The Shiralee (1957)

  • I don’t recognize hardly any of the names in the opening credits (with the obvious exception of Peter Finch). No costumers, art directors, none of ’em. That’s new.
  • Apparently Peter Finch is one of those traveling, trampy Australians who can’t stand traditional home life (if you’ve seen Mitchum & Kerr in THE SUNDOWNERS (1960), then you know the type I’m talking about). This is all well and good – unless you’ve got a woman & a child, and the woman is not okay with you living the sort of life that only puts you back in Sydney once per year. If that’s the case – which it is, for Finch’s Macauley – then hobo life probably isn’t the best call, if you want your family to like you.
  • Oh, shit – she’s not just his woman, she’s definitely his wife. And she just called him a “rotten dingo.” Well…that’s Australia for you, I guess.
  • What is this stuffed animal the Shiralee (Dana Wilson) has picked out & named Goobi? A weird-ass bird? A deformed kangaroo? I assume we may never know.
  • I don’t really see how this ‘my tiny daughter will come be a road hobo with me’ scenario could last very long, all things considered – but I suppose that’s the point of the movie.
  • Macauley’s default “solution” to things seems to be pounding people with his fists. Perhaps I’m wrong, but this does not seem like an ideal “role model” move.
  • So far, I’m not a fan of the music. Doesn’t seem to suit the scenes it’s playing over.
  • Poor the Shiralee…all covered in mud, & now she’s sneezing. I want to give her a bath and put her to bed! (Also get rid of Goobi, because I’m sure he is infested with loads of diseases & dirt creatures at this point.)
  • Oh, SNAP! There was almost a second Shiralee! No wonder Parker (Russell Napier)’s not a fan of Macauley – he got his daughter pregnant & then peaced out. What an ass! I hope when this ‘Lily’ shows up, she slaps him. At least twice.
  • Lily (Rosemary Harris) showed up. Did y’all know that she holds the record for the Fastest Shower in Australia (Women’s Division)? Just kidding. But the shower she just took lasted less than a minute, and then she was fully dressed and “clean” again. Thanks, cinema magic!
  • The music for this is still crap. It doesn’t flow with the scenes or enhance them – it just distracts from them.
  • Curses! The Shiralee (her other name is apparently Buster) has gone missing! Bella (Tessie O’Shea) thinks some woman snatched her!
  • Oh. It’s just Buster’s mother (Elizabeth Sellars). Catastrophe (mostly) averted.
  • HAHA! The Shiralee just turned down a stable home, her mother, a rocking horse, AND a brand new teddy bear to stick with Macauley (and, I suppose, Goobi). What a little badass!
  • When Macauley tries to leave the Shiralee with Bella & Luke (Sidney James) to go look for work, and the Shiralee comes chasing after him with her little hat? Cutest goddamn scene in the movie.
  • What the fuck, Macauley? Some CLEARLY crazy grifter wearing a visor has literally just shown up, and you’re going to leave your tiny daughter with him, unsupervised? What the hell is wrong with you?!
  • Next, you’re going to go buy Buster a fancy-ass doll?! Dude, you know she will reject it in five seconds flat in favor of Goobi. Your brain is sun-fried, or something.
  • Poor the Shiralee. I hope she recovers. ‘My child got hit by a car while I was banging a pretty shop girl I randomly found’ does not make for a good argument in a custody dispute.
  • Whoa! Lily showed up at the hospital, after all! All of Bella’s wildest dreams are coming true!!!
  • Definitely an engaging movie. Dana Wilson & Peter Finch made a stellar team. I’d watch it again.
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