Devlin is a 1971 Australian television play. It was made as the pilot for a series but aired as a stand-alone television play.[2]

Devlin
Genredrama
Written byTony Morphett
Directed byTom Jeffrey
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producerCharles Russell
ProducerGlyn Davies
Running time50 mins
Production companiesABC
Morphett-Davies
Australian Film Development Corporation
Original release
NetworkABC
Release14 November 1971 (1971-11-14)[1]

Premise edit

At a seaside town, a priest who has spent time in prison in China falls in love with a widow. He keeps flashing back to his time in a Chinese prison.[3]

Cast edit

Production edit

It was based on a story story by Morphett. Director Tom Jeffrey liked the story and took it to the ABC who agreed to make it. Charles Russell was an American executive working at the ABC. Jeffrey says that Russell wanted to make the story "tougher" and closer to the real life saga of the Berrigan brothers.[4]

Filming took place on location at Fingal Bay. Jeffrey says he was unhappy with John Bell's performance originally but the actor improved after seeing the rushes.[4]

It was one of the first productions financed by the Australian Film Development Corporation.[5]

Reception edit

Jeffrey said he "was not happy with the film" as "it was a mish mash. There were some lovely things out of it. One was the soundtrack was absolutely stupendous, the photography was good."[4] No series resulted.

The Age called it a "sensuous, poetic play" which "may qualify as the finest Australian TV drama yet produced."[6]

Jeffries would later clash with Charles Russell during the development for Seven Little Australians which resulted in the director leaving the ABC.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ "TV Guide". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 November 1971. p. 105.
  2. ^ "Temporary Farewell to the Royals". The Sunday Sydney Morning Herald. 24 October 1971. p. 119.
  3. ^ "A question of faith". The Sydney Morning Herald TV Guide. 8 November 1971. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c d Jeffrey, Tom (18 April 2002). "Oral History Tom Jeffrey" (Interview). Interviewed by Nigel Giles. National Film and Sound Archive.
  5. ^ "The Policy of the Corporation". Australian Film Development Corporation: Annual report for year 1970–71. Canberra: Commonwealth Government Printing Office. 1972. nla.obj-2057316569. Retrieved 12 June 2023 – via Trove.
  6. ^ Pinkey, John (8 December 1971). "Television". The Age. p. 2.