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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Biography > Australian Telefilm > Racism > Filmmaking > Tudawali (1987 Telefilm/Umbrella Entertainment/PAL Region Free/Zero/0/DVD Import)

Tudawali (1987 Telefilm/Umbrella Entertainment/PAL Region Free/Zero/0/DVD Import)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: B-     Telefilm: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0/Free PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Australia has its racism like any other country, but slow breakthroughs have changed that and in 1955, a big hit film called Jedda that dealt with Aborigine life was a hit, made in color and establishing actor Robert Tudawali as a big screen star, Australia’s first Aborigine star actor.  However, a tragic accidental burning hurt him badly and the long-tern effects turned out to be fatal and when the success was over, had turned to exploitive exhibition boxing.  Ernie Dingo plays him in the impressive 1987 telefilm Tudawali.


Well written by Alan Seymour (Roald Dahl’s Tales Of The Unexpected) and directed nicely by Steve Jodrell, Dingo is absolutely convincing as the man who finds himself surprised that after the life he has led, he becomes a star and finds sudden new happiness and success he never expected in a country with a race problem and deep denial there of.  At this time, TV movies had gone in decline worldwide, but this is solid work and that it has been out of circulation so long is sad.


Dingo is an underrated actor and you have likely seen him, even if you did not know who he was.  He is backed by a fine cast that includes the highly successful Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Frank Wilson, Suzanne Peverill and Bill McCluskey all proving once again that Australian film and TV production is as interesting as its U.S. and U.K. counterparts.



The 1.33 X 1 image was shot on 16mm film, but this copy was finished on analog PAL videotape, so it looks worn and soft, with flaws that include staircasing, aliasing, some video noise, video banding, some tape scratching, tape damage and PAL cross color, but a disclaimer warns of this before the film stars.  Hope they find a film print and restore it for HD and Blu-ray.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is about a generation or so down throughout and can be distorted, but it sounds good more often than expected.  Extras include stills, press clippings, a 27 minutes long older film of an actual Walkabout long before the Nicolas Roeg film (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and Oondamooroo: Profile Of Ernie Dingo and his long, successful career.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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