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Playing Beatie Bow (film)

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Director  Donald Crombie
Screenplay  Peter Gawler
Language  English
5.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Country  Australia
Playing Beatie Bow (film) movie poster

Writer  Irwin Lane, Ruth Park, Ruth Park
Release date  7 August 1986 (1986-08-07)
Awards  AACTA Award for Best Production Design
Cast  Peter Phelps (Judah / Robert), Imogen Annesley (Abigail Kirk), Mouche Phillips (Beatie Bow), Nikki Coghill (Dovey), Moya O'Sullivan (Granny), Don Barker (Samuel)
Similar movies  La Boum, The Party 2, Dirty Dancing, Mission: Impossible III, The Spanish Apartment, Meet Joe Black

Playing Beatie Bow is a 1986 Australian time travel drama film. It is directed by Donald Crombie and stars Imogen Annesley, Peter Phelps and Mouche Phillips. The screenplay by Peter Gawler and Irwin Lane is based on the novel by Ruth Park.


Playing Beatie Bow (film) movie scenes

Playing beatie bow colonial sydney town 1873 classic australian movie

Plot summary

Beatrice May "Beatie" Bow, a young Victorian-era girl, is summoned from the past to contemporary 1986 Sydney by children, including 8 year old Natalie, chanting her name. 16 year old Abigail Kirk, whose mother Kathy was looking at rekindling her relationship with her estranged husband, accidentally follows her back to September 1873, in Sydney-Town in the colony of New South Wales. Beatie's family, including Granny and Dovey, believe Abigail is the promised 'Stranger' who will arrive to save 'The Gift' for future generations of Bows. The Gift though comes at great sacrifice as one of the Bow children, either Beatie, the 'poorly' middle brother Gilbert Samuel (Gibbie) or the oldest brother Judah will die at a young age (Gibbie, who spends his time in bed reading the "The Good Book", is convinced that he will be the one to die young). Abigail is trapped in the past until she does what she was 'sent' to do, even though she doesn't know what this is. During her sojourn, she falls in love for the first time with Judah (who is promised to marry Dovey) and gains a more mature perspective on her parents' re-forming relationship.

Playing Beatie Bow (film) Playing Beatie Bow 5 YouTube

After returning to her own time, Abigail finds that her friends Justine and her daughter, 8 year old Natalie, are descendants of the Bow family and learns the fate of the Bow children. Beatie never married or had children, though she achieved her childhood dream of becoming a scholar and became the long time headmistress of the Fort Street School and died in the 1920s. Gibbie, despite being convinced that he would be the one to die young, married an undertaker's daughter and lived until 1940 when he was 76 and was actually Justine's great grandfather. Abigail had saved Gibbie from a fire that all but destroyed the Bow's home located above Samuel Bow's confectionery shop, which was what she as the 'Stranger' was sent to do thus preserving 'The Gift' for future generations of the Bow family. Judah, who Abigail had fallen in love with, married Dovey and they had a daughter in 1874, though the child died before her first birthday while Dovey passed in 1919. Natalie then tells Abigail that Judah died in a shipwreck just outside of Hobart-Town at the age of 22, thus becoming the great sacrifice. Abigail then meets Justine's younger brother Robert who bears a striking resemblance to Judah and the pair fall in love while Natalie has assumed the Bow family 'gift' allowing her to become a talented piano player.


Playing Beatie Bow (film) Playing Beatie Bow 3 YouTube

  • Imogen Annesley - Abigail Kirk
  • Peter Phelps - Judah Bow / Robert Bow
  • Mouche Phillips - Beatrice May "Beatie" Bow
  • Nikki Coghill - Dorcas "Dovey" Tallisker
  • Moya O'Sullivan - Granny Bow
  • Don Barker - Samuel Bow
  • Trent Graham - Punchy
  • Lyndel Rowe - Kathy Kirk
  • Barbara Stephens - Justine Crown
  • Damian Janko - Gilbert Samuel "Gibbie" Bow
  • Phoebe Salter - Natalie Crown
  • Su Cruickshank - Madam
  • Edwin Hodgeman - Sir
  • Production

    Playing Beatie Bow (film) Playing Beatie Bow Colonial Sydney Town 1873 Classic Australian

    Playing Beatie Bow is directed by Donald Crombie, and produced by Jock Blair, Bruce Moir and John Morris. It is rated PG instead of the milder G because Abigail uses a swear word ("shit") towards the end of the film as well as two scenes in which Annesley appeared semi-nude. Also, due to Annesley only being 16 at the time of filming, the kissing scenes between herself and 26 year old Phelps were 'toned down' to avoid controversy.

    Playing Beatie Bow (film) Playing Beatie Bow 7 Last YouTube

    Most of the film was shot in Adelaide, including using one of the cities iconic indoor amusement arcades "Downtown" and its popular second floor roller skating rink for a scene early in the film. AU$400,000 was spent on recreating Sydney's Rocks area in a disused industrial site.

    Box office

    Playing Beatie Bow (film) Playing Beatie Bow 6 YouTube

    Playing Beatie Bow grossed $97,306 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $212,127 in 2009 dollars. However the film was popular on video.


    Playing Beatie Bow (film) Wikipedia
    Playing Beatie Bow (film) IMDb Playing Beatie Bow (film)