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Shadow of the Vine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Shadow of the Vine"
The General Motors Hour episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 5
Directed byPeter Cotes
Teleplay byBeverley Nichols
Produced byPeter Cotes
Original air dates7 October 1962 (Sydney, Melbourne)
3 June 1962 (Brisbane, Adelaide)
Running time90 mins[2]
Episode chronology
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"The Shifting Heart"
List of episodes

"Shadow of the Vine" is a 1962 Australian television play adapted from a 1949 play by Beverly Nichols.[3][4]

It was originally made for HSV-7 then presented as part of the General Motors Hour It was produced by Peter Cotes, who made four TV productions in Melbourne. Shadow of the Vine was the second one he made and the last one that aired. [5] Cotes made it a year before it aired.[6][7]


Mark Heath is a once brilliant lawyer who has become an alcoholic, affecting his two sons, Julian and Arthur. Only his wife Lilian remains loyal.[8]


  • W Edward Hodge as Mark Heath
  • Sophie Stewart as Lilian Heath
  • Mark Kelly as Arthur Heath
  • Edward Brayshaw as Julian Heath
  • Bettina Welch as Janet, Arthur's fiancee
  • Ellis Irving as Dr James Ritchie
  • Lorna Forbes
  • Carole Potter


The original play by Beverly Nichols was based on Nichols' personal struggles in coming to terms with his father's alcoholism. The play had been performed on Australian stages and adapted for Australian radio.[9]

It was one of four productions Cotes made in Australia in 1961 for HSV-7, the others being Long Distance, Suspect, and Candida. The first production shot was Long Distance which was filmed on 18 May 1961. Shadow of the Vine was the second play produced by Cotes.[10] It ran for 90 minutes.[11] The show was recorded live on 8 June 1961.[12] Cotes made Candida then announced that his production operation was being wound up due to the credit freeze. He made one more production, Suspect, before leaving Australia. Cotes said he read 100 plays by Australian writers and considered making 2, both by Alan Seymour, but neither was made. Long Distance had been screened while Cotes was in Australia but the other three were not shown until 1962, by which time he had left the country. [13]


The Age TV reviewer praised "a sensitive performance by Sophie Stewart" and Hodge's "well-directed portrayal as a drink addicted father... Once again the Peter Cotes touch came through for me. Interesting it was to see how the inside of the house sets helped rather than hindered to put across the realism of the story. Contrast this use of space to the intimate sets usually preferred by some ABC producers... Pity the drama lesson by Peter Cotes, now ended, is in danger of being forgotten. There is no idea of a continuity in drama by HSV-7 in sight, I believe."[14]


  1. ^ "Television for 1962" (PDF). GMH People. May 1962. p. 7.
  2. ^ "TV Guide". The Age. 6 October 1962. p. 7.
  3. ^ "TV Guide". The Age. 5 October 1962. p. 5.
  4. ^ "TV Guide". The Age. 4 October 1962. p. 32.
  5. ^ "Peter Cotes Drama Out of Storage". The Age. 31 May 1962. p. 8.
  6. ^ "Plays Not Shown But Mission Completed". The Age. 24 August 1961. p. 13.
  7. ^ "Peter Cotes Drama Out of Storage". The Age. 31 May 1962. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Last of the HSV-7 Dramas Drink is the Villain". The Age. 4 October 1962. p. 29.
  9. ^ "Two Views of Alcoholism". The Age. 4 October 1962. p. 25.
  10. ^ "Untitled". The Age. 25 May 1961. p. 23.
  11. ^ "First Peter Cotes HSV-7 Production Has a Cast of 15". The Age. 4 May 1961. p. 23.
  12. ^ "Teletopics". The Age. 1 June 1961. p. 23.
  13. ^ "Credit Squeeze Hits Plans for Drama". The Age. 20 July 1961. p. 11.
  14. ^ The Televiewer (11 October 1962). "Teletopics". The Age. p. 26.

This page was last edited on 13 October 2021, at 19:47
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