Jean Paget (Helen Morse) tells solicitor Noel Strachan (Gordon Jackson) of her first meeting with Joe Harmon (Bryan Brown) while on an enforced trek across Malaya with a group of fellow Englishwomen and their children. Among others in the flashback are Sergeant Mifune (Yuki Shimoda), Mrs Frith (Dorothy Alison), Sally Wilson-Hayes (Anna Volska) and her daughter Jane (Lucy Bell).
There are more moving and certainly more passionate scenes between Jean Paget and Joe Harmon but this scene illustrates the immediate attraction between the two and some of the dynamics that underpinned their enduring relationship. Bryan Brown himself describes it best in telling what he personally likes about these characters: 'They’re not whingers. They don’t complain. They accept responsibility for having found themselves in a situation and just set about fixing it.’ At this first meeting, set on a dusty road in the Malayan highlands against a magnificent backdrop, it is these qualities of flexibility and optimism, combined with compassion and humour, that Jean and Joe recognise in each other. What seems like a fairly mundane exchange of information is in fact rich with meaning and the economic dialogue is loaded with subtext.
A very young Lucy Bell is seen performing with her mother Anna Volska in this clip as they play mother and daughter Sally and Jane Wilson-Hayes.