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The aborigines in "Uncivilised" aro respon- sible for whatever success the Aim attains. The background, as explained at the begin- ning with the aid of a map, is supposed to be an incompletely explored region in North- west Australia. Actually, Mr. Charles Chauvel, Who directed the picture on behalf of Expeditionary Films, Ltd., went to various parts of QUehSland für his most striking local colour. Geographers may possibly be able to delect the substitution, but the general public will eagerly accept the landscapes and the Seople as elements in a romance whose set
life hhs no piecedent on the screen. Had the dramatic effect been equal to the sCehia values, Mr. Chauvel would have fathered a new "Banders of the River," peopled by representatives of a civilisation yet older than that whose members surrounded Paul Robeson In Zoltart ÍCorda's magnificent English pro- duction, under present cohdltlohs, the pic- tures of grotesquely ornamented natives, of tubal dances, of sihlstcr tropical streams, and of vast mountains wreathed in Jungle, must cieate the interest for themselves, in spite of, rather than augmented by, the organised act- ing and plot For story trouble, Which has wrecked so many Australian films, makes still another p.ppearaiicc In "Uncivilised "
Mr. Chauvel himself originated the narra- tive, and he worked it into Its present form in collaboration with E. V. Timms. Mr. Chauvel's enterprise oh the production side Is unquestioned. Few directors would have shown such courage and such patience hi se- curing the background material, so curi- ously primeval and intense, In organising the aborigines lhto some Sort of dramatic coher- ency, and in chooslhg and arranging the scelles. But as a writer, Mr. ÖhliUVel is no match for the contemporary aplnheis of talcs' His ideas about a while man Who has been brought Up among the aborigines, yet revealb himself as a perfect gentleman, stem from
OUlda, Ruby M. Ayres, Elinor Glyn, and others of that amiably preposterous, old fashioned school. Those purveyors of the romantic said what they had to say deftly and expertly. only a few months ago, a revival of Oulda's "Under Two Pliigs" showed that they call etllî command a public, if theil original luscloUShess is lightened and made more humorous to suit the pieVatllhg tastd. But Mr. tihauvel and Mr. Timms tread pon- derously aloha the wcll-Woih paths, ihstead of masking their e^po-iltion with dtamatir actloti, or with the Inspiriting crackle oí clever dialogue, they express it by means of laborious talk, The spectator's attention may easily wander, artd then many of the later events will seem completely Inexplicable. There are several bnpoitalit sub-plots, besides the talc of a city ghi Whom the white savage takes captive and woes In his rough yet respectful way. One of these cohcems the traffic in opium; another, a mysterious handful of îubies; another, a blood-thirsty aboriginal Who seeins to be perpetually on the warpath.
The acting is uneven. The best of it has been done by Margot Rhys, who appeared with such success in Mr. Chauvel's "Heritage.
She looks beautiful; she moves with grace; and she expresses well enough the agitation of the kidnapped girl. One sequence shows her swimming naked in a pool. This is the first of two small sections which the Com" monwoalth censor declares mUst be removed before the film can be exported. The bath" ihg scenes have bebn pi-epared with taste and discretion. Controversy hinges entirely on whether or not the undraped female form is admissible, on general principles, as a sub- ject for motion pibture photography. As foi the" strangling eptóode toward the end of "Uncivilised," on which the censor pounced, far more grim and hair-raising Incidents have been allowed to come from Hollywood to (¡l18 local Screen. .
Dètthls Höey, a« the gentlemanly savage, looks a trifle mature to have Inspired such unquenchable romantic ardour in the breast of his young captive. There ia too much gentlemanllncss, alia too little savagery, in hie dfeniedilouh Ashtdh Jarry is pei'Slstehtly por" tentous as a mysterious Afghan; and Marcelle MaHiáy, who seéhlá to llave scrfeen pbssbllitieá, makes what she cab. of a hdlf-'cáste Malay girl, full of melodramatic tantrums. Tasman Higgins did the photography, which is rathel on the dark side. The music, by Lindley Evans, «hilo attractively mdTbaioUi), woUld haVd been more striking had it kept oloser to the spaisb tohe-colpürS of the riatiVe iüstfülherits "Uh> ciVlllséd'' is how oh ViéVV at the Erilbassy Theatre. j