"SMITHY" DIALOGUE IS WEAK, BUT IT HAS GOOD POINTS
Stars And Flying Scenes Excellent
By F. KEITH MANZIE
In the story of the flying achievements of the late Sir Charles
Kingsford-smith, Mr N. P. Pery, producer, and Mr Ken G. Hall, director, had a wealth of material for Columbia's first Australian-made picture.
In the dramatisation of Smithy's flights, especially in his first triumph -the trans-Pacific flight with Ulm in the Old Bus-the picture has suc- ceeded fairly well. For the rest, both the dialogue and many of the situations and emotional passages are "corny," the handling of charac- ters too studied, and the action in- ordinately slow.
Many of the settings, too, inclined to the Hollywood conception of things rather than to the actual Australian fact in an overlong film which cutting would improve.
Within the limitations of the script, Ron Randell, as Smithy, did a splendid job. He has all the makings of a topnotch screen artist,
and he is well partnered by the regal and attractive Muriel Steinbeck, who speaks her lines beautifully and photographs particularly well as Mary Kingsford-smith, his wife.
The support is not strong. John Tate is rather too studied as Charles Ulm. So is Joy Nicholls as Kay. Most natural is the experienced Marshall Crosby as Arthur Powell.
Photography is not always first rate, though some of the flying shots are excellent.
The film proves, however, that the Australian film industry has a chance now to go on to really big things. It needs direction with more "warmth" and brighter script writ- ing.