. James Mason is also marvelous as the obsessive painter. The natural setting, on the Great Barrier Reef, is liberating and beautiful but the heart of the movie is the little cabin which goes from a dump to a layered, painted work of art. This man's passion to make things, to create color and line on every available surface, seems to fill the movie's surface too. Near the end, when Cora enters the cabin and we see her surrounded by his paintings of her, the relationship between art and life seems to be a very happy one. It's too bad Michael Powell didn't get to make more films in the 1960s and early 70s. I think that if I could have seen this film at the time it was made (when I was a girl in my late teens, for whom nudity was not an option) it would have meant a lot to me.
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Odd movie, but definitely worth watching
lazarillo30 April 2008
I caught this rather odd but interesting movie at 1 AM on TCM one night (I guess insomnia isn't always a bad thing). James Mason stars as famous, very jaded middle-aged painter who decides to get away from the frustrations of his public life by relocating to a rural Australian island. Unfortunately, once there he finds more frustrations with his eccentric and annoying neighbors, and bothersome former associates who show up unexpectedly. He also meets a young girl (Helen Mirren) who, uh, "re-inspires" him by agreeing to pose for him in the nude.

The tone of this movie is kind of strange, going from light-hearted comedy to sudden tragedy and back again. It was directed Michael Powell, after this once- respected director had pretty much torpedoed his own career with the movie "Peeping Tom", which was considered unforgivably sleazy in its era in Britain, but is regarded as somewhat of classic today. Mason (who also co-produced) plays a role similar to the one he played in Stanley Kubrick's notorious film version of "Lolita". He walks the same fine line between an erudite artist trying shake off the shackles of bourgeois morality and a mere pervert lusting after some nubile flesh. Nevertheless, this movie doesn't take the predictable May-December sex route. It may be a little "politically incorrect" by today's standards, but I actually found far less creepy than the hypocritical morality of America today (where the media goes into morally-outraged hysterics every time some celebrity nymphet appears in a racy photo or video clip, even as they show this same photo or clip over and over. . .).

For what it's worth, Helen Mirren was well over "the age of consent" in real-life here, and she has the same GREAT body that would become in fixture in British art films and theater over the next three or four decades (even if she doesn't quite demonstrate the acting chops that recently earned her academy award for playing Queen Elizabeth II). This movie has its problems, including its very uneven tone, but it's definitely worth watching.
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A sweet and likable middle-age fantasy
Bob-72426 November 2007
Age of Consent, from the novel of the same name by Norman Lindsay, is essentially a middle-aged man's fantasy -- but a sweet and likable one.

James Mason plays Bradley Morahan, a successful New York painter who has become tired of turning out the same old commercial tripe. He longs for home (Queensland, Australia) and the chance to experience life first hand, again. He rents a shack on a small island off the Great Barrier Reef and moves in with his dog Godfrey, stocking it with food, drink and oil paints.

The island is a tropical paradise, inhabited by fruit bats and several other characters content to have left the world behind. The granddaughter of one of the residents is a young girl named Cora, played by Helen Mirren. She supports her alcoholic grandmother by selling crayfish and oysters to the store on the mainland and dreams of getting away and becoming a hairdresser. Morahan is charmed by her and agrees to help her see her dream come true by paying her to model for him. She proves to be just the inspiration he needed and he begins to paint -- and live -- with renewed energy.

The film is easy-paced, amusing, and despite a few upsets along the way, leads to a fantasy conclusion. If you want to spend a pleasant couple of hours getting away from it all, I recommend seeing this film.

Directed by Michael Powell, it is now available on the Films of Michael Powell DVD along with A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven), starring David Niven.
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Pleasant surprise
zetes25 January 2009
A very pleasant surprise. I had expected Michael Powell's last feature to be mediocre at best, with the one selling point of a nude, young Helen Mirren, but it's actually a pretty good movie. Not the director's best, of course, but it's quite sweet and beautiful. James Mason plays an Australian painter who has difficulty perfecting an Australian accent. He flees the city for an island in the Great Barrier Reef, where he can relax and paint. There he meets a 17 year old girl (Mirren in her first film role) who dreams of moving to the big city. He's entranced by her beauty, and agrees to fund her dreams if she'll pose for him, often nude. Despite the lurid title, the film isn't sensationalistic or pornographic. Mason's interest, despite what some of the townsfolk might think, is purely artistic. It's much like the film, actually. You might watch it for the naked lady, but you stick around for the artistry. And Powell's artistry is intact, fully. Besides the enveloping cinematography (not to mention some beautiful underwater photography), you'll find plenty of Archers-esquire touches, like the dog chasing toads out the door. The story is pretty thin, but that's not uncommon amongst Powell's many travelogue films. It's often very funny, especially with Jack MacGowran and Neva Carr-Glynn. Oh yeah, and Helen Mirren, 24, gets naked a lot. That's definitely worth checking out!
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A wonderful movie, controversial in its time
simonotsimple17 January 2003
This was a wonderful movie. Those who criticise it probably missed the sixties. It was a liberating expression of moral freedom in its time. Cora spent most of the film frolicking about naked and what a wonderful lindsayan figure of a woman she was! I just loved this movie and would recommend it to anyone to see. Take a moment out to travel back in time to the beginnings of your moral freedoms.
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Great Michael Powell Film
whpratt127 November 2007
Never viewed this film before and always enjoy James Mason pictures and was surprised to see that it was showing for the first time on TCM TV and Robert Osborne and Michael Powell's wife gave a review and history of this film. There is plenty of comedy, and a very interesting story about an elderly artist named, Bradley Monahan, (James Mason) who is getting tired of being recognized for his great paintings and wants to find a very quite place where he can create some new paintings and he selects Australia's Great Barrier Reef for his retreat. Bradley soon finds out he is not alone on this island and runs into all kinds of people. However, he does meet a very cute young girl named Cora Ryan, (Helen Mirren) who is only a young teenager and he makes a deal with her to buy her fish that she catches and chicken's that she steals for a living to support her old aunt who loves gin. Eventually Bradley convinces Cora to pose for him in the nude and he draws all sorts of paintings of her. This is truly a great film and I was so glad I was able to view this film which is rarely seen in the United States, enjoy.
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Quirky Pleasure
kenjha16 March 2009
A famous painter retreats to a somewhat remote island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to inspire his creativity and finds a young woman to pose for him. Mason is fine as the painter. In one of her earliest roles, Mirren looks amazingly young and alluring as the object of Mason's desire. MacGowran provides the comedy as Mason's unwanted guest on the island. There isn't much of a plot in this laid-back and light-hearted comedy, but it features a quirky cast of characters and is quite enjoyable. The dog is cute and receives on-screen billing. The island setting is beautifully filmed under Powell's masterful direction.
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If you enjoyed "Sirens" watch out for this film.
bbhlthph24 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The British-Australian film 'Age of Consent' was released in 1969 - the same year as the publication of the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name on which it was based, and also the death of its author, the well known Australian artist Norman Lindsay. It appears to have once been released briefly in some North American cinemas but only in a heavily bowdlerised version with its playing time significantly cut. Until last year no DVD was available in North America although one was released in Australia in 2005, and until the film was shown on the TCM TV channel I did not even remember that it existed. The long delay in marketing it here seems a pity as it was a very enjoyable and rewarding film to view, but it is now part of a double label disk (with 'Stairway to Heaven') released by Sony which I recommend unreservedly to all IMDb users who are interested. It will probably appeal particularly to those viewers who also enjoyed 'Sirens', a better known film also featuring incidents from the life of the same Australian artist.

The theme - a talented but burnt out artist taking a break from his regular lifestyle to recharge his batteries, and becoming re-energised through a chance friendship formed with a young person from a very different background - is somewhat hackneyed, but with a good cast it can still be very effective. James Mason, as Bradley Monahan gave one of the great performances of his career playing a jaded 60 year old Australian painter who returns from New York to an isolated island on the Great Barrier reef off the Queensland coast for what appears to be an extended vacation, whilst a 24 year old Helen Mirren - straight from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre - changed horses completely here to give a remarkably mature interpretation of Cora Ryan, a lonely and unsophisticated orphaned teenager trapped in an isolated and unrewarding life with her drunken and quarrelsome grandmother. When Cora meets Bradley she starts by regarding him as a possibly useful source of pocket money, quickly comes to respect him for what he is, and finally develops a real affection for him. Michael Powell, returning to directing after the failure of Peeping Tom, was as usual both deft and effective, although more easy going and less powerful than for example in Black Narcissus. The colour cinematography was mostly a delight - the three strip Technicolor process used avoided the garish colours so often encountered in travel documentaries and many major feature films. I felt that the principal weakness of this film lay in Peter Yeldham's film-script, but it may well have originated in Lindsay's novel. He was one of Australia's best known artists and during his long career as both artist and writer, one may assume that he must have experienced periods when he felt like the artist of his story; this film certainly conveys the feeling of becoming burnt out and drained of creative energy just as he may himself have experienced it. I have not read the book and my quarrel with the film-script may or may not also extend to it, but I felt that by featuring a long series of very unlikely events, it unfortunately made the film appear to be some sort of dream story or myth rather than a real life drama. In fairness both Lindsay and the scriptwriter may have been aware of this problem and have accepted it as inconsequential. Their object was to convey the reality of loss of artistic vision for any artist, and the final film-script did this very effectively. I found that, when I stopped analysing the mechanical details of the events shown, and concentrated on the emotions with which they were associated, my recognition of the exceptional quality of this film rose sharply.

SPOILER AHEAD: The film's title is misleading for anyone who, like myself, is not familiar with the story - in it Bradley, a 60 year old worldly wise artist, makes no attempt to seduce his new under age model. Clearly if such a thought has ever entered his head he has rejected it instantly. But as Cora continued to model for him over many weeks they develop a very real friendship. The climax of the film is the confrontation which leads to the accidental death of Cora's grandmother (and the highly improbable sequence in which a local policeman decides that this does not even warrant a formal open inquest), Only after this, and right at the end of the film, does Cora show that she is very disturbed by the complete absence of any personal attention being paid to her by her new friend, something she feels must indicate some significant failing or inadequacy on her part. The film closes with Cora, reassured on this point, starting what appears likely to become a successful attempt to seduce him.
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Rejuvenation of the Artist.
bobsgrock28 August 2011
Michael Powell, the famed British director best known as half of the famous Powell and Pressburger filmmaking team, was certainly in a rut in the late 1960s. After the vicious press response to his 1960 progressive serial killer thriller Peeping Tom, it was near impossible for him to make a film in England again. Nine years later, he found hope in a small production with James Mason, one of the most respected of British actors, to be shot in Australia. The story could not have been more fitting.

Age of Consent tells the story of an artist disconnected from himself and his art. Having been a success, he feels aimless and almost without passion. His solution is to move to a small shack on the coast of the Great Barrier Reef and attempt to renew his interest in painting and eventually life itself. Aside from the collection of unique characters surrounding him, he finds a catalyst for retribution in Cora, a young, sweet but determined young girl who longs to escape from her non-idyllic paradise in which she is controlled by a gin-swilling, ungrateful grandmother who sees her only as the second coming of her mother, the former town prostitute.

What is really great about this film, aside from the gorgeous color cinematography that captures impeccably the grandiose beauty of Australia, is the story of the reawakening of the artist. Certainly this had to inspire Powell, who was himself in need of an awakening and perhaps felt a connection with Bradley Morahan. To his credit, he directs very fine, perhaps not to the degree of perfection as earlier films like The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, 49th Parallel or The Red Shoes, but for such a film as it is he holds it at a fine pace while also keeping our interest as we watch a man push aside all distractions in search of the return of his passion for art and life.

Some feel since this is not in the pantheon of great Powell and Pressburger films that it is mostly dismissive. I disagree. Powell shows us here the need and desire artists have to create and the pains necessary to fulfill that urge. While not of historical or national importance as his earlier films, this is certainly a memorable late career achievement for Michael Powell. If you like his more famous films, this is one to check out if only to understand how an artist becomes rejuvenated.
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The woman who could launch a thousand ships...
swillsqueal8 December 2007
As always, Helen Mirren is delightful to see. And James Mason finally gets to be with his Lolita. And oh, I did find Mason's mate more aggravating than an Australian fly. For those who haven't experienced them, Australian flies will just never leave you alone. They're aggressive little insects who are attracted to any body with water. Don't sweat, and yet, how can one help but sweat when Helen Mirren is around. She's a gorgeous woman, always has been and will be. A great actress too. This romp does her justice as a start in film. Don't forget to her her cameo appearance in "Oh Lucky Man", made around this same time.
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Helen Mirren is ravishing
tim-198810 May 2007
Helen Mirren's astonishingly beautiful 24 year old body is on full display here, in glorious flesh. It is a good little film about the life of an artist, with a small cast of well-drawn characters to keep it amusing, but the highlight is, and should be, the naked Helen Mirren cavorting in the shallow seas of coastal Australia. Nothing coy or repressed about it. She is the film and the artist's inspiration. She will be yours too. James Mason plays the artist in need of spiritual refreshment. He comes to the coastal island and finds this beach-comber girl, and starts to paint. His reprobate friend Ned Kelly comes unwanted to sponge off him. But the show is Helen Mirren. You will want to breed with her immediately.
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Quite astonishing
michael-24719 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Per chance I saw this film recently on UK TV. I looked and thought 'oh my god' these are well known people in it, looked at the cast and spotted Helen Mirren. 1969 - acting as a naive young lady with her only ambition to get $100 and move to Brisbane and become a hairdresser. Good Aussie accents and so nicely played and related I have to say. It made me smile that she was happy underwater naked however when told to take her dress off standing in it, there was a 'novel' expression. The entry of the awful 'intruder' (so called friend) was the only thing IMHO that berated the whole film. The man was / is both obnoxious and annoying (otherwise 10 points!).

This is a film needing a lot of audience 'perception'. It's like an old version of 'Lost in Translation' where you need to think beyond the film and imagine the realities where it's exposed at the very end with the frolicking (heck that words reflects my age!) manner in the water. 'Lost in Translation' reflected the same as 'silent whispers'.

All in all a delightful film with a perceptive storyline of 'innocence' on both sides. An older man with a younger woman depicted in a believable 'not cheesy, manipulative nor degrading' manner. Certainly a 'must see'!

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An enjoyable film with the lovely Helen .
MrOllie10 May 2011
Whilst this is not a masterpiece of film making, I found it an enjoyable piece of entertainment. Who could not enjoy watching a young Helen Mirren spending much of the time naked? The story is about an artist(James Mason) going to live on an Island in the Great Barrier Reef where he meets young Cora(Mirren)who lives with her horrid granny. He gets Cora to pose naked for him on many occasions. There is some drama along the way and also some comedy mainly from Jack MacGowran, (especially when being pursued by a man mad woman) plus some lovely scenic shots of the island. But by far the best scenery on show is the lovely Helen. Just sit back and enjoy!!
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The Queen goes skinny dipping!
ShadeGrenade22 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I recently took part ( along with 400 other people ) in a charity skinny dip on the Welsh coast. To prepare for the experience, I re-watched this 1969 movie, which not only stars but was produced by the late, great James Mason. Based on Norman Lindsay's book, 'Age Of Consent' is about an ageing artist called 'Bradley Morahan' who realises he is running out of ideas, and so travels to an offshore island in Australia. There he meets the beautiful ( and boy is she ) 24 year old 'Cora Ryan' ( Helen Mirren ), who lives with her domineering mother ( Neva Carr-Glynn ). Like 'Humbert Humbert' ( the character he played in Stanley Kubrick's 'Lolita' ), Bradley becomes infatuated with the young woman. But Ma Ryan is having none of it, insisting ( despite evidence to the contrary ) that Cora is under the age of consent...

Directed by the brilliant Michael Powell ( his first picture since the delightful 'fish out of water' comedy 'They're A Weird Mob' ), this is a lovely, relaxing sort of film which makes you smile rather than laugh. Much of the humour comes from Irish actor Jack MacGowran as Bradley's oddball chum 'Nat Ryan'. It is sad to think he passed away only a few years after it was made. Also good value - and as sexy as Mirren in her own way - is Andonia Katsaros as overweight widow 'Isabel Marley'. After shooting was completed, she emigrated to the U.K., where she appeared in a string of sitcoms such as 'Rising Damp' and 'Two's Company'.

Mason is as excellent as ever but its Mirren's film. The shots of her swimming nude are incredible to look at, not just titillating but genuinely gorgeous. I wish I'd been a friend of hers back then! The music on the version I have is by Stanley Myers but I understand it was not Powell's original choice for a soundtrack. I have not heard the original, but Myers' music is lush, particularly during the aforementioned nude scenes.

When first shown on I.T.V. in the late '70's, the film was screened as part of a series called 'For Adults Only', meaning I had to wait several years to see it. I wonder what Mirren makes of the picture now, given its theme of an old man trying to recapture lost youth by pursuing a beautiful young woman it probably would not go down too well today. Perhaps she should star in a remake, doing the nude swimming while wearing a crown!
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Well respected actress in an early screen appearance.
redhazervn18 October 2000
Helen Mirren was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company when she travelled to Australia to appear in this film. Alongside veteran actor James Mason, she cavorts on the sunny beaches of tropical Queensland. This is a somewhat off-beat movie, but it has some very sensuous scenes of MS Mirren (Cora) posing as an artist's model, au natural.
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First time to see Helen Mirren(several years ago)
llawwill17 December 2003
This is the first time seeing Helen Mirren and she is young and quite pretty. I have seen her in many other movies and at least one TV series since and I still think her on-screen presence is powerful. Although her performance showed some on-screen nudity in this, it is not in any way a bad thing. It is quite a thing of beauty. I rate the movie a 7 out of 10.
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Nice little film
Woodyanders20 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Aging and burnt-out artist Bradley Morahan (a splendid performance by James Mason) goes to an off-shore island in order to escape from stressful everyday society. Bradley finds a new muse in the enticing and energetic form of carefree young lass Cora (a winningly luminous portrayal by a very youthful and sumptuous Helen Mirren).

Director Michael Powell, working from a thoughtful and perceptive script by Peter Yeldham, astutely captures the anguish and weariness of Bradley's plight, makes the most out of the breathtaking Australian seaside locations, and explores the substantial themes concerning the necessity for passion in any kind of creative endeavor and the potential peril inherent in an older man befriending a much younger woman in a tasteful, but still frank and provocative manner. Mason and Mirren play off each other exceptionally well; they receive sturdy support from Jack MacGowran as raucous deadbeat Nat Kelly, Neva Carr-Glynn as persnickety old bat Ma Ryan, Andonia Katsaros as friendly neighbor Isabel Marley, Harold Hopkins as the horny Ted Farrell, and Frank Thring as pompous gallery owner Godfrey. Hannes Staudinger's vibrant color cinematography provides a beautifully sunny look. Peter Sculthorpe's lush score does the soothing trick. A solid and satisfying movie.
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Viva Mirren!
dgillett-216 October 2006
Whacky, funny, off-beat, endearing, edgy. James Mason playing the flip side of Humbert Humbert, trying to be a good guy and resist the infinitely nubile Helen Mirren. After watching this movie you will swear that you saw her naked. But you didn't! Exquisitely suggestive photography and her utter commitment to luscious availability create imaginings that go beyond the celluloid.

Bradley Monahan, the artist, lives outside the norms and standards of society, but when confronted by teenage Cora Ryan (played the 24 year old Helen Mirren), he finds himself unable to step that far out of bounds. But she will have her way and works every wile in her arsenal to free him from himself.

Fun and sexy!
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Age of Consent
jonathanruano9 June 2010
In spite of the scandalous looking title, "Age of Consent" is not about a woman losing her virginity or a lolita-type relationship (because Helen Mirren looks underage the same way that Anne Hathaway looks underage). "Age of Consent" is simply about an artist (James Mason) searching for his artistic inspiration in Australia and finally finding his very own muse named Cora (Helen Mirren) who does a lot of naked posing for him.

Now if you are looking for a thought provoking or profound film about the human condition, "Age of Consent" is not for you. But if you already had a few beers on a Friday night and are looking for some light entertainment with a bit of charm, then this film is just right. "Age of Consent" has everything you (as one of the guys) would want to see in a film after getting drunk: a funny dog (Godfrey, who almost steals the show), a naked 24 year old Helen Mirren, lots of nature, some amusing locals, a naked 24 year old Helen Mirren, more nature, marine life and oh yes, getting to see 24 year old Helen Mirren nude! It is not a masterpiece, but I have to admit I watched "Age of Consent" to the end.
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A good opportunity to see Helen Mirren...a lot of Helen Mirren in fact.
MartinHafer20 May 2017
This film marks the first starring role for Helen Mirren and she appears in quite a few tasteful nude scenes. Because of this, it's certainly not a film for the prudish!

James Mason plays Bradley, an aging artist who feels that his work has stagnated. So, on a whim, he decides to relocate from Sydney to the wilds of Queensland in Northeast Australia. There, he lives in a hut and has a simple but lovely life along the beach. There he meets a gorgeous young lady, Cora (Mirren) and she stimulates his creative drive...and he begins making art that he is once again proud of and wants to make more. The problem is that she is very young and he is an older man...and her disgusting grandmother thinks that there's some hanky panky going on...which there isn' least for now!

This is a slow but enjoyable film. What I appreciated is that while this is by no means a comedy, little comedic touches were used here and there. I also appreciate how different the film is. Although Mason ALSO starred in "Lolita", the tone and style of the two films are like night and day...and I prefer "Age of Consent".
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Age of Consent
mcannady12 November 2015
Movie Girl - I just wanted to add something I think is important - the real heart of the story. First I have to say I was still in high school when this film was made and never saw it until a friend sent me a copy recently.

I do think they went a bit far with the nude scenes, but the girl very nicely played by Helen Mirren was genuinely naive and was suddenly realizing that she had a nice figure. At the same time Cora as the young girl picked up on the fact that she was becoming attracted to this erudite artist with the great voice, of course. - James Mason was the "elderly" artist. She had genuinely fallen for him and was very hurt that he had made their association a "paying" affair. He bought her fish and did not seem personally interested in her. He also painted her in nude scenes.

Cora's aunt? is always wrongly suspecting her of a sexual rendezvous and trails her around. When she falls over a cliff, the girl has little remorse.

During the story we see Cora reject the man in the boat making sexual advances and also the guy who shows up in the cottage who is curious about the artist's paintings. (So we see that Cora is not a person who is promiscuous, nor is the artist, usually.). The painter explains to his overly curious visitor that it is not a personal affair.

All along in an invisible fashion was the title of the film, Age of Consent which meant just that. Cora was supposed to be 17 and for this very reason the painter does not make advances to her.

At the same time she does not think of this and takes it all as a rejection. The ending is quite delightful -- no spoiler intended as she accuses him of not caring about her at all and is in the water - splashing at him and he says that is not true. After the splashing scenes we can well imagine the scenes that ensue.

So as a person who usually likes older films for romance I do admire James Mason and for this reason watched the film. I think he and Helen Mirren made this story into something more than a risqué adventure. The key element at the end was love for both, though the painter was too old for his model. It was all in the perception of both.

And what of the girl he had sex with in the beginning? Well, I guess he was carried away. James Mason later married this girl, Clarissa Kaye in the 70's. I was glad to read that James escaped from his disastrous first marriage; sadly did not marry again until years later.

One thing more - Some people ventured the opinion that the term Age of Consent was outdated but I do not believe this is so. It made a nice undercurrent for the film and its ultimate denouement.
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Enjoyable comedy drama from Michael Powell
Tweekums13 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Australian artist Bradley Morahan has no difficulty selling his paintings in New York but is having difficulty finding the inspiration for new works; he needs to get away from the bustling city and back to the remote Queensland coast he came from. Once back he and his dog move in to a one room shack on a small island. There are only three other people living on the island; teenage girl Cora, her drunken grandmother and middle aged Isabel Marley. He strikes up a friendship with Cora as she sells him seafood and a (stolen) chicken. She needs the money so she can get away from her awful grandmother who takes all the money Cora earns selling local seafood to a mainland shop and spends it on gin. Wanting a model Bradley offers Cora fifty cents an hour to pose for him; $1.50 if she will do it naked. It isn't long before she almost has enough to leave the island once and for all; she just has to make sure her grandmother doesn't find where she has hidden it. It looks like Bradley could have money troubles too when old friend Nat Kelly turns up begging for a loan and willing to just take the money if it isn't given. When Cora's grandmother finds her money she accuses Cora of prostituting herself to Bradley; he insists he just painting her but she insists that she will inform the police as Cora is under the age of consent.

This film is fairly light but contains a good mix of drama and comedy. James Mason does a good job as Bradley although his Australian accent is a bit off... I guess that might be justified if he had been in New York a long time! The young Helen Mirren was charming as Cora even if she was clearly older than her character; not a bad thing given the number of times she is seen undressed. Jack MacGowran provides much of the comedy as Nat; desperate to get some money but not so desperate that he will stay on the island after the attentions of Isabel! The setting adds to the films charm; one can't help feel relaxed watching the blue sea lapping at the island's beach for much of the time. Given that there is a fair amount of nudity the film feels surprisingly innocent; they are just an artist and his model and it is filmed in a way that does not seem leering. This might not be a classic but it is well worth watching.
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Of muses and mojos
tomsview28 March 2014
I remember there was a lot of media hype in Australia about this movie when it was first released. I thought it was a bit of an oddity then, and it definitely is today.

Bradley Morahan (James Mason), a successful Australian artist based in New York is dissatisfied with his art and his life. He heads for North Queensland and a remote island on the Great Barrier Reef. Here he meets some of the locals including a young girl, Cora (Helen Mirren), whose grandmother is an eccentric old beachcomber.

Despite constant reminders from her grandmother that she is underage, Cora becomes Bradley's model and muse, restoring his belief in his art and himself. "You've given me back my eyes; you've taught me to love things again ", he exclaims at the end of the movie as their relationship blossoms, despite the 30-year age gap.

Based on a novel by Norman Lindsay, the film was made about the time he died. Decades earlier, Norman Lindsay had outraged prudish Australian society with his art, which often featured well-rounded, naked nymphs cavorting with leering satyrs.

But as this movie showed, society had caught up with his ideas and even surpassed them in what was termed permissible - he seemed a bit out of touch by this time, and had outlived his particular crusade against Puritanism.

Unfortunately, the art on show in "Age of Consent" doesn't show much of Lindsay's influence - he was a brilliant artist. Bradley's paintings and sketches in the movie are a combination of the work of two Australian artists: John Coburn produced the strongly patterned New York paintings, and Paul Delprat did the scenes on the island in what could only be called a naïve style.

The biggest connection to Lindsay's art is actually Helen Mirren, who had 'the equipment', as Michael Parkinson once described her voluptuous figure, that would have had kept Norman Lindsay happily working away at his easel for hours.

The restored version of the film also features Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe's lyrical score, which was replaced with one by the more experienced British film composer, Stanley Myers. Interestingly, Myers' score seemed a more revved up version of Sculthorpe's work.

It was pretty much Helen Mirren's first film, but it was a considerable way into James Mason's career. What a presence he had. The mellifluous, honey-toned voice was as hypnotic as ever, despite a half-hearted attempt at an Australian accent. The rest of the cast were mainly Australian, playing characters of varying levels of eccentricity and annoyance. Irish actor Jack MacGowran as Nat Kelly is particularly strident. The comedy in the film is definitely of the broad variety and was no funnier back in 1969 than it is now.

With a particularly messy script, the film is more of a novelty than anything else, but does feature two magnetic actors at opposite ends of their careers - it's worth a look for that alone.
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