Review: ‘Till There Was You’

By Australian standards, top cinematographer John Seale's first pic as a director is an expensive, high-concept affair that falls between several categories.

By Australian standards, top cinematographer John Seale’s first pic as a director is an expensive, high-concept affair that falls between several categories.

The serviceable, if familiar, plot has Mark Harmon playing a New York sax player who wings off to a Pacific island on his brother’s invitation. When he arrives he discovers his brother has been killed, and that he’s not very welcome on the island.

Although Harmon does his best with his undemanding role, Canadian-born Aussie thesp Deborah Unger is miscast as the sultry wife of the dead brother’s friend. Unger is far too down-to-earth for the role.

Furthermore, there’s no chemistry between her and Harmon. As her seemingly charming husband, Jeroen Krabbe brings a touch of menace to a conventional character.

Camerawork on little-seen island locations is often spectacular. A plane crash in the jungle is superbly staged, and the local Vanuatans, mostly from Pentecost Island, prove to be natural actors.

Till There Was You

Australia

Production

Ayer/Five Arrow/AFFC. Director John Seale; Producer Jim McElroy; Screenplay Michael Thomas; Camera Geoffrey Simpson; Editor Jim Bilcock; Music Graeme Revell; Art Director George Liddle

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Mark Harmon Deborah Unger Jeroen Krabbe Shane Briant
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