TV Cream

Films: O is for...

Outback

By the ’70s, of course, Australia was the number one destination for British ex-pats. saw Brit teacher Donald Pleasence stranded in The Yabba, a remote scrub wilderness where sun, chronic boredom and dumb drunken insolence are the inescapable order of the day, the week, and the year. The Australian tourist board didn’t take kindly to this warts-and-more-warts portrayal (which incidentally was Chips’ last film), and several counter-message films were pushed through, mainly in a lighter, more continent-promoting mood, such as Sunstruck (1972), a whimsically romantic tale of rather more ebullient and eager teacher Harry Secombe upping sticks to Oz for sun, surf and Sheilas, but finding himself in an outback girls’ school instead. Still, it all turned out all right in the end .

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