The Delinquents (1989)

The Delinquents (1989)

Released: 1989
Genre: Drama, Genre, Romance
Director: Chris Thomson
Starring: Bruno Lawrence, Charlie Schlatter, Kylie Minogue, ,
Run time: 101 min
IMDb: 5.6/10
Country: Australia
Views: 103302


A small town in Australia, in the late 1950s: Brownie and Lola are deeply in love. But because they are under-age, their parents are against their relationship and try to separate them.
Written by
Tom Zoerner <[email protected]>
User Reviews: The 1989 Australian movie, ‘The Delinquents’, is a grand look into the conservative 1950’s Australia, how harsh it was for young people to live and be in love. Yet this movie also has a good feel to it and shows what defiance can do for your life. Although it can make it extremely hard, it also liberates teenagers and allows them to choose the life they want for themselves.

Adolescences – the time when teenage friendship boils over into adult desire … and the time when Lola Lovell meets a boy called Brownie Hansen. Too young to be together, too in love to be apart, Lola and Brownie’s obsessive passion for each other breaks all the rules laid down by their parents and society. Quickly branded as rebels and defiant troublemakers, they will be forced to face the hardest punishment of all – separation! But NO person, NO law and NO institution will ever keep them apart. To Lola and Brownie, the first love is the ONLY love there is.

This movie’s screenplay is based upon a novel of the same written by Criena Rohan. I believe that it would be an interesting read, as it looks into a very historical time in the Australian country and allows us to understand that young people especially, were not give the freedom and respect that they deserved. The story also has a very strong love story placed within it and the characters we are presented with take risks, some worth it, some not. But all in all, they prove that risks are a big part of growing up. The screenplay for this film by Clayton Frohman, certainly gives a good insight into all these areas.

Although this film might seem slow, mushy and only for romantics, it is presented in a most noteworthy way. Director Chris Thomson allows us to see how hard the times are, especially for Lola and Brownie. He certainly leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to seeing both of these characters being violated. I also feel it is the good work of Thomson that we get a historically correct recreation of the times, as places like Melbourne, Brisbane and Bundaberg, look the way they would have been back in the 50’s.

The main stars in the film are Brownie (Charlie Schlatter) and Lola (famous Australian Icon Kylie Minogue). These two characters quickly developed a very intense, romantic and physical relationship. Brownie is a guy that is abused by father and the law (and the film clearly shows this), while Lola, who is deeply love struck, is treated very harshly by her conservative/liberal mother (Angela Punch-McGregor). The pair in their own way stand up for themselves. Although Schlatter has little to say here, is effective as Brownie. He really is a good guy. Kylie looks ‘stunning’ and is great as the young girl who grows up quickly. She has some of the more memorable lines in the film and one of the best moments in the movie has to be when Lola right hooks (punches) her Aunt Westbury (Melissa Jaffer) in the face.

Brownie and Lola have some friends in the midst of all these bad people in their lives. Brownie is befriended by his sailing boss Bosun (the late Bruno Lawrence), who is a man that deeply cares for Brownies well-being. Bruno is great in this film and is from the popular Current Affairs spoof ‘Frontline’. While Brownie and Lola meet a happy couple Lyle (Todd Boyce) and Mavis (Desirée Smith). What happens to this couple is very tough, but this helps Brownie and Lola, and is another moving moment in the film.

The soundtrack to this movie is just wonderful and adds to the historical time and romantic feel that the story has. Songs from it include ‘Only You’ ‘Since I Met You Baby’ ‘She’s My Baby’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Lucille’. While we have a song from Kylie herself entitled ‘Tears on My Pillow’ and another song by the Aussie act Johnny Diesel (aka Mark Lizotte) and the Injectors called ‘Somebody on my love’. This is one great compilation of music for an Australian movie.

After all these positive words on this movie, I know I will be shot down by other people around the world who truly do hate this film. Some of the comments already placed on this movie’s IMDb page are very harsh and have nothing good to say. I disagree with these negative opinions, simply because I had a good experience watching this movie many years ago and just recently. I believe that this movie is not to dissimilar to the 1985 American sex comedy ‘Mischief’, as it certainly had similar themes, characters and looked into the same time. ‘The delinquents’ is an Australian movie that is a must see!

CMRS gives ‘The Delinquents’: 4 (Very Good Film)

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