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Reg Grundy’s Wheel of Fortune (1959)

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clip A perfect score

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Carry-over champion Evan answers the last question in round one to score a perfect six out of six. Host Reg Grundy spins the wheel and matches the number to the prize board to reveal that Evan is in the running to win a Revlon beauty kit. Grundy introduces his opponent.

Curator’s notes

This is an example of early black-and-white studio-based television created by legendary Australian producer and show host, Reg Grundy. As demonstrated here, Grundy was a genial albeit slightly awkward host. When Evan wins a beauty kit, Reg’s long-winded comment about it being a more suitable prize for a married man seems a far cry from the smooth repartee of modern game-show hosts. Reg does a better job introducing the next contestant; Les initially looks very nervous but visibly relaxes after talking with Reg.

In striking contrast to today’s game shows, there is very little audio or visual distraction from the business at hand of asking and answering questions. There are no musical stings or sound effects (ticking clocks, buzzers) to be heard. Audience interaction is limited to polite applause after Evan’s correct answer, and there is no laughter at Reg’s joke about the beauty kit.

Evan and Les are shot in unvarying medium close-up against a plain backdrop. This allows us to closely observe their facial expressions; while Evan listens intently to the Basel question, the only thing moving on screen is his eyes. The lack of distraction places a greater burden on host Reg Grundy to keep the show moving along and the audience engaged.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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