Vale: Jim Murphy

Veteran Film & TV critic, who wrote for The Age and co-hosted Australia’s first movie review program, has died.

Veteran Melbourne Film & TV critic Jim Murphy, who wrote for The Age and co-hosted Australia’s first movie review program, has died, aged 80.

Friends report he passed away due to a heart attack.

Murphy was editor for The Australian Video Review for Syme Publications and a longtime Green Guide and Listener-In TV contributor.

With Ivan Hutchison he co-hosted Australia’s first movie review program Two on the Aisle (1973–1975) on Seven.

He later hosted video reviews for Graham Kennedy’s Coast to Coast and contributed to TVTV on ABC. He was an avid collector of films and cast recordings, boasting his own screening room at his home.

Murphy also wrote the documentary Funny by George: The George Wallace Story in 1999.

In 2006 for TV’s 50th anniversary he wrote about readers’ passion for the small screen and how they connected with TV shows.

“Eventually, no doubt, somebody will be waxing nostalgic about the likes of Dancing with the Stars, Kath and Kim, Big Brother and The Footy Show,” he noted.

“Rest assured, those shows and all the others will one day be ‘boned’ (to use an industry term) when television deems they are no longer serving their purpose. That’s what television does. It creates programs and stars, feeds on them voraciously as long as they are useful, then casts them aside (or, as with Steve Irwin recently, makes an even bigger event out of their deaths).

“But for the viewing public they are not dead and buried. They linger, many growing ever brighter and even more perfect in memory.”

3 Responses

  1. I had the pleasure of working with Jim on Two On the Aisle during my 6 months employment as a young stagehand at HSV 7 in the Dorcas Street, South Melbourne studios in the days when Ron Casey was the General Manager. The budget for the show was minimal and one of the jobs I was given each week was to go up a flight of stairs to the station boardroom to collect two chairs to be used on the set for the two hosts. Jim and Ivan were absolute gentlemen and the station at the time was buzzing with lots of local production. The late Dixie Duncan was floor manager for the show.

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