Before David and Margaret, there was Ivan and Jim.
This month marks 50 years since then Two on the corridorChannel Seven’s film review duo of HSV7 music director Ivan Hutchinson and media journalist Jim Murphy.
The show was a forerunner of The cinema show (SBS, 1986-2008) and At Cinema (ABC, 2004-2014).
With little footage surviving, the show is all but forgotten today. But the recent discovery of a VHS dub of the show’s final December 1975 episode is reminiscent of a series which paved a path for film appreciation on Australian television, during an exciting time in local theater performance when our national film industry he was experiencing a significant creative renaissance.
Pre-recorded on Thursday afternoon, Two on the corridor began as a late evening half-hour series every Friday. Depending on the length of the previous film or programme, the broadcast started anytime from 10pm to 12.15am! Moving to Thursdays for 1974, the series returned to Fridays from July, where it remained until its termination in December 1975.
Guests included Frank Thring, Charles Tingwell and Graeme Blundell, visiting British artists John Le Mesurier, Michael Craig and Eric Sykes, playwright Robert Bolt, exorcist author William Peter Blatty, American director Rouben Mamoulian and many others.
Last year’s episodes in the color television era doubled in length from 30 to 60 minutes.
Interviewed at the TV World Media Museum in 2004, Murphy humbly reflected: “I suppose we were pioneers in Australia, as nobody else had done a film review program (that way) up to that point.”
You can watch clips and read more in a blog at National Archive of Cinema and Sound.