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TIM (director/writer: Michael Pate; screenwriter: from the novel by Colleen McCullough; cinematographer: Paul Onarato; editor: David Stiven; music: Eric Jupp; cast: Piper Laurie(Mary Horton), Mel Gibson (Tim Melville), Alwyn Kurts (Ron Melville), Pat Evison(Emily Melville), Deborah Kennedy(Dawn Melville), Peter Gwynne(Tom Ainsley); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael Pate; Satori Productions; 1979-Australia)

“The slight sentimental film is nothing special.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Aussie actor Michael Pate directs his only film, a sugary romantic drama that has little to say that’s interesting.The bland pic is set in Sydney. It’s based on the novel by Colleen McCullough. Mel Gibson plays the decent innocent hunky 24-year-old retarded handyman Tim Melville, who lives with his caring working-class parents (Alwyn Kurts and Pat Evison). The wealthy middle-aged spinster Mary Horton (Piper Laurie) hires him as her gardener and slowly a romance develops. We learn nothing about the fortysomething attractive woman, and wonder why she has no suitors or friends. Why she falls madly in love with the child-like Tim is never made clear except lust seems to be the motivation.

Gibson is well-suited for the role, but the slight sentimental film is nothing special. It’s only believable as soap opera, as the trite dialogue is far from real. In 1996, it was remade as a TV movie called Mary & Tim.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”