Tuesday, February 07, 2023

C. J. Dennis's "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", Raymond Longford's "The Sentimental Bloke", and Les Murray's "Fredy Neptune"

Before Fred Boettcher in Les Murray's 1999 verse novel "Fredy Neptune" ends up in Hollywood a few years later, he goes to the movies in Australia with his future wife Laura to see "The Sentimental Bloke." This critically and commercially successful 1918 silent movie by prolific Australian director Raymond Longford was based on Australian poet C. J. Dennis's equally successful 1915 verse novel "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", which was also made into a sound film in 1932 and has twice been turned into a musical. Murray's own verse novel has not made it to the screen or the stage yet, but its picaresque narrative would perhaps best be served by a television series. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 7 February 2023)

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