In Australian Films.
Australian history is being embodied In Australian sound-film play production. Two plays are in course of construction by Sydney producers. One is the ambitious project of Mr. Charles Chauvel, for Expeditionary Films, of a romance with the development of the colony from the early times as its background. The other is the story of the Kelly bush- rangers, being filmed at the Rushcutter Bay studios and In the country by Imperial Feature
Mr. Chauvel's picture will carry through the early history of the settlers in New South Wales the story of two families in successive generations building up their fortunes in the new land. It will cover the progress of the colony from the earliest days, and the struggle for existence in the hard conditions faced by the pioneers. The picturesquely uniformed soldiers of the early period, when Sydney was a small village, will lend themselves to colour- ful presentation on the screen in a play passing to later times when the harbour be- came filled with ships, when the goldfields were drawing immigrants from the homeland, and the colonies were thriving and wealthy. The two families and their descendants will participate in the changes taking place and the vicissitudes of life in Australia. They will pass on to the period of the Great War, followed by the depression and emergence
therefrom to prosperity.
Features in the filming will include the con- quest of the mountains and the movement of the settlers into the interior. Characters such as Governor Phillip, Macquarie, Went- worth, Blaxland, Macarthur, Solomon Wise- man, and a large number of minor personali- ties of the past, will be included. Early Sydney scenes in the days of the whalers and the sailing ships are being prepared. When the action of the play takes members of the two families outback, some of the best scenic photography available in New South Wales, Queensland, and possibly Victoria, will be obtained to enhance the value of the display, and some interesting representations are pro- jected of the cattle and sheep stations when the squatters reigned as kings far out. It is intended to exploit the Hawkesbury River, the Blue Mountains, and the Tweed River country for bush and river pictorial beauty.
A large amount of historical research has been undertaken in obtaining material for the play, which has been written by Mr. Chauvel. The casting has begun and leads are sought. As Mr. Chauvel described the story yesterday, it will in its dramatic repre- sentation relate history something after the style of "Cavalcade," and the story of the two families will run through it on the lines of the characterisations in Edna Ferber's
"WHEN THE KELLYS RODE."
Mr. Harry Southwell, a producer with ex- perience in Enghnd, America, and in Europe, is engaged on the story of the Kelly bush- rangers In a film to be entitled "When the Kellys Rode."
A considerable portion of the play has already been filmed, the company having been at work in the valleys near Katoomba. Yes- terday at the Rushcutter Bay studios a number of the scenes were screened for editing purposes, and some stirring pictures were shown of chase and pursuit, the police troopers in their old-time uniforms mounted on splen- did horses, with a background of bush and stream, making a fine show. A quarter of the film will consist of interiors showing the Kelly family at home and various other in- cidents of the story, the remainder being photography taken outside.
While not adhering entirely to the facts in regard to the career of the bushrangers, the story will be based upon it with sufficient licence taken for the purposes of the staging. It opens with pictures of the Kelly home, with the family interrupted by the entrance of a trooper to arrest Dan Kelly for horse-stealing, when the trooper is shot in the arm and Dan and his brother take to the bush. A thrilling picture is made of the attack on the police camp (when the gang shot three troopers and began their desperate career of crime), and some good scenes are shown of the hard riding troopers chasing their quarry through the bush. Several highlights In the history, such as the raid on Jerilderie, are to be In the film, which will finish with the siege of the hotel at Glenrowan and the extinction of tho gang.
Strangely bewhiskered young men are to be seen about Rushcutter Bay, where the "interior" scenes are filmed. These are Messrs. Hay Simpson, Jack Appleton, Norman Waite, and Robert Ingles, who are taking the parts of Ned and Dan Kelly, Joe Byrne, nnd Steve Hart respectively, and have temporarily dispensed with shaving. Kate Kelly is Miss Regina Somerville, nnd Mrs. Kelly is Miss Hamilton. Mr. George Doran is Sergeant Kennedy. It is expected that the film will be
completed about Easter.