Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rupert The Movie

Patrick Brammel  & Rupert Murdoch
With the stunning success of two movies featuring the Big Goanna- Kerry Packer, comes a new mini-series Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story that features a young Rupert Murdoch going into battle over publishing deals with Sir Frank Packer,  Kerry's father.
 Lachy Hulme (right) stars as Frank Packer (he also played Kerry ) and Rupert Murdoch is played by Patrick Brammel. Some legendary Australian political figures feature in the series as well including Black Jack McEwen along with actresses playing Anna Torv, Rupert's wife No 2 (before Wendi Deng) and Lady Florence Packer, Sir Frank's second wife who died this year in Monte Carlo and Ros Packer, Kerry's widow and mother of James Packer.
Anna Torv & Lady Flo Packer
The Shuttle turned for some background to regular contributor Bill Ranken  (right) grazier and man-about-town who at 84 has known all these characters over the years. Ranken reports Sir Frank Packer was almost persona non grata in Sydney society with many considering him to be fairly rough around the edges "not that I think he was much interested in Sydney's social scene. I think he thrived on the rough and tumble of business but Kerry was extremely popular and known for his generosity and loyalty towards retired staff : Kerry could be a big softie and he was generous with charities and rarely sought recognition for it. There must be thousands of people who should be grateful Kerry went into bat to retain St Vincent's Hospital when developers were eyeing off the property. I always recall traveling through a county town with Kerry and we came across a car accident where fortunately no-one was hurt. But a local tradie was distraught because his van was destroyed and he had no insurance. Kerry jotted down his details- the chap didn't have a clue who he was- and then a week later the local rag reported how a generous but anonymous benefactor had replaced the tradie's van. Typical of Kerry !". As for Rupert :"pretty boring really, never saw him at parties, Don't think he was that keen on the night life.".
Ranken, who owns one of the state's finest cattle properties also dated Ros Packer before she met Kerry and he described Clyde Packer, Kerry's brother, as a jovial figure : "we regularly toured Sydney's nightspots in Clyde's Rolls Royce convertible with more and more attractive ladies joining the tour as the night wore on. Clyde was once stopped by police who deemed the Roller over-crowed and as a fairly large and rotund man, he astonished the coppers when he emerged from the Rolls in a flowing kaftan. When they noted his name- he was also an MP then, they proceeded to give us a police escort to Kings Cross". They were the days !