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Kangaroo

Kangaroo was written in 1922 by D.H. Lawrence after a brief visit to Australia. The resulting film is a serious, literary pic, handsomely produced and boasting a very strong cast of accomplished players.

Kangaroo was written in 1922 by D.H. Lawrence after a brief visit to Australia. The resulting film is a serious, literary pic, handsomely produced and boasting a very strong cast of accomplished players.

Pic opens with a 10-minute prologue set in Cornwall, England, in 1916 and establishing the problems that Lawrence (Colin Friels) called Somers in the book and film, and his German born wife Harriet (Judy Davis) experienced during the war.

Setting then shifts to Sydney in 1922 as the couple arrive and settle into a suburban house next to Jack and Vicky Calcott. Jack is secretly involved with a society of returned soldiers, The Diggers; under the leadership of the wealthy and charming ‘Kangeroo’, they’re training to fight an expected socialist revolution. Somers is courted both by socialist leader Struthers and by the dangerously charming ‘Kangeroo’, a sexually ambivalent fascist.

Given the source material, the film is full of dialog, but it’s interesting, well-written dialog. Davis gives another outstanding performance as a very modern woman, abrasive and a bit cynical and world weary, yet passionate. Friels gives a tense, brooding performance, filled with charm.

Kangaroo

Australia

  • Production: Naked Country. Director Tim Burstall; Producer Ross Dimsey; Screenplay Evan Jones; Camera Dan Burstall; Editor Edward McQueen-Mason; Music Nathan Waks; Art Director Tracy Watt
  • Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 108 MIN.
  • With: Colin Friels Judy Davis John Walton Julie Nihill Hugh Keays-Byrne Peter Hehir
  • Music By: