The Sum Of Us
What it's about: Widower Harry Mitchell willingly aids his son, Jeff, in Jeff's search for Mr. Right. But things get complicated when Jeff falls for a gardener not yet out of the closet, and Harry finds a love of his own. Based on a stage play by David Stevens.
Also stars: Jack Thompson (Harry), John Polson (Greg), Deborah Kennedy (Joyce)
Directed by: Geoff Burton, Kevin Dowling
Cool cameos: Those footy shorts, the Woman on the Train
Available on shopping.html
Soundtrack: Picture This Records
DID YOU KNOW?
The Sum of Us ran Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York.
The filmmakers sought American financing for the film but were repeatedly turned down.
The film, made in Sydney, was shot in 30 days in Oct.-Nov. 1993 with a budget of about $3.5 million Australian.
The Mitchells' house was in Balmain, an inner-city suburb on the harbour.
David Stevens, who also wrote the screenplay, has said much of the dialogue and situations are based on his life. The grandmother's relationship with another woman was based on his own grandmother, and there was a real-life "Woman on the Train."
Stevens co-wrote the Australian war drama Breaker Morant, which starred Harry Mitchell himself, Jack Thompson.
Stevens completed the followup to the book Roots, called Queen, after author Alex Haley died before completing it. Stevens also wrote the TV miniseries based on Queen.
Russell had a role on the TV show Spyforce, starring Thompson, when he was 6. "Then, 23 years later, I got to play his son. It was one of those great cosmic circles that this industry affords you every now and then."--Russell, Interview magazine, Sept. 97
RUSSELL ON GAY ROLES:
"There are many questions I would ask a character -- for instance, 'Do you believe in the death penalty?' -- before I ever got round to 'What's your sexuality?' I think other factors are more important in terms of human relationships and the way society operates than what someone's sexuality is. Sexual orientation is not something that people necessarily choose; it's just who they are." -- Interview magazine, Sept. 1997
JACK THOMPSON ON RUSSELL:
"Russell is a wonderful actor to work with. He is totally devoted to his craft and has a wonderful depth to the character he brings to the screen. He is also a wonderful friend for the rest of my life". Live Webchat May 21, 2000. (Thanks to Cynthia!)
Purchase The Sum of Us and/or music from the film here.
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