7.0/10
283
5 user 6 critic

Travelling North (1987)

After their late-life marriage, a middle-aged Australian couple move to the countryside. Their life and tempestuous marriage is detailed.

Director:

Carl Schultz

Writers:

David Williamson (play), David Williamson (screenplay)
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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leo McKern ... Frank
Julia Blake ... Frances
Henri Szeps Henri Szeps ... Saul
Graham Kennedy ... Freddie
Michele Fawdon Michele Fawdon ... Helen
Diane Craig Diane Craig ... Sophie
Andrea Moor ... Joan
Drew Forsythe Drew Forsythe ... Martin
John Gregg John Gregg ... Jim
Rob Steele Rob Steele ... Syd
John Black John Black ... Alan
Roger Oakley Roger Oakley ... Stan
Joe MacColum Joe MacColum ... Boat owner
Nick Holland Nick Holland ... Waiter
Steve Shaw Steve Shaw ... Estate agent
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Storyline

After their late-life marriage, a middle-aged Australian couple move to the countryside. Their life and tempestuous marriage is detailed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Journey into love, tears and laughter See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 July 1987 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Travelling Man See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$214,722
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final screen performance of Graham Kennedy. See more »

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User Reviews

interstate ruminations
16 March 2003 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

Carl Schultz adaptation of the play of Australian David Williamson benefits from the casting of Leo McKern as Frank, described as a "rude despotic arrogant bully", his bluster overcoming a few too many sunsets and pictaresque vistas accompanied by classical music.

Schultz has opened out the play so that we get long stretches without dialogue, and the treatment only feels stagebound when we hear about the childhood resentments of the daughters of Frank's companion Frances (Julia Blake), whom Frank amusingly calls Goneril and Regan (being tow of the daughters of King Lear). The narrative never shows us how Frank and Frances meet, rather beginning with Frank's retirement from being a civil engineer and their decision to travel north ie move from Melbourne to Port Douglas, a tropical rainforest area located on the coast of Queensland. However as the title also alludes to death, Frank suffering from angina telegraphes the end.

Williamson's wit includes lines like "I had a cousin who shot himself in Melbourne. Yes, it can affect one that way", "The fact that a man fought for his country is no excuse for him to behave like a cretin when he gets back", "I may be old. I'm not defunct", "The last fish that came out of the lake was so lonely it gave itself up", and regarding a heart monitor "A circuit blew this morning. I thought I died". Frank gets a repeated line "While I've loved mankind in general, I've been thoughtless to some of those I've been involved with in particular" in reference to his former wife and later, Frances.

If Frances' character is disappointingly thinly drawn, Williamson does give her daughter Sophie (Diane Craig) a funny drunk scene in a restaurant, and as Frances' other daughter, Helen, Michelle Fawdon gets a laugh from her prim disapproval of Frank. Schultz also makes Henri Szeps as Frank's doctor Saul affable, and their scenes together amusing in Frank's beligerence. As their Port Douglas neighbour, Freddie, Graham Kennedy has little to do though still conveys a touching loneliness.

The film is pleasant without being dramatically challenging, and not sentimental in it's embrace of Frank, whose final image is rather odd.


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