A middle aged American woman (Piper Laurie) living in Australia takes a liking to the mildly backward young man (Mel Gibson) who does gardening and other odd jobs around her home. He takes a liking to her too, even taking it one step further. Based on the novel by Colleen McCullough (THE THORN BIRDS) and adapted for the screen and directed by the actor Michael Pate (HONDO). While the film (I haven't read McCullough's book) opts for a rather ambiguous but wan "everything will be okay" ending, I found most of what preceded extremely well done and with much sensitivity that avoids the possible sensationalism that might have happened. The film covers all the bases and allows the actors enough rope to bring some genuine depth to their characters. MAD MAX (which came out the same year) might have been his breakthrough role but TIM showed what a fine actor he was. There are two sterling performances by Alwyn Kurts and Pat Evison as Tim's parents that are just as memorable as the two leads. With Deborah Kennedy and Peter Gwynne.