Release date13 July 1979 Based onnovel by Colleen McCullough WriterColleen McCullough (novel), Michael Pate AwardsAACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor, AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress CastPiper Laurie (Mary Horton), Mel Gibson (Tim Melville), Alwyn Kurts (Ron Melville), Pat Evison (Em Melville), Peter Gwynne (Tom Ainsley), Deborah Kennedy (Dawnie Melville) Similar moviesDeborah Kennedy appears in Tim and The Sum of Us
TaglineA Heartrending Story of Courage and Devotion
Tim is a 1979 Australian romantic drama film. It was written and directed by Michael Pate, based on the 1974 novel by Colleen McCullough.
It is the story of the developing relationship between an older, educated & wealthy American woman, Mary Horton (played by Piper Laurie) who lives on her own and a handsome, developmentally impaired 24-year-old builder's labourer, Tim Melville (played by Mel Gibson), whom she hires. Tim lives with his sister, Dawnie (Deborah Kennedy), who is a year older than him, and their parents Ron (Alwyn Kurts) and Emily (Pat Evison). Dawnie marries her boyfriend, Mick Harrington (David Foster). Dawnie and Mick make clear they dislike Mary and oppose her relationship with Tim, but do not state their reason for feeling that way. Tim eventually marries Mary.
Michael Pate first read the book in 1975 and was immediately taken by it. He optioned the screen rights to the book, wrote the screenplay, and decided to direct.
Pate wanted the female lead played by an international actor and spoke with Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons and Glenda Jackson. Jackson was interested but was not available until 1982 so Piper Laurie was cast instead.
Funding came from Australian Film Commission, the NSW Film Corporation, Greater Union and Channel Nine. Filming took six weeks in August and September 1978.
The film was one of Gibson's first roles, and was moderately successful in Australia, earning Gibson an Australian Film Institute award for Best Actor. Kurts and Evison also won Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards respectively.
The film was remade for American television as Mary and Tim in 1996, starring Candice Bergen and Tom McCarthy in the lead roles.
Tim grossed $809,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $3,163,190 in 2009 dollars.