Saturday, April 18, 2015
Muriel's Mother hosts Don's Party
The post began almost a year ago and was inspired for my love of Muriel's mother. Last May, Turner Classic Movies had a night with Australian Cinema as it's focus. Muriel's Wedding was one of the films featured. The 1994 film is one of my favorite Australian movies especially because of the powerful performance by Jeanie Drynan as Muriel's mother. Drynan breaks your heart with a quietly powerful performance that emotionally anchors the movie at pivotal moments within the story.
As I was setting my DVR recordings for TCM's theme night, I decided to also record Don's Party, a 1976 Australian film, primarily because it also featured Drynan. I started the movie a few times, but it looked dated and it wasn't until my vacation last Christmas that I finally watched it start to finish.
'Dons Party is about a wild house party in a suburban Australian neighbourhood. Don Henderson convinces his wife to have another party so that their friends can gather to watch the election, drink and carry on. Dons wife, Kath sees the party as just more work, while Don sees it as a chance to break his boring routine.'
Drynan plays Kath, Don's wife who has little to no interest in the goings on at the party. The drama is based on the long-running play by David Williamson and I loved the characters Williamson brought to the party. I was enjoying the drama, and a bit of male nudity, when near the end of the film there was an unexpected, and fairly long display of male nudity.
With a lot of alcohol in their systems, the men remove the clothing of a female guest and all end up in the neighbours swimming pool naked. As the men are drying off, they get into in a heated debate, moving throughout the house arguing while most remain fully naked. The delicious Harold Hopkins (below) has the biggest bark and a hot little body. Hopkins character Cooley is both sexually appealing as well as skeezy and repulsive at the same time.
I also loved John Hargreaves, the handsome and accomplished Australian actor who plays Don. (blonde on the far left below)
It took me awhile to find a copy of the DVD which included the special features. I have included just a minute or two from the party's fight to give you an idea of what to expect from the film. I am assuming from the actors commentary, that most of the actors came from the stage and during the 1970's, taking your clothes off was just part of the deal for many of the films Australia was producing at the time.