AustLit logo
person or book cover
Script cover page (from the Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
form y separately published work icon When She Was Bad single work   film/TV   crime   thriller  
Issue Details: First known date: 1972... 1972 When She Was Bad
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'John Mitchell is a killing-machine, sent into the city to search out and destroy the killer of a major's young daughter. But, the major has turned loose a man no-one can stop., [sic] so he hires Ryan to go in after him.'

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):

'JOHN MITCHELL. A man of thirty. A corporal in a special unit in the Vietnam war, operating behind enemy lines. This man is physically strong and threatening, but capable of great charm and slyness. He has two mainsprings driving everything he does: one his desire to destroy everything---literally everything. The other his mistrust of women, repressed hatred of them. Drives.

'GOLDI TAYLOR. Mid-twenties. Should be a blonde. This is a girl with a disturbed childhood. Now she's a model her greatest success so far is in ads. Her husband is dead and she has a small daughter. What emerges from Goldi's character, what binds her irrevocably to Mitchell, is her own desire for destruction, to hurt the people who all her life have hurt her. And through Mitchell, she can do it. Drives.

'MAJOR WILSON. Middle-aged. Put into a family law firm when he was young, but his interests lie elsewhere---he's a collector of South-East Asian carvings. Wife dead long ago, and his main love is his daughter who kills herself with an overdose of heroin. A gentle human man [sic] who just once, in a state of temporary insanity, is capable of turning John Mitchell loose to kill a man.

'JULIET MITCHELL. Young. Twentyish. Very beautiful, outwardly calm girl. But she's close to a complete breakdown, precipitated by life with Mitchell. She suffers from extreme anxiety, hates to go out, even to meet her neighbours. Has children.

'MR. ROBINSON. He's running a drug racket, and can control men but with slipping authority. A very rough man who has now developed some finer tastes. A man used to power in criminal circles. Slim build, not heavily built, and middle-aged. Entirely ruthless when necessary. Drives.

'PICKER. A heavy who picks his nose. A man capable of a terrifying outburst of violence and rage. A man who bears grudges. A coward, ultimately. Drives.

'ERIC. Another heavy. Quieter, steadier than Picker. A follower, but worth a little bit more in a tight spot. But a killer as well. No compassion whatsoever. Drives.

'JENNIFER. Twentyish or younger. Pale ghost of a once-beautiful girl. She is killing herself by heroin addiction.

'THIN MAN. A thin, sly, treacherous heavy who drives and has only one scene.

'FAT MAN. A fat, sly, treacherous heavy who drives and has only one scene.

'POLICE CONSTABLE. Young, fresh-faced, has few feelings, no wisdom or compassion. One scene.

'PLAIN CLOTHESMAN. A young tough detective, intent on doing his job. Couple of lines.

'STAN PARSONS. Early thirties. Good looking. One line.

'CAROLINE WILSON. Twentyish. Once-beautiful, now a corpse. Seen alive and fresh in one scene without dialogue.

'CAROLINE WILSON: Ten years old. Seen in a flashback riding her two-wheeler bike. No dialogue and only one scene.

'HIPPIE. One scene. Few lines.

'A DETECTIVE. Drives. No dialogue.

'2 HEAVIES. One drives. Neither has dialogue.

'CUSTOMS OFFICER. Perhaps actual. No dialogue.

'3 EXTRAS. Bystanders at scene of death.


'STUNTMAN. Ryan Part. 1 Scene. Fall from moving car.

'BABY. V.O. only (crying)'.


  • 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

      1972 .
      person or book cover
      Script cover page (from the Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
      Extent: 81p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • The script is copied on green paper and labelled 'Code: C2O' on the cover page. A notation in blue felt pen in the upper right-hand corner of the cover page indicates that this was copy number 5 of the script and that it was designated for 'File'. '20' has been written on the cover page in black felt pen.
      • There are no further annotations on this copy of the script, but some indication (especially on the character notes) that this copy was made from a minimally annotated version.
      • The file contains the following ancillary materials, access to some of which is restricted:
        1. Casting call sheets.
        2. Brief synopsis accompanied by crew and cast details.


      Held at: AFI Research Collection
      Local Id: SC RYA : 14
Last amended 24 Apr 2013 09:05:43