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"Bitter Springs"

Screenplay by W. P. Lipscomb and M. DanibCticNsky, Irom a story by Ralph Smart; pioduccd for Ealing Sludios by Michael Bal- con; directed by Ralph Smart.

Tommy Trinder, as . Tommy Chips Rafferty . _ Wally King Cordon lackson.'.... Mac Jean Blue . "Ma" King Charles Tinswcll . John King Normie Piper . Emma King Nicky Yardley .: Charlie Michael Pate . The" Trooper

''"PHIS pleasant and refreshing * trifle, made in South Austra- lia by Ralph Smart, seems to strike the happy middle way between the mood of "The Overlanders" and the mood of "Bush Christmas."

It is not an important or even an exciting picture, but the story is re- lated fluently; and the* acting, like the direction, is thoroughly sen- sible, natural and unforced. George Heath's photography, especially of vast landscapes, is grand; some of his scenes, indeed, look artistic enough to have been photographed straight from Strceton's canvasses.

The story, which makes no "epic" pretences, simply narrates an overland journey by an Aus- tralian family about 1900, the family's establishment of a home- stead in the Ncvcr-Never, and their misunderstandings and skirmishes with a tribe of aborigines whose waterhole they share. The abori- gines are a curiously unexciting and shuffling lot-even when they start throwing spears.

There is not much dramatic ten- sion-but interest is held through- out by the warm friendliness and likeableness of the characters. A chance for dramatic tautness seems to have' been lost, too, by the script's indecision as to whether to enlist sympathy for the blacks or the whites. Its indecision might re- flect a healthy willingness to be fair to both sides; but it doesn't help drama much. Most people, per- haps, will be sympathetic for the

blacks.

This is because the head of the family, as drawn by Chips Rafferty, is a bit of a bully and a bit bull

headed.

A slight romance is touched in deftly and attractively by Scottish Gordon Jackson and Nonnie Piper. Charles Tingwell provides Mr. Jackson with a punch on the jaw.

And Tommy Trinder, as a "new chum" trying to be a stockman, is in it for the laughs. (Lyceum.)

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

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