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SALUTE TO "SMITHY" - FILM'S TASMANIAN PREMIERE TONIGHT

AIRLINES    

"Smithy" surveys the expansion of the world's airlines whilst awaiting financial backing from his Government for the proposed

trans-Tasman service. Scene from the film.

COLUMBIA Pictures' lavish all-Australian film

"Smithy" will be given its Tasmanian premiere - the biggest in the history of show business in this State-at the Strand Theatre, Hobart, tonight. "Smithy" was two years in the making.

The production is an event of outstanding import- ance in the motion picture industry in this country. It is the first film made in the Commonwealth for world re- lease, and which glorifies the life of a great Australian.

THE premiere will be held in the presence of the Governor (Sir Hugh

Binney) and Lady Binney.

Members of the Air Training Corps will provide a guard of honour for the guests. Their arrival will be broadcast from the central foyer.

The first showing of "Smithy" will be attended by one of the most distinguished audiences to view a film in Tasmania.

So greal has been the interest in "Smithy" that scats for tonight's premiere were almosl sold out within two hours of the opening of book-

ings on Monday.

"Smithy" is Australia's first Hollywood-produced picture. It was produced by Mr N. P. Pery and directed by Australia's brilliant Ken G. Hall. The cast, technicians and staff were all Australians.

Way back in 1941 Columbia Pictures' Australian organisation received a pleasant surprise. It was the arrival of the world. traveller Mr N. P, Pery, who was to be managing director for Australasia and the Par East,

Not content with the heavy work entailed by such.a responsible posi- tion, he had two ambitions-to examine the possibilities of making a film in Australia, and to find a suitable subject for such a film.

Mr Pery soon set about the tasks. One night, when dining with Ker G. Hall, he brought up the subject of picture-making. Discussion centred around script possibilities of making a film in Australia. Mr Pery, as a world traveller, immediately suggested two distinguished Australians Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and W. M. Hughes.  

As the Pacific war was, at that time, being intensified, he decided on   the story of "Smithy." After fifteen months of preparation, Mr Pery was

satisfied finally that he had a story which "combined human interest with the life and achievements of a great Australian."

Ken Hall agreed. Tonight Hobart will see that story.

Guests will be greeted this evening by Mr Charles Kerwin, manager

of the Strand Theatre.

Members of the Kingsford-Smith family gladly co- operated to ensure the veracity of the story. Research work, which extended beyond the Commonwealth, en- sured a truly magnificent wealth of material for the scripting.

A special sound shell, the second of its kind in the world, was constructed for the recording of back- ground music to "Smithy." It was made of plywood, on the specifications used for the Disney picture -

"Fantasia."

KNIGHTHOOD  

 

"Smithy" (played by Ron Randell) receives his knighthood from the then Governor-General (Sir Isaac Isaacs). Another scene

from Columbia's first Australian production.

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