The Delinquents (1989 film)
|Directed by||Chris Thomson|
|Produced by||Alex Cutler
|Written by||Clayton Frohman
|Based on||novel by Criena Rohan|
|Music by||Miles Goodman|
|Edited by||John Scott|
Silver Lining Entertainment
|Distributed by||Village Roadshow
|Running time||101 minutes|
|Budget||AU $9 million|
|Box office||AU $3,370,650|
The Delinquents is a 1989 Australian film directed by Chris Thomson. It starred Kylie Minogue and Charlie Schlatter as the main characters Lola and Brownie, and was filmed in Brisbane, Maryborough and Bundaberg, Queensland. The film is based on the book of the same name.
The Delinquents was released in Australia on 21 December 1989 and received mixed reviews from most movie critics. The film had grossed $3,370,650 at the box office in Australia, equivalent to $5,864,931 in 2009 dollars. A soundtrack was also released.
The film was adapted from the novel of the same name by author Criena Rohan. Lola and Brownie are teenagers in the Australian town of Bundaberg during the 1950s. They fall in love, but because of their age must fight their parents and welfare, who try to keep them apart. Lola falls pregnant and the couple runs away so they can keep their baby and live happily ever after. Lola's mother and the police find them and take Lola home, where her mother insists on an abortion for Lola. Brownie joins the crew of a ship so he can sail the coast and look for Lola. Meanwhile, Lola leaves her mother in Brisbane after an argument about Brownie and the abortion. Lola moves to Melbourne, becomes a waitress and bleaches her hair. Lola is reunited with Brownie after he visits the bar where Lola works whilst on shore leave. She returns with Brownie to his ship and they spend the night together in Brownie's cabin, where they are discovered the following morning by Brownie's friend and boss, Bosun. After an argument between Brownie and Bosun as to whether Lola should return to her mother or stay with Brownie, Bosun eventually relents and says that Lola can stay, so long as she is kept "out of sight" from the other sailors.
After the ship docks, Lola and Brownie attend a party held by a young couple, Lyle and Mavis. They are squatting in the property with their daughter, Sharon. One night, Lola and Brownie are arrested for under-age drinking after being caught leaving a pub. Lola is taken away by her mother and welfare to live with Aunt Westbury, a caretaker in the countryside for a fixed-term of 12 months. She and Brownie are told that they are not allowed to see or contact each other for one year. During Lola's stay in the community placement, a former charge of Aunt's visits for lunch. During this visit, Lola collects the mail and, after a brief conversation with the postman, realises that her caretaker has thrown all Brownie's letters in the bin. Lola and the caretaker fight, and Lola runs away.
Finding her mother drunk and unsympathetic, Lola returns to Lyle and Sharon's home, only to be arrested and taken to a young offenders' institution to restart and complete her sentence. During this time, a riot is started by the girls. After her 18th birthday, Lola is released from jail and is subsequently reunited with Brownie. They return to the house, where Lola discovers that Mavis is heavily pregnant with her and Lyle's second child. Lola wants Brownie to quit his job as a sailor, and stay with her; however, Brownie is unsure and confides in Bosun about his dilemma. Mavis goes into labour. The birth does not go well and both Mavis and the baby die.
Although Lola and Brownie offer to adopt Mavis' surviving daughter, they are unable to as they are too young and unmarried. Lyle leaves the child with Lola to give to welfare as the child will be placed in foster care and Lyle is unable to bear the thought of giving up his only child. Lyle subsequently leaves after telling Lola he intends to travel the world and taking on odd jobs to make ends meet while stopping off at different locations on his travels. He also tells Lola that he is too devastated by recent events to remarry or have another family. En route to the welfare office, Brownie sees Lola and Sharon in the taxi and runs after them. Eventually, Brownie catches up with Lola and Sharon and are reunited once more and they prepare to wed. The film ends with their wedding with their families in attendance.
- Kylie Minogue as Lola Lovell
- Charlie Schlatter as Brownie Hansen
- Bruno Lawrence as Bosun
- Todd Boyce as Lyle
- Desirée Smith as Mavis
- Angela Punch McGregor as Mrs. Lovell
- Melissa Jaffer as Aunt Westbury
- Lynette Curran as Mrs. Hansen
- Duncan Wass as Bert
- Lyn Treadgold as Prison matron
- Rosemary Harris as Isobel
The novel was published in 1962. It had been written in a TB hospital.
Rohan died in 1963, having only published one other book in her lifetime.
The novel was republished in 1986.
Rights to the novel were purchased by first time producers Alex Cutler and Michael Wilcox in 1985. They had been trying to obtain the rights another Australian novel but had difficulty negotiating with the author; someone suggested they have a look at The Delinquents, which Penguin were about to reissue. They obtained finance from the New South Wales Film Corporation and Australian Film Commission and hired Lex Marinos to write a draft. In 1987 David Bowie announced in an interview he thought the book would make good movie, which re-ignited a great deal of interest in the project.
The Australian Film Commission provided further script development money enabling Dorothy Hewett to write a second draft. Greg Coote and John Tarnoff of Village Roadshow became involved and Coote suggested Kylie Minogue play the lead. At one stage Ben Mendelsohn was signed to appear opposite her but eventually it was decided to go with an imported actor so the film might appeal to an international market: Charlie Schlatter was chosen.
Chris Thomson was approached the direct. He did not like the script but thought the book was wonderful, so managed to persuade the producers to hire Mac Gudgeon, who had made Waterfront (1983) with Thomson, to work on the script. Village Roadshow agreed to provide half the budget and the producers applied to the FFC for further finance in October 1988.
The film was partly shot at Warner Bros studios on the Gold Coast.
Release and reception
DVD.net later gave the movie a mixed review, scoring it 5/10. IMDb also gives the film a mixed review, with the film scoring 5.1 out of 10. Scoopy.com One review complimented the film images, saying "The cinematographer was Andrew Lesnie, who is absolutely one of the best on the planet. He's been the cinematographer for a few little films you may have heard of, like King Kong and the three Lord of the Rings films!" He also praised the period details and Kylie's lead role in the film.
The Delinquents was re-released in the 1989 to tie-in with the release of the film. There are some differences between the film and the novel. For example, in the novel, Lola is part Asian and suffers a miscarriage on the grounds of the all-girls school. It is uncertain whether the screenplay was adjusted or the missing parts of the book were filmed and removed to meet a lower certificate.
Box office and initial screening
The Delinquents grossed $3,370,650 at the Australian box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $5,864,931 in 2009 dollars. It was the most successful Australian film of 1990 on Australian soil.
The Delinquents premiered in Australia and New Zealand on 21 December 1989 in wide release. Five days after the Australasian release date, it opened in the United Kingdom on 26 December 1989. It was later announced that the film would be released in other European countries; it was released on 1 June 1990 in Finland and Sweden under the name Delinquents - Nuoret Kapinalliset. It opened in the Netherlands on 8 June, then Portugal on 29 June. Its last release was in Germany.
Despite having chosen an American lead actor, with an eye to the American market, the film was never released theatrically in the United States, in part due to a problem with distribution. The film's production company, Delinquents Pty Ltd, took Village Roadshow Corporation, Village Roadshow Pictures and the FFC to court.
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- "Since I Met You Baby" by Ivory Joe Hunter (Written by Joe Hunter)
- "Chantez Chantez" by Dinah Shore (Written by Albert Gamse/Irving Fields)
- "My Babe" by Little Walter (Written by Willie Dixon)
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- David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p350-352
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
- "Full cast and crew for". imdb.com. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
- "Dead Novelist's Book Praised.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 30 August 1963. p. 17. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "THE MILES FRANKLIN AWARD.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 20 April 1963. p. 22. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "THE BEST WEEKEND.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 26 January 1986. p. 82. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Patricia Amad & Philippa Hawker, "The Delinquents", Cinema Papers, July 1989 p4-7
- Helen Barlow, "The Australian Film Finance Corporation", Cinema Papers, August 1991 p36