“Help me !! “

1975

Albert (John Jarratt) has run toward the upper slopes of Hanging Rock after finding a piece of lace clenched in Michael’s hand. The scene cuts to Albert surrounded by golden grass and staring at something out of shot.

albert-and-irma-1

He walks forward and the camera pans downward to reveal Irma laying unconscious on the bare earth.

irma-unconscious

Albert bends down and discovers Irma is still alive.

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Realising that Irma is still alive he steps back, screams “help me!”, and then races away to find help.

The scene ends with a shot of Irma laying on the ground where Albert found her.

albert-and-irma-3

The Location

finding-irma

In Joan Lindsay’s novel Michael leaves an incomplete note referring to Irma’s location and Albert interprets the note to mean a “Ring of stones more like” (10). However, the production call sheet for day 10 of filming refers to the location as “higher slopes” (11). The scene was filmed at the “higher slopes” of Hanging Rock using two camera positions; the first position filmed from inside a small cave looking outward; the second filmed from a ledge opposite the cave looking downward.

Filming from inside the small cave

The scene opened with Albert (John Jarratt) surrounded by a ring of stones and staring down at something out of shot. In the 40 years since the film was made the golden grass has become green and trees lean over the spot where John Jarratt stood.

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John Jarratt’s mark side by side 1975 and now.

 

Albert walked forward and looked downward.

The camera panned down to reveal Irma.

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Irma's resting place 2015

Filming downwards from the ledge above

After Albert realises Irma is alive he yells “help me!” and runs upward and away from the ring of stones.

In 1975 the production team had a clear line of sight from the ledge looking down toward the cave where Karen Robson lay and where John Jarratt ran from. But now the same line of sight is completely overgrown with trees.

John Jarratt running upward away from the ring of stones 1975 vs 2015

Camera position in 2015

Camera position in 2015

In 2017 some of the foliage had cleared enough to be able to see the cave from the ledge where the camera had been positioned.

irmas-cave-21-february-2017

Changes in foliage made ‘Irma’s Cave’ visible in February 2017

Most of the time the cave can only be seen while standing beneath the camera position and within the “Ring of stones“.

Irma's resting place September 2015

Irma's resting place 1975 vs 2015

You can step into the “Ring of stones” to look about Irma’s resting place and see where John Jarratt ran by visiting this Google Maps Photo Sphere.

What else was filmed here?

This was also the location where Sgt Bumpher and Constable Jones search earlier in the film. The dual location can be confirmed by the production call sheet for day 10 that shows Sgt. Bumpher (Wyn Roberts) and Const. Jones (Garry McDonald) working at the “higher slopes” on the same day (11).

How to find the “Ring of stones” and Irma’s resting place

If you visit the reserve and stand facing the sign that says “The Saddle” (at point 8 on the map below) then the “Ring of stones” location is approximately 50 – 80 metres away through the bush behind you. The approximate location is marked as “X” on the park map below.