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form y separately published work icon Mad Dog Kelly single work   film/TV   crime  
Issue Details: First known date: 1973... 1973 Mad Dog Kelly
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Senior Detective Kelly is accused of bashing a prisoner named Palmer in the Melbourne City Watchouse [sic].

'The accusation is made by another prisoner, "Sailor" Nelson, who has been arrested for killing a police constable, and who hopes that the faking of a bashing incident perpetrated by a detective will draw attention away from his murder charge. Nelson chooses Kelly as his victim because he knows he can get the detective to visit his cell, and because Kelly has a strong temper.

'Kelly's plight worsens when Palmer dies, and the detective has to face an official inquiry before the Chief Superintendant.

'Nelson's plan is thwarted by a prisoner named "Sniffy" Taylor. "Sniffy" is frequently in and out of jail and is tolerated by the watchouse [sic] keeper who has given him the job of sweeping up. In the course of his duties "Sniffy" overhears evidence that Nelson killed Palmer himself and framed Kelly. Only when "Sniffy" himself is threatened by Nelson does he tell his story so that Kelly is cleared.

'The dramatic interest lies in the reaction of Kelly to his problem, and the close interplay of criminals and police within the close confines of the watchouse [sic], where virtually the whole episode takes place.'

Source: Synopsis held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection (RMIT).

The script held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection contains the following character notes (excluding regular characters):

'EDWARD JOSEPH ("SAILOR") NELSON: About 28. Tall, powerfully built, and good-looking in a rough fashion. He has a basic native cunning and likes to think he is a hard case.

'GEORGE STEVENS: Mid-40's. Average height, slight build. Has been a fence for years and is well-known among local crims. Has a knowledge of legal procedures and is a practising kerbstone lawyer.

'"SNIFFY" TAYLOR: An alcoholic who spends more time in the watch house than anywhere else.

'EDWARD JOHN ("HONKY") PALMER: About 30. He gets his nickname from his prominent nose. A small-time crim like Nelson, though not particularly tough. Being Nelson's partner gives him a feeling of security.

'SERGEANT RON JENKIN: Watch house keeper. Uniform. All cop.

'CONSTABLE IAN CRAIG: Assistant to the watch house keeper. Uniform. Early 20's. A young cop doing his first tour of duty in the watch house.

'MRS. HUNTER: About 50. Mother of the murdered constable. A greying, motherly figure.

'CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT JOE BELDEN: About 50. Tall and well-built. He is quietly spoken but has authority.

'DUTY OFFICER: A Superintendant. Late 40's. Tall, greying, with executive-type spectacles.



'SALVATION ARMY OFFICER: One scene. Dialogue.

'CONSTABLE BEN HUNTER: One short scene. No dialogue.

'PRISONERS: Derelicts, etc.

'CAR DRIVER: One scene. No dialogue.'


  • This entry has been compiled from archival research in the Crawford Collection (AFI Research Collection), undertaken by Dr Catriona Mills under the auspices of the 2012 AFI Research Collection (AFIRC) Research Fellowship.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1973 .
      person or book cover
      Script cover page (from the Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
      Extent: 78p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • The file is labelled with the code 'HGB' on the cover page. There is no indication on the cover page of to whom this copy of the script was designated.
      • The file shows no signs of annotation beyond the cover page.
      • The file contains the following ancillary material, access to some of which is restricted:
        1. Synopsis (one page).
        2. Cast list (two pages).


      Held at: AFI Research Collection
      Local Id: SC HOM : 398
Last amended 29 May 2013 15:36:55