From the ridiculous to the sublime: Don’s Party/The Sound of Music

After THIRTY-ONE YEARS of having Don’s Party exalted by just about everyone as the finest piece of lefty footage ever, I decided to hire it out.

I was assured that it was a witty 70s-style political debate, insight into the sexual revolution and lighthearted Sellers-style sex romp PLUS abundant tacky interiors the whole family can enjoy.

Interiors, check.
70s-style, check.
Sex, plus romping, check.
Pewter tankard hanging on a chain around Graham Kennedy’s neck, check.

Lighthearted? Witty? Insightful? Political?

It starts with an angry wife telling her husband to pour the drinks at his party and a general diatribe about how he doesn’t pull his weight, ever. As he answers the door, he calls her a ‘humourless bitch’. Four couples stagger in, none of whom have any intention of being faithful. Two of them pin up photos of naked women. All the blokes get completely spannered and have a grouse time while their wives glare and spit venom from across the room. The only bloke able to communicate with a woman (Don’s wife, played fetchingly by Jeanie Drynan in a brown doona cover) is portrayed as a wimp and a poof.

At some stage the blokes cluster around the telly and talk about the votes. This is as political as it gets, apart from the ‘It’s Time’ badge in the background. In another scene, four blokes grab the skanky character, strip her naked and throw her in the pool. I thought I was about to watch a gang-rape scene. At the denouement, Don’s wife screams at him a list of everything that is wrong with their unhappy marriage, and kicks everyone out of the house. Roll credits.

WAS I SUPPOSED TO LAUGH?? Could someone old please fill me in on the bits I missed? Like the point??

I did however see The Sound of Music on the weekend. Now there’s a film. There were a few things I picked up after the oh, 20 years since I saw it last which escaped my attention as a child:

Is Liesel actually quite slutty?
Is it possible Gretel has a touch of Cushing’s Syndrome?
Does Julie Andrews’ theaterly habit of holding the top of her sensible hairstyle at the high notes bother anyone else?
“Soon her Ma-ma with a gleaming gloat heard, lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hmm hmm” ???
HOW HOT AND SEXY IS CAPTAIN VON TRAPP?? The bum-freezer jacket, and the tight breeches! The upswept hairstyle! The scar under his lip! The burning gazes he directs at The Baroness! The crop! The whistle!!

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2 thoughts on “From the ridiculous to the sublime: Don’s Party/The Sound of Music

  1. MAY I REMIND YOU OF A CERTAIN 40TH WE WERE BOTH IN ATTENDANCE AT, AGAIN ON ELECTION NIGHT, WHERE THE HOST ENEDED UP, HEAD IN TOILET BOWL, VIOLENTLY HEAVING AS HIS YOUNG DAUGHTERS HANDED AROUND CANAPES IN THEIR SKIMPY PJS? THE JOYS OF LABOUR LEADERSHIP ONCE AGAIN! DON’S PARTY WAS A TRUE REMINDER OF HEADY TIMES, HEADY TIMES…

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