Starring: Wendy Hughes, Robin Nevin, Nicholas Gledhill, John Hargreaves
Director: Carl Schultz
Distributor: Umbrella Aussie DVD
It’s leading lady calls it “a forgotten classic”. If so, then this wonderful screen adaptation of Sumner Locke Elliott’s autobiographical novel needs to be refreshed in peoples’ minds as a matter of urgency. Apart from a few moments when the orchestral score tips into the melodramatic, Careful He Might Hear You is a vision splendid with captivating performances that convey the full range of complex emotions surrounding a custody battle over a 6 year old boy.
Wendy Hughes is stunning in her 1930s bias-cut frocks and luxurious fur coats as Vanessa, the only one of five sisters to have been plucked from her hometown in Sydney and polished off with an education at an English finishing school. The result of this indulgence has led to a peculiar fondness for powder puffs and a chronic inability to express any emotion let alone love. Nevertheless she is resolute in her decision to remove her nephew from her sister’s care and bring him up in the manner to which she has become accustomed.
Robin Nevin reveals a big heart as the working class Aunt Lila who, with her husband George (Peter Whitford) has raised the boy as if he were her own. And John Hargreaves is a knock-out as the boy’s errant gold digger father Logan. But the film really belongs to Nicholas Gledhill as the adorable P.S. – an odd name given to him for being the only post script to his mother’s rather tragic life.
The film scooped 8 AFI Awards and should have had huge success overseas but in an interview featurette producer Jill Robb explains how it was thwarted in its distribution and never secured a European release. Maybe now, through this DVD, audiences will remember just how good this forgotten classic was and, for that matter, still is.