U.S. DVD release cover
|Directed by||Michael Pate|
|Produced by||Michael Pate|
|Written by||Michael Pate|
|Based on||novel by Colleen McCullough|
Australian Film Commission
GUO Film Distributors
Nine Television Network
|Distributed by||Greater Union|
|Release date(s)||13 July 1979|
|Running time||109 minutes|
|Box office||A$809,000 (Australia)|
It is the story of the developing relationship between an older, middle-class American woman, Mary Horton (played by Piper Laurie) who lives on her own and a handsome, developmentally impaired 24 year old gardener, Tim Melville (played by Mel Gibson), whom she hires. Tim lives with his sister, Dawnie (Deborah Kennedy), who is a year older than him, and their parents Ron (Alwyn Kurts) and Emily (Pat Evison). Dawnie marries her boyfriend, Mick Harrington (David Foster). Dawnie and Mick make clear they dislike Mary and oppose her relationship with Tim, but do not state their reason for feeling that way. Emily dies, Tim marries Mary and Ron dies.
Michael Pate first read the book in 1975 and was immediately taken by it. He optioned the screen rights to the book, wrote the screenplay, and decided to direct.
Pate wanted the female lead played by an international actor and spoke with Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons and Glenda Jackson. Jackson was interested but was not available until 1982 so Piper Laurie was cast instead.
The film was one of Gibson's first roles, and was moderately successful in Australia, earning Gibson an Australian Film Institute award for Best Actor. Kurts and Evison also won Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards respectively.
Tim grossed $809,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $3,163,190 in 2009 dollars.
- David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p334
- Peter Beilby & Scott Murray, "Michael Pate", Cinema Papers, May–June 1979 p347-349, 401
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
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