An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his muse in the form of a young girl.
UK director Michael Powell’s last theatrical feature film was this erotic, romantic comedy-drama that was similar, in part, to Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. The screenplay by Peter Yeldham was based upon Norman Lindsay’s 1935 autobiographical novel of the same name.
It was advertised with the tagline:
“There Is A Time Of Beauty… There Is A Day Of Yearning… There Is An “AGE OF CONSENT””
Young Helen Mirren (22 years old at the time of filming) appeared in her first major film role. In the closing credits, Helen Mirren was rightfully identified as a “member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.”
She took the role of teenaged granddaughter Cora Ryan, and was featured in several revealing nude scenes filmed on a small island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef area:
Cora posed as a model and artistic muse, standing in waist-deep water completely naked; she worked for oil painter Bradley Morahan (James Mason) who had returned to his native Australia from New York City
[Note: Morahan was modeled after real-life Bohemian artist Norman Lindsay who was the subject of the later film Sirens (1994).]
Cora was naked in the ocean – snorkeling (and spear-fishing)
[Note: Censors in the UK demanded cuts in one of Cora’s nude swimming scenes.]
In the story, Bradley ran into trouble with underage Cora’s drunken grandmother Ma Ryan (Neva Carr-Glyn) for posing her in the raw and secretly paying her.
Director: Michael Powell