Film: 9948

Feature Drama | 1960 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A feature film set in Paddington in inner Sydney in the 1960's. It reflects the changing social and sexual values of the baby-boomers, and in Australia's budding cultural expansion. The character Dick, played by Ron Blanchard, is most entertaining.

The film opens with a wide panoramic aerial shot of Sydney, not the harbour, but the CBD and its tall buildings, then it sweeps around to the old inner suburbs of two story terrace houses, and then it zooms in on the almost topsy-turvy suburb of Paddington which has fought to avoid re-development. A young bearded man with longish hair is painting the decorative wrought iron on his terrace house balcony, down on the street a group of upper-class middle aged ladies walk in the quite road, they wear summer frocks, heels, gloves and carry handbags. A young hippie mailman blows a whistle as he delivers the mail to the old sandstone houses. The legs of the women as they walk briskly around the street, advancing en masse. The young mailman leans against a doorway and is perplexed by the sight of the women, obviously out of place in Paddington.

The group of women pause, a pretentious woman with a pseudo "English" accent is leading what is obviously a group from the upper-class suburbs who are doing a walking tour of the quaint and historic Paddington; she explains that the house in front was originally officers quarters of the 1840's. The tour leader replaces her sunglasses and says they were also at one time Sydney's most celebrated brothels. A working class resident leans over his fence, smoking and gazing some-what perplexedly at the group of women who obviously do not come from Paddington. The tour leader calls her group to come along, they all move obediently. A young man stands outside his little cottage, he wears only jeans and bare feet, he stretches and picks up his three bottles of delivered milk and plucks a flower from the garden which in true flower child style he smells, he returns to the house. Inside he walks down the passage to the kitchen the kettle is whistling, he puts the milk down and takes the kettle of the stove. He walks over to a pram and lifts out a naked baby, he attempts to put on her nappy. He completes the procedure and places the baby back into the pram. The women in their make-up and white gloves and perfect grooming listen politely to the tour guide. A group of ramshackle single terrace houses, with old corrugated iron roofs and broken lattice has a couple of teenage boys outside in the street, they are tinkering with their bicycles, a Holden car is parked behind. The tour leader points in the opposite direction to a contrasting row of very nice double storey terraces, more elegantly designed and freshly painted, a stylish and haughty young woman in long boots and hotpants walks across the street leading an aristocratic dog. There is a close-up of one of the middle-aged women in the tour. The tour leader announces this architecture is typical of Paddington.

The baby's father is making tea in the kitchen. Outside the tourists are trying to keep out of the way of a garbage tuck, a burly garbage worker tosses a bin to a man who is standing on an ordinary tray lorry, the man inside throws the empty bin out and the truck moves on down the narrow street. In the house, Jonathan follows Marigold down the stairs, they are arguing about getting married, the young man gesticulates frustratedly, he turns the hat that his friend Dick is wearing around the right way mid sentence. Marigold picks up the baby out of the pram. She takes her into the tiny kitchen and they open baby food, al the while arguing with Dick putting in little aside remarks. The father appeals to the young mother. Dick moves between them an fills a small plastic watering can at the sink. The father watches as Marigold tries unsuccessfully to feed Jasmine the baby. He glares at Dick when he makes stupid comments. Dick grimaces ruefully. Jonathan puts his hands on the seated mothers shoulders as she nurses Jasmine. Dick waters his plants on the window sill with the watering can. Inside Jonathan stands behind seated Marigold, Dick rolls is eyes upwards as the young father speaks about them being a real family if they are married, Dick moves through the kitchen and rolls his eyes gain at the conversation. Meanwhile, the tourist ladies are walking down the hot street, listening to their tour leader. Inside one of the houses young men sit around huge music speakers, they tune their electric guitars. The women gather around their tour leader outside the open windows, she begins to speak and her words are drowned out by loud guitar music. Inside the young cool men with their long hair and bare feet continue playing. Outside the tour leader battles on bravely. The young men come to the open window and hang out, making cheeky comments to the women, and the tour leader finally concedes and calls her ladies to "Come along!"

marigold in a wide-brimmed floppy hat walks down the street, she has a long flowing dress and she wears several strands of beads around her neck, Jasmine is in a back pack. She walks past a woman who is chastising two young children in an overgrown tiny front garden to go to school. A sleepy cat watches he go by. An old woman looks up from her front step and puts her hand up to block the sun, in the 1960's she would have probably been called a "New Australian" as she looks like she could have come from Italy or Greece. Marigold passes the group of tourist women as they prepare to rejoin their chartered bus, they look askance at the baby being carried on Marigolds back. An older man looks from his doorway. Marigold walks on down the old pretty street.

In their artists studio, Jonathan and Dick look at one of Dicks paintings. It is of Marigold in a bikini. Jonathan asks Dick if he can buy it, Dick gives it to his as a wedding present, then a discussion begins about Jonathan wanting to get married. There is a sequence of shots as the two man exchange remarks and discuss Jonathan's problem.

A close-up shows Dick wearing a scuba mask and snorkel with his head in a small fish tank, he is in the backyard of their house, he wears a bathing costume and he leans over from the waist to submerge his head. A further away shot shows Dick bending over the fish tank which stands on an old washstand in a the garden, in the foreground Marigold and Jonathan are sunbathing on the grass and once again arguing about getting married. Jasmine is crawling in the garden. Marigold and Jonathan discuss the surname jasmine will have. Dick, who has withdrawn his head from the fish tank and is dripping wet, pulls the snorkel and mask onto the top of his head and tell them to make up their mind. Marigold retorts that Jasmine will make up her own mind. Dick still with the snorkel gear on his head claims she might not want either of their names. Marigold and Jonathan look at each other and Marigold pouts and lies back down, putting her hat over her face.

Rosy walks down a hot inner city lane. She opens a garden door and enters Jonathan and Marigolds back garden. She walks up the shady path. She greets the three friends. Dick with snorkel and mask welcomes her to the "non-engagement" party. Both he and Rosy sit down on the grass with Jonathan and Marigold, there is a sequence of shots as they discuss the issue, Rosy sides with Jonathan in a slightly flirting way, and Marigold ends up getting frustrated and lying back down on the grass hat over her face. Jasmine throws herself face down on the grass in alarm at the tension.

The couple set off in their little Volkswagen down the white-hot summer street. Dashing from the front door Dick is seen running after them. He races after the little white Volkswagen crying "Wait for me!" The little vehicle swings around a corner. It drives down a wider street, a double deck bus passes on the other side, the Volkswagen parks in front of a white Jaguar. Marigold looks out of her car window. A mailman is delivering mail to a street with very elegant old two-storey terrace houses, on with beautiful wrought iron and Italianate windows has a for sale sign. Inside the beautiful house a chandelier hangs and there is exquisite antique furniture, very smart young people and obviously wealthy older people stand and sit about, the auctioneer is extolling the "no expense spared" renovation that has taken place, Jonathan, Marigold an Dick enter through the front door. The trio stand somewhat awkwardly inside the door. The auctioneer claims that Paddington is to Sydney what Chelsea is to London. Dick rolls his eyes at Marigold and Jonathan they look out of place in their smocks and beads. The auctioneer drones on. Jonathan and Marigold wait for the biding to start. Three elegant people sit near the stairs. The auctioneer accepts bids. The assembled prospective buyers look confident and at ease. Jonathan and Marigold on the other hand look ill at ease, Dick scratches his face with his hand which also holds his folded sunglasses, the auctioneer accepts his movement as a bid, he looks startled. Luckily, a man in front makes a higher bid, Dick exhales in relief. The bidding continues and there is a sequence of shots between auctioneer, bidders and others watching. Dick, Marigold and Jonathan sit in a beer garden. Jonathan despairs at finding a home they can afford. Dick claims the developers have already started on Surrey Hills, and that next it will be Redfern and Newtown. Marigold cries there must be some cheap houses left.

A tiny, single storey very dilapidated timber workers cottage sits between freestanding houses. Jonathan and Marigold are standing on the footpath opposite, reading the advertisement in the paper. They walk down the side of the house and investigate the state of the timber. Jonathan and Marigold look over the back fence at the many fit trees in the back yard. The backyard looks eve less promising. But the young couple are excited. They walk down the back of the house and find an area littered with rubble but with nice views over Paddington.

Marigold is wearing a smart pantsuit, she walks into a city bank. A man in a shirt and tie directs her. Another man sits at his desk. They discuss her employment. Marigold says she is a commercial artist and part-time model. The office is very modern with 1960's style art and lighting, the man gives her a form to fill in. Marigold says she is not married. The man looks disapproving. Marigold explains she has a baby but is not married. The banker looks askance. In an exchange of close-up shots, Marigold and the banker discuss why the bank would give low priority for a loan to an unmarried couple. The banker stands up and tells her it would make a difference if they were married, he sees her out of his office.

Marigold walks down the lane to the unprepossessing entrance of Dick and Jonathan's art studio. She walks through the studio and calls to Jonathan. Dick puts his head out. Marigold ignores him and looks for Jonathan. She finds him and blurts out they have to get married, Jonathan and Dick look surprised. Marigold paces furiously and tell them how insulted she feels. Dick smirks, Jonathan stares after her. Marigold is exasperated at being called a bad risk. Dick makes wisecracks. He nudges Jonathan to respond. Dick encourages them to get married. Jonathan talks gently to Marigold, and they kiss. Dick has the calendar and urges them to select a date, Dick writes It down on a small piece of paper, Jonathan grabs Dick in delight and shrieks with joy, he pretends to punch him in the stomach and they wrestle in a male display of pleasure and excitement, Marigold looks unsure.

Dick is riding his silly small red motor cycle through Sydney's streets. He turns into a broader street and parks at the Keri. There is no parking sign. He ignores if and runs up the steps of the Sydney registry office. The surly girl at the counter asks Dick the wedding date, he looks in his vest pocket but cannot find the paper with the date on it. He tries to remember and writes a date in the book anyway, the surly clerk gives him a sheet of paper.

In the shopping area of Paddington there is a sequence of the busy small businesses and shops, a butcher, hairdresser, barber; the sequence suggesting the diversity of the people and their cultural backgrounds in an otherwise mostly Anglo-Celtic based white society that Australia was at the time. Jonathan and Marigold meet rosy who congratulates them and calls Marigold a "lucky girl". An older lady walks by. A young couple stroll by the shops . Two elderly ladies chat. A young mother carrying a small child chats to a woman, another lady kisses and cuddles the little girl affectionately. A small boy is pushed in a pram. A blond toddler and his sister walk by with their mother. An effeminate male, a gay man, wearing a white suit and red shirt walks out of his elegant antique shop, he teases Jonathan. He offers his garden for the wedding party. He exclaims "But what will I wear?"

The late afternoon sun shines over the rooftops of Paddington. A graffitied wall advertises transcendental meditation and there is an anti-Vietnam war poster. Several males stand about around the entrance of the local pub, drinking. Marigold walks pensively down the lane. Rosy walks up the street, carrying to bottles of wine. She trips up Marigold and Jonathon's front path. Inside she and Jonathan's are drinking. Rosy says Marigold was becoming a bore with her anti-marriage principles. Meanwhile Dick is hanging his paintings in a gallery, Marigold enters. She gazes at the paintings. Dick turns and notices her. She smiles wanly. In an exchange of close-up shots they discuss her pre-wedding nerves. At the house, Rosy ruefully admits no man wants to know her views on marriage.

The young couple dressed in white but hippie style wedding finery walk down the passage of the registry office. With their family and friends only to be told the wedding date is next Saturday. Jonathan looks momentarily disappointed. Outside, family and friends shout and cheer as they leave a press photographer snaps the couple. Marigold and Jonathan explain there has been a mistake. The crowd cheer. Jonathan announces they will have the celebrations anyway. Dick, wearing a suit, makes his way through the wedding guests at the antique dealers Paddington garden, he waves a newspaper in his hand. He makes his way through to Jonathan and Marigold. They look at the paper with a photos of themselves on the steps of the registry office and the headline "Paddo Artists Fail to Wed" Jonathan and Marigold laugh. Dick and rosy put flowers in their hair. Jonathan takes the ring from his pocket and gives it to Dick telling him t make sure he brings it next Saturday, they hug each other. All the friends laugh together. The film ends with a view over the suburb of Paddington.


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