With its budget of $2 million dollars four hour production Shout! – The True Story of Johnnie O’Keefe was a pretty high profile drama for the 7 network in 1986 focusing as it does on of Australia ’s premier figures in the early days of rock n roll.
Terry Serio is terrific as O’Keefe beginning with his early days and his coming under the influence of American promoter Lee Gordon (a fantastic performance by John McTernan) who pretty soon has turned Johnny into Australia’s top star, Shout really hits the mark as it depicts O’Keefe’s descent into alcohell and heavy drugs use and subsequent breakdown (O’Keefe tried and failed to make it in the UK and the US).
Shout, whilst also a straightforward bio is also full of borderline surreal sequences (especially during O’Keefe’s stay in hospital), jump cuts and groovy camera angles. It is also choc full of classic rock n roll songs.
UK / Channel 7 – View Pictures / 2×120 minute episodes / Broadcast April 1986
Writer: Robert Caswell / Camera: Dan Burstall / Design: Owen Patterson / Music: Christine Woodruff / Producer: Ben Gannon / Director: Ted Robinson
TERRY SERIO as Johnny O’Keefe
MARCELLE SCHMITZ as Marianne O’Keefe
MELISSA JAFFER as Thelma O’Keefe
JOHN McTEMAN as Lee Gordon
TONY BARRY as Alan Heffernan
CANDY RAYMOND as Maureen O’Keefe
LIZ HARRIS as Valda Marshall
JOHN PARAMOR as Bill Haley
RITCHIE SINGER as Max Moore