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Three stars of "The "Overlanders"-"Chips" Rafferty, Daphne Camp ; bell, and (above) Helen
VV7TTH "The Overlanders/' Harry Watt's -production based
on the epic wartime cattle trek from Wyndham to Queensland, the motion picture industry in Australia seems destined to embark on a new era of production success.
This is indicated by the many favourable reports that have followed the British industry's first glimpses of the film. With the release of "The Overlanders" getting closer-a dual premiere in England and ." Australia is expected in July-interest in both coun
tries is running' high.
J^ALING Studio chief, Michael
~- Balcon, already is considering the production of further pictures in Australia, and as reported a few weeks ago, the British film magnate, J. Arthur Rank, is investigating the possibilities here. These plans de- pend largely on the success of "The Overlanders."
Harry Watt, one of the top-rank- ing British film directors, wrote as well as directed ''The Overlanders." He came to Australia with no pre- conceived ideas, and allowed the country to suggest its own story. Interwoven through the main theme of the film are the human stories of the lives of the main characters, played by "Chips" Rafferty, Daphne Campbell, John Fernside, Peter Pagan, Helen Grieve, and John Nugent Hayward.
The main theme is heroic in quality. The story has some- thing reminiscent of the early pioneers, the original "Over landers," who trekked for hun- dreds of miles willi their herds exploring wild country.
The elevation of "Chips" Rafferty is one of the highlights of the pro- duction, ile has since been signed by Ealing Studios on a two-year contract. His work in the film, now in the editing stage in London, is causing a mild sensation. He may even play the lead in Sheila Kaye
Smith's novel, "Joanna Godden," to, be produced by Ealing. Rafferty appears on the way to join the big stars of moviedom.
RAFFERTY has had a varied
and interesting career. He has had 42 jobs. For short periods he has been, among other things, a sailor, journalist, shearer, boundary rider, and interior decorator.
He sketches, and was at one time leading light behind the Black and White Artists' Club in Sydney, with Jimmy Russell and Stan Cross. He managed a wine cellar in Bond St., v/hich was the rendezvous of ar- tists, photographers, and journalists, in Sydney, in 1938-39-40. He is known throughout the art and jour- nalistic world as "Long John Gof fage."
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Late in 1941, after his role in "Forty Thousand Horsemen,". he joined the RAAF, and was commis- sioned about 1943 as a welfare offi- cer, and served in New Guinea.
Rafferty got his start in pictures by chance. He was introduced to Ken Hall, who gave him a small part in "Ants in His Pants." He next got a small part in "Dad Rudd, MP." Later, he played in "Forty Thousand Horsemen" and "Rats of Tobruk." In all these pictures he played comedy
But Harry Watt changed »H that. Watt had the insight ta see in "Chips" Rafferty the pos» sibililics of a fine dramatic actor. In "The Ovcrlanders" he plays a strong dramatic role. He has not been given a single laugh line.
"QHIPS," born John Gof
fage, obtained his screen name after Charles Chauvel, director of "Forty Thousand Horsemen," had decided he should act under the name of "Slab" O'Flaherty. But his wife would not hear of'it, so he substituted "Chips" for "Slab."
He got the nickname "Chips" when at school because the editor of the children's comic paper, "Chips," was always represented in the pages of the paper as a tall, skinny fellow, too long for his clothes.
Rafferty must be one of thc tal- lest actors in the world. Ile stands 6ft. Gin. He has been described as Australia's Gary Cooper. Cooper is three inches shorter than "Chips."
The O'Flaherty was changed to Rafferty when Chauvel asked what name he had decided on and "Chips" answered: "O'Flaherty, or some raf- ferty name like that."