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A City's Child

1h 17m Drama, Australian 1971

To escape her demanding, sick mother and her suburban loneliness, a middle-aged woman slides into a fantasy world in which there is incredible relief.

An ordinary and rather plain spinster approaching middle age is dominated by her bedridden mother who dies suddenly. The daughter who had never loved her continues to live in the house utterly friendless. Pressured by a sales girl she buys a small doll that accompanies her everywhere and for which she makes changes of clothes and appears to centre her life around. She sees a young man and builds romantic notions about him, sometimes seeing him in the guise of other makes. Her doll is given a boy doll and before long she ha a cupboard full of boy dolls, which one day she burns.

The woman has fantasies about sleeping with the young man. Neighbours see baby clothes on the line and can’t understand it. The woman has a large doll in a cradle by her bed which she treats as human. the young man takes to visiting the woman - playing cards and going out with her. Eventually, she sleeps with her when she seems to hear the doll’s voices saying she’s filthy and that he will leave her. This ultimately happens and she searches for him then collapses. whilst a doctor examines her, nosy neighbours pry around her house, discovering her doll collection.

This rare Australian production from 1971 is directed by Brian Kavanagh (award winning editor of such iconic Australian films, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and The Devil’s Playground) and shot entirely in Melbourne, featuring many long-gone cultural landmarks. Stars cult TV veterans Vivean Gray (Prisoner, Neighbours), Monica Maughan (Prisoner, The Box) and Sean Scully (Prisoner, Sunday Too far Away).


Brian Kavanagh





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