An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his muse in the form of a young girl.
James Mason ... Bradley Morahan
Helen Mirren ... Cora Ryan
Jack MacGowran ... Nat Kelly
Neva Carr-Glynn ... Ma Ryan (as Neva Carr-Glyn)
Andonia Katsaros ... Isabel Marley
Michael Boddy ... Hendricks
Harold Hopkins ... Ted Farrell
Slim DeGrey ... Cooley (as Slim De Grey)
Max Meldrum ... TV Interviewer
Frank Thring ... Godfrey, the Art Dealer
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ... Meg (as Clarissa Kaye)
Judith McGrath ... Grace (as Judy McGrath)
He only wanted her for her body--to paint, of course....
Whacky, funny, off-beat, endearing, edgy. James Mason playing the flip side of Humbert Humbert, trying to be a good guy and resist the infinitely nubile Helen Mirren. After watching this movie you will swear that you saw her naked. But you didn\'t! Exquisitely suggestive photography and her utter commitment to luscious availability create imaginings that go beyond the celluloid.
Bradley Monahan, the artist, lives outside the norms and standards of society, but when confronted by teenage Cora Ryan (played the 24 year old Helen Mirren), he finds himself unable to step that far out of bounds. But she will have her way and works every wile in her arsenal to free him from himself.
Never viewed this film before and always enjoy James Mason pictures and was surprised to see that it was showing for the first time on TCM TV and Robert Osborne and Michael Powell\'s wife gave a review and history of this film. There is plenty of comedy, and a very interesting story about an elderly artist named, Bradley Monahan, (James Mason) who is getting tired of being recognized for his great paintings and wants to find a very quite place where he can create some new paintings and he selects Australia\'s Great Barrier Reef for his retreat. Bradley soon finds out he is not alone on this island and runs into all kinds of people. However, he does meet a very cute young girl named Cora Ryan, (Helen Mirren) who is only a young teenager and he makes a deal with her to buy her fish that she catches and chicken\'s that she steals for a living to support her old aunt who loves gin. Eventually Bradley convinces Cora to pose for him in the nude and he draws all sorts of paintings of her. This is truly a great film and I was so glad I was able to view this film which is rarely seen in the United States, enjoy.
I caught this rather odd but interesting movie at 1 AM on TCM one night (I guess insomnia isn\'t always a bad thing). James Mason stars as famous, very jaded middle-aged painter who decides to get away from the frustrations of his public life by relocating to a rural Australian island. Unfortunately, once there he finds more frustrations with his eccentric and annoying neighbors, and bothersome former associates who show up unexpectedly. He also meets a young girl (Helen Mirren) who, uh, \"re-inspires\" him by agreeing to pose for him in the nude.
The tone of this movie is kind of strange, going from light-hearted comedy to sudden tragedy and back again. It was directed Michael Powell, after this once- respected director had pretty much torpedoed his own career with the movie \"Peeping Tom\", which was considered unforgivably sleazy in its era in Britain, but is regarded as somewhat of classic today. Mason (who also co-produced) plays a role similar to the one he played in Stanley Kubrick\'s notorious film version of \"Lolita\". He walks the same fine line between an erudite artist trying shake off the shackles of bourgeois morality and a mere pervert lusting after some nubile flesh. Nevertheless, this movie doesn\'t take the predictable May-December sex route. It may be a little \"politically incorrect\" by today\'s standards, but I actually found far less creepy than the hypocritical morality of America today (where the media goes into morally-outraged hysterics every time some celebrity nymphet appears in a racy photo or video clip, even as they show this same photo or clip over and over. . .).
For what it\'s worth, Helen Mirren was well over \"the age of consent\" in real-life here, and she has the same GREAT body that would become in fixture in British art films and theater over the next three or four decades (even if she doesn\'t quite demonstrate the acting chops that recently earned her academy award for playing Queen Elizabeth II). This movie has its problems, including its very uneven tone, but it\'s definitely worth watching.