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The Long Sunset

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Long Sunset
Based onplay by R.C. Sheriff
Written byNoel Robinson
Directed byColin Dean
Music byRichard Connolly
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
Running time60 mins[1]
Production companyABC
Original networkABC
Original release27 November 1963 (Sydney, live)[2]
4 December 1963 (Melbourne, taped)[3]
11 December 1963 (Brisbane)[4]

The Long Sunset is a 1963 Australian TV movie based on a play by R.C. Sheriff. It starred John Bell and was directed by Colin Dean It was recorded live.

The play had been filmed by the BBC in 1958.[5]


A Roman family during the last days of Roman Britain. Julian Severus lives near Canterbury when he hears the Romans are abandoning Britain.


  • Henry Gilbert as Julian Severus
  • Lynne Murphy as Serena Severus
  • James Condon as Arthur, leader of a band of Britons
  • John Bell as Julian's son Otho
  • Sandra Gleeson as Paula
  • Tim Cohen as Gawaine
  • Guy le Claire as Lugar
  • Ronald Morse as Portius
  • Richard Parry as Lucian
  • John Faassen as Marcus


It was filmed in Sydney.[6] The designer was Douglas Smith.[7]

"It's not hard to see parallels with modern situations," said director Colin Dean. "Alaric's encroachment on Rome in the fifth century AD is not without its modern counterparts."[4]

Lynne Murphy and Henry Gilbert previously played husband and wife in The Outcasts, John Bell had been in Ballad of One Gun. It was the TV debut for Sandra Gleeson.[4]

The play also broadcast on Australian radio in 1963.[8]


The critic from the Sydney Morning Herald wrote that "the gingerly stiffness of dialogue and manner that seems to overcome most dramatists and actors when they are playing at history was seldom absent from the" production. He felt that the characters in the original play "are in any case incorrigible cardboard, but Colin Dean's production, despite a few visual ingenuities, seemed to emphasise rather than minimise their creaking unreality. The Romans either intoned phrases of hollow nobility and stoicism or were querulous and fearful; their British allies in the fight against the encroaching Saxons merely slouched and growled. None of them was more than spasmodically interesting." The critic felt Gilbert "seemed to be taking part in a very slow and stately pageant" while Condon was "conscientiously surly and thicktongued" while Bell and Faassen "were largely wasted in dull parts." The critics felt "the play would have seemed better if the performance had shown more evidence of the sort of rehearsal that allows actors to develop characterisations as well as merely learn lines and moves, but even with devoted attention it is not likely to have much more in its favour than the romance of its historical idea."[9]

The Age said Gilbert was "most convincing" and that the play "opened impressively" then "floundered with the Roman settlers left to their own devices" but "concluded with a compelling marshalling of dramatics."[10]

See also


  1. ^ "TV Guide". Sydney Morning Herald. 27 November 1963. p. 18.
  2. ^ "Rome Theme for Live Play". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 November 1963. p. 18.
  3. ^ "TV Untitled". The Age. 28 November 1963. p. 32.
  4. ^ a b c "The End of the Romans". TV Times. 4 December 1963. p. 11.
  5. ^ The Long Sunset 1958 TV play at IMDb
  6. ^ "Untitled". The Age. 28 November 1963. p. 32.
  7. ^ "TV Guide". The Age. 28 November 1963. p. 41.
  8. ^ "Radio Plays". The Age. 6 June 1963. p. 18.
  9. ^ "DRAMA REVIEW _"Long Sunset" On Television". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 November 1963. p. 15.
  10. ^ "Teletopics". The Age. 12 December 1963. p. 28.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 October 2021, at 21:11
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