an NFSA website

Due to copyright restrictions, this video cannot be accessed from outside Australia.

Clip description

Grant (Gary Bond) has succumbed to the temptation of two-up. Flushed with success, he sees the chance to win enough money to buy out his $1,000 bond with the education department. That would mean never going back to the one-room school at Tiboonda. He returns to the game and takes the kip for the first time, betting his whole wad of cash on heads. When he loses, he cashes his holiday cheque and bets it all on one more throw of the coins.

Curator’s notes

The film offers a series of temptations, almost like a parable. John Grant arrives in town a virtuous man. He is then offered his fill of drink, gambling, sex and, finally, the chance to kill (see clip three). At each turn, he could say no but he never does. Like all tragic figures, he carries the seeds of his own downfall. The two-up games form an extended section in the film, the climax of act one in the script. There are actually three different sequences, which are shot and edited in different styles. The first is realistic and documentary-like, but when Grant returns to ‘throw the kip’, the style is much more subjective, with high angles and the strong lighting simulating the sun. Grant’s nightmare begins in this increased stylisation. Anthony Buckley’s superb editing in these scenes has often been praised, but he says that a lot of it was already there in Evan Jones’s script – a model of detailed screenwriting, according to Buckley.