Careful, He Might Hear You (film)

Careful, He Might Hear You is a 1983 Australian drama film. It is based on the novel of the same name by Australian-American author Sumner Locke Elliott.

Careful, He Might Hear You
Film poster
Directed byCarl Schultz
Produced byJill Robb
Screenplay byMichael Jenkins
Based onCareful, He Might Hear You (novel)
by Sumner Locke Elliott
StarringWendy Hughes
Robyn Nevin
Nicholas Gledhill
Music byRay Cook
CinematographyJohn Seale
Edited byRichard Francis-Bruce
Syme International
Distributed by20th Century Fox (US)
Release date
  • 1983 (1983)
Running time
110 minutes
BudgetA$2.2 million[1]
Box office$2,431,126 (Australia)


The film stars Wendy Hughes and Robyn Nevin as two sisters who are locked in a custody battle over their young nephew, PS, played by Nicholas Gledhill. PS has been raised by his aunt Lila (Nevin) and her husband George since his mother died soon after his birth. When Lila's richer sister Vanessa (Hughes) returns from overseas, she seeks custody of PS, citing the opportunities she can give him.


There had long been interest in making a film out of the novel. In the 1960s it was announced that Joshua Logan would direct a movie version starring Elizabeth Taylor but this did not come to pass. Film rights to the novel were bought by Jill Robb who hired Mike Jenkins to adapt the screenplay and Carl Schultz to direct. Funding was obtained from the New South Wales Film Corporation among others.[1]

After an extensive search, Nicholas Gledhill, son of actor Arthur Dignam was cast as PS.

The film was shot in and around Sydney, mostly in Neutral Bay and Darling Point.[1] The Hordern Family garden and mansion, Babworth House, in Darling Point was used in filmining.

Box office

Careful, He Might Hear You grossed $2,431,126 at the box office in Australia.[2] The movie also enjoyed a successful release in North America.[1]

Home media

A Collector's Edition of Careful, He Might Hear You was released on DVD with a new print by Umbrella Entertainment in June 2008. The DVD is compatible with all regional codes and includes special features such as the film trailer, bonus trailers, a still photo gallery, an interview with Sumner Locke Elliot and interviews with stars Wendy Hughes, Nicholas Gledhill and Jill Robb.[3]

A regular edition of the film with reduced special features was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in October 2008.


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
(1983 AFI Awards)
Best Film Jill Robb Won
Best Direction Carl Schultz Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Michael Jenkins Won
Best Actor Nicholas Gledhill Nominated
Best Actress Wendy Hughes Won
Best Supporting Actor John Hargreaves Won
Best Supporting Actress Robyn Nevin Nominated
Best Cinematography John Seale Won
Best Editing Richard Francis-Bruce Nominated
Best Original Music Score Ray Cook Nominated
Best Sound Syd Butterfield Nominated
Julian Ellingworth Nominated
Roger Savage Nominated
Andrew Steuart Nominated
Best Production Design John Stoddart Won
Best Costume Design Bruce Finlayson Won
AWGIE Award Best Writing in a Feature Film - Adapted Michael Jenkins Won
National Board of Review, USA Top Ten Films Won
Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Carl Schultz Nominated

See also


  1. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p181-183
  2. "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. "Umbrella Entertainment". Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2013.

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