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THE SCREEN

FILM PRODUCTION IN

AUSTRALIA

By "Observer" ,

"\X7E- have every " thing in this

country for successful picture-making. I do not see why after the war it should not be- come a big industry in Australia." That is the conviction of

George Cross- and there are few theatri- cal men in Australia better qualified to ex- press an opinion.

George Cross is in Ho- bart acting as relieving manager at the Strand and His Majesty's Theatres. The old school pf theatre

GEORGE CROSS

Who for eight years was casting director . for Cinesound Produc- tions. He is visiting Hobart as relieving manager at the Strand

and His Majesty's Theatres.

goers will remember him on the stage of the Theatre Royal with the late George RignolcL He came back again as leading man to Nellie Bramley 14 years ago,

and played a successful season at what is now the Prince of Wales Theatre.

piEORGE CROSS has retired from the

V stage-r^hLs last appearance was-in Sydney with Dorothy Brunton in "Dearest Enemy." Apart from acting, he produced and directed many plays in Australia and staged several shows in San Francisco. When he went out of the legitimate theatre, the talking pic- ture was not much more than a novel- ty, and Australian production was try- ing to find its feet.

Cinesound Productions saw in this experienced actor and director a chance to strengthen its producing team, and George was. appointed casting director for the company. Shirley Ann Rich- ards, Joy Howarth, Cecil Kellaway, and John Warwick were among those he cast in Cinesound pictures. "And the best of these undoubtedly was. Cecil Kellaway," he says.

. * * ."* ??

"DUT it was this trouper's views

on Australian production after the war that "Observer" sought pari ticularly, and George is: optimistic.

Impressive backgrounds, in _ his opinion, are important to the success of motion pictures, and Australia has everything from snow to desert. Set- tings need not be "colossal," but they must be impressive. In short, atmos-. phere is ¿in essential.

Backgrounds alone are not enough. .

"There must bc heart interest-we must get that into our pictures. There must be a strong story and strongly written characters, and not too big a cast."

George does not hold the view that a play must be over-run with characters to give it interest or movement. On the production side there must" be sound direction, intelligent casting, fine art direction.. Rightly chosen for their

part behind the scenes'; those unseen

stars must be given the chance to ex- press their art freely.

.Still more is needed-and that more is wrapped up in the one word "equip- ment." Holly wood studios have the

advantage of every modern mechanical device in building big pictures, and, if Australia can get that equipment alter

the war, George Cross believes that ' the rest can safely be left to!Australia.

"With Americans becoming so familiar with Australia today," he aflds, "it would not surprise hie if American com- panies exploited the picture-making as- sets of our country when this war has been brought to its victorious end by the'Allies. " . '

* * ? * '*

rpHE nam-es of Laurence Olivier

and Leslie Howard again are in the news. Laurence has been given leave from the Navy to star in "Demi Paradise," probably now in the mak-

ing at the Denham (England) studios.

Story is a pica for closer and bet- ter understanding between thc Brit- ish and Russian peoples.

Leslie Howard will star and direct*

"Liberty Ship." This i's the story,of an American ship which is constructed many miles inland from, the sea, and the action. follows the vessel's life up to^ the time she is engaged in deliver- ing war materials across the': Arctic to Murmansk.

* * . * * .

HPHE defence of Wake Island by ?* the US Marines is the theme of the Paramount production, "Waké Island." recently previewed, on the Mainland.. , This film is besed soundly on' fact-it was built up from records and with the assistance of the US: Marines, and in the opinion of one reviewer Paramount has turned out a

picture that as near as' is humanly possible reproduces' this Pacific war episode.

rr * ; '.'. * '? ' '*' ?'. - * .'?

HPHEY say a girl has to be -*- so attractive to be a Hollywood extra these days that she .could win a beauty competition with one leg tied behind her back!

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