The Winds of Jarrah

The Winds of Jarrah (Mark Egerton, 1985) prod. Mark Egerton and Marj Pearson for Film Corporation of Western Australia, WA, wr. Mark Egerton, based on a storyline, characters and screenplay by Anne Brooksbank and Bob Ellis, based on the novel The House in the Timberwoods by Joyce Dingwell, 1959, dp Geoff Burton; first film adapted from a Mills & Boon novel; set in 1946; location: Dorrigo, NSW—originally to be shot in Pemberton; Isabelle Anderson, Steve Bisley, Terence Donovan, Harold Hopkins, Susan Lyons, Emil Minty, Martin Vaughan, Dorothy Alison, Nikki Gemmell, Steven Grives, Mark Kounnas, Bill McCluskey; Eastman colour, 35 mm, wide screen, 94 min.

Why it's still called The Winds of Jarrah I can't imagine. It's a 1985 film written and directed by Mark Egerton 'from a story characters and screenplay' written by Bob Ellis and Anne Brooksbank (Bob's wife). Before that it was a Mills & Boon novel, so it's just a case of which of the men the available woman will end up with, and of course it's the most suitable one – which in this case means the one who has all the property etc. … but is as mad as a cut snake. The 'Jarrah' might have made more sense if the film had been shot where originally intended, in Pemberton, Western Australia, as it was funded by the short-lived Film Corporation of Western Australia (three films: 1982-3) – but it was shot in Dorrigo NSW. Despite the beautiful Panavision photography by Geoff Burton, it went straight to videotape, and has not (yet?) been released on DVD.

Mark Egerton ... re-jigged the screenplay, but did not omit some of the more embarrassing dialogue exchanges ('I'm sorry for the trees.' 'So am I - I was a tree way back, probably a cedar.') Not surprisingly, given such dialogue, the actors are wooden. Stratton: 117.

Three years after the film's completion, an announcement was made that the film would be theatrically relased after extensive recutting. It had a short run in outback New South Wales before eventually turning up in video stores. Paul Harris, Murray: 181.


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