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Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)

Drama set in Sydney (Australia) in the 1930s, about the bitter struggle between two sisters for the custody of the young son of their dead sister. The boy is called PS and he is seven-years-old.

In adapting Sumner Locke Elliott’s novel for the screen, Carl Schultz has been careful to ensure that much of the action is seen from orphan Nicholas Gledhill’s perspective as his aunts struggle for custody.

Yet he also emphasises several adult themes, among them Australia’s relationship with the “mother country”, the impact of the Depression on all strata of society, and the role of women in a repressive patriarchy.

John Stoddart’s sets and John Seale’s photography give the film a nostalgic glow, which Schultz is as happy to indulge as the melodramatic performances of Robin Nevin as the anxious but tough suburban housewife Lila, and Wendy Hughes as the worldly, rich and beautiful anglophile Vanessa.

Vanessa
Wendy Hughes
Lila
Robyn Nevin
PS
Nicholas Gledhill
Logan Marriott
John Hargreaves
Vere
Geraldine Turner
Agnes
Isabelle Anderson
George
Peter Whitford
Ettie
Colleen Clifford
Diana
Julie Nihill
Miss Pile
Jacqueline Kott
Mr Hood
Michael Long
Mr Gentle
Len London
Mrs Grindel
Beth Child
Miss Colden
Virginia Portingale
Winnie Grindel
Pega Williams
Cynthia
Kylie Burgess
Ian
Toby Blanchard

Director
Carl Schultz