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The Love Letters from Teralba Rd

The Love Letters from Teralba Road (Stephen Wallace, 1977) prod. Richard Brennan, wr. Stephen Wallace, dp Tom Cowan, music Ralph Schneider, ed. Henry Dangar; Bryan Brown, Kris McQuade, Gia Carides; Sydney, colour, 16 mm, 50 min.

I watched The Love Letters from Teralba Rd (Stephen Wallace, 1977) again and was disappointed. Not in being able to see the film: I’m grateful for that. I’m disappointed in my memory having turned it into something much more pleasantly sentimental than it actually is. I thought he prolly smacked her once and was sorry for the rest of the film, in a distantly loving way. But actually it’s a social-realist document about a couple of radically unaware and inadequate people. It’s real and true and raw ... and nothing like what my memory had turned it into.

Len is a storeman in Newcastle, quick-tempered and in ill health. His wife, Barbara, has gone to Sydney to live with her father and sister after Len has beaten her in a drunken rage. Len writes to her asking forgiveness and his letters express love and tenderness. ... The film's psychological observations - of two people fantasising about a marriage that has not worked, and able only to express their deeper feelings indirectly - were based on letters that the director, Stephen Wallace, had found in an old house. Pike & Cooper: 314-315.

Garry Gillard | New: 25 October, 2012 | Now: 22 June, 2020