Middle Age Spread

Middle Age Spread - 1979

Endeavour Entertainment - 95 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9418212010433
Cast: Grant Tilly, Dorothy McKegg, Peter Sumner, Bridget Armstrong, Donna Akersten, Bevan Wilson.
Screenplay: Keith Aberdein (Based on the Roger Hall play); Photography: Paul Leach; Original Music: Stephen McCurdy; Editor: Michael Horton; Producer: John Barnett; Director: John Reid.

Colin (Grant Tilly) is the deputy principal of a city high school (Avondale College, Auckland) who reluctantly applies for the principal's job on the latter's retirement. Colin's wife, Elizabeth - who is losing interest in him -gives a dinner party. Among the guests is Judy, temporarily reconciled with her husband for the sake of the children. Colin - who has taken upon jogging to combat a spreading waistline - and Judy, gradually enter into an affair. A excellent script with quality acting, especially surprising given its very low budget of under $200,000nz. Recommended.

Censor Rating: M - Review Rating: B-

Middle Age Spread
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As of April 2008, this one is OOP on vhs. Expect used copies to sell for about $10nz+. No known sources for NTSC copies.

As of May 2010, it is available on PAL R0 DVD selling for under $20nz, but only from New Zealand sources. It is presented in its original 1.33:1 format with mono English soundtrack. There are no subtitles or extras.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies for any New Zealand address.

Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses



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Art New Zealand article by Mike Nicolaidi

"Keith Aberdein's fine screenplay from the Roger Hall stage hit which has played to more than 80,000 New Zealanders, keeps in place all the wry humour, and gentle sadness, of the original. Indeed this film adaptation of the middle life crisis of a collection of middle class couples proves to contain the most satisfying content of any NZ feature film made during the current production upsurge. Middle Age Spread centres on Colin, a college professor whose promotion to principal coincides with a number of personal crises [...] But Middle Age Spread is no mere parading of middle class morality. Wit and thoughtfulness are judiciously mixed. And there is a bonus of the excellent music of Stephen McCurdy." - (Mike Nicolaidi,Variety, July 18, 1979)

"... it became possible to feel for and laugh at this group of six people all trapped in their different ways in their middle age dilemmas. The story plumbs no great depths. Character development is adequate for the purpose of comedy, and sombre subjects like adultery and abortion are used as story devices rather than explored as subjects for serious discussion" - (Peter Bates, "Film Deserves to Succeed", The Hutt News, July 3, 1979)

Very successful adaptation of a popular stage play, with all the original laughs intact and some new ones added. Some facets of its rendering of the suburban scene are already mildly dated, but the whole is appropriately brittle and acerbic. (Nicholas Reid - 'A Decade of New Zealand Film')

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