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Old Film Comedy

Is Sydney Satire

By A STAFF  

CORRESPONDENT

A FILM, believed to be **. the last one of its kind in existence, will be shown by the Sydney University Film Group to-night.

It is the last silent feature which was made in Australia and is entitled "The Kid Stakes."

The film deals with the exploits of a character named Fatty Finn and his gang. It was made by Ordell-Coyle Productions in 1926 and is based on the comic strip "Fatty Finn" created by Syd Nicholls, which now appears in the "Sun-Herald" Comic Book.

Written and directed by Tal Ordell, who appeared in many Australian films, it was photo- graphed and edited by Arthur Higgins.

Most of "The Kid Stakes" was shot in Woolloomooloo at such well-known spots as the McElhonc Stairs, Judge Street, the Burma Road and the old fish market.

The Film Group discovered "The Kid Stakes" by accident two

years ago.

A few months later an enter- prising newsreel proprietor cut the only existing prints down to a 20-minute version for in- clusion in his programme, but this year the group managed to obtain all the pieces that were left, as well as the shortened version, and the original film was

reconstructed.

With the permission of the owner, Mr. J. Tayler, of National Films, the group has made a negative from the print and now has the right to make other prints which can be lent to non-com- mercial film libraries throughout

the world.

The negative itself will be stored in the National Film Lib- rary in London at the invitation of the curator. Mr. Ernest Lind-

grcen.

The purpose of the university screenings is to help bear some

of the cost of making the nega- tive and also to finance a 16mm print.

The humour in "The Kid Stakes" is of two main kinds.

Firstly, there are the chases, deceptions and escapades tradi- tional to slapstick.

Secondly, a strong element of satire runs through the story. The gangs that meet by the wharves, the double crossings and betrayals and the threats, all mock the "gangster era" of the late

twenties.

The lead, Fatty Finn, was played by Robin (Pop) Ordell who was killed as a fighter pilot during the second World War. Tal Ordell appeared in ''Ginger Mick" and "The Sentimental Blöke."

The film, which is 6,000 feet in length, has a running time of

90 minutes.

It will be shown in the Union Hall at Sydney University to- morrow evening and on Thurs- day evening as well as this even- ing.

_

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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