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Cinema: Garden Notes
I Harry Watt is to make "The Eureka Stockade" j
I in Australia for Ealing Studios.
ITH the door to the world mar- ket now opened to Australian films through the success of "Smithy" and "The Overlanders" big production plans now loom in this country.
It is with pictures of this class that the sceptics of the world will be shown that Australia can produce pictures with a really big canvas, and at the same time with high entertainment
CIGNIFICANT of the success of "Smithy" and "The
, Overlanders" is the fact that these two films es- tablished all-time box-office records at Hobart's Strand Theatre, and are having phenomenal runs at other lead- ing picture theatres in capital cities in Australia.
More than a quarter of Hobart's population saw
Ealing Studios, producers of "The Overlanders," plan to make one picture a year in Australia. Director Harry Watt, who recently returned to Australia, has announced that his studio's next Australian venture will be "The Eureka Stockade," on which £100,000 or more
will be spent.
Mr Watt will stay here for about three months, search- ing for players and locations, before returning to Lon- don to arrange for a production unit to come-to Aus-
The leading role of Peter Lalor probably will go to Australia's "Chips" Rafferty.
* * * *
]ypt NICK PERY, Columbia's managing direc-
tor in Australia, has recently returned from America, and has been given authority to make a sec- ond feature-the studio's first was "Smithy"-in Aus-
Mr Pery has two stories under consideration, and the film may be made in colour.
As reported in these notes a few weeks ago, famous owner-producer-director Sir Alexander Korda shortly will make a picture in Australia.
Moore Raymond, the Australian author of "Smiley," on which the Korda film will be based, is in Australia to attend lo preliminary details-suitable material and loca-
Public audiences will be conduct- ed in an Australia-wide search for the boy to play the name role.
Raymond will look for a "typical bush youngster, full of fun, and
The best- contestants will be screen tested in Sydney, and the tests flown to England for Korda's personal approval.
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AND from Eric Porter, pro-
ducer of the low budget (£10,000) "A Son is Bom," comes the news that in his next Australian film he will budget for an expendi- ture of £35,000.
The film already has been selected. Its title is "Storm Hill," described as a suspense drama based on life in the timber country around Dorrigo and Coffs
Porter hopes to move into new studios at Herne Bay in March next, after which production on the. film will begin almost immediately.
The only star so far signed for the production is Peter Finch.
Reports have it that Cinesound plans the production of several Aus- tralian productions-based on stories that are of an essentially Aus- tralian character - in association with the Arthur Rank interests in England, and will spend, it is reli- ably estimated, in the vicinity of £100,000 to equip Pagewood studios in Sydney.
According to Mr Norman B. Rydge it is the intention of Cine sound to make Pagewood a studio that will be equal in equipment and other facilities to studios in England
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VET another film under-
taking will be Universal Greater Union Theatres joint pro- ject, "Sons of Matthew," with pro- duction and direction in the hands of Charles Chauvel.
"Sons of Matthew" is based on Bernard O'R e i 11 y's books,
'Green Mountains" and Cullen<benong."
Most of the scenes, it is reported, will be taken in
^?^ the Queensland bush country
at Lamington Plateau.
The script was prepared by the director and Elsa Chauvel in col- laboration with the author, Max- well Dunne, and Jimmv * Bancks.
Chauvel expects to use local talent, but there is a possibility
that one or two stars may be i imported for featured roles.
He will work with Cinesound's technical staff, substantially the same team with which he «made "40,000 Horsemen." ,
Such confidence is felt in ¡ the future of Australian film production that a "new company has been form- ed in Sydney. The venture is called Endeavour Film Productions Ltd., and has been floated by a group of business men.
* * * #
HTHE company's Initial effort
-it plans one feature and four shorts a year-will be "The Intimate Stranger," a psychological drama with a strong human inter- est, based on a novel by William Lynch.
Completely unlike anything at- tempted before, it will be hailed as the most interesting film pro- ject yet undertaken in this coun- try.
According to advance publicity,
the characters are real people, with the authentic ring of the present day. The story unfolds against a background of the more Bohemian, sections of Kings Cross and the idyllic seclusion of the Pacific coasc near Palm Beach. John Saul will .play the central character, Paul Gardner, a strangely complex per- sonality.
The feminine lead will be played by Lesly Pope, a young actress of considerable talent. Georgie Stirl- ing is said to have full scope for her acting ability in the role of the sul- try Kitty, the alluring model who wields such a strange influence on the life of Paul Gardner.
I believe Karl Kyser, who was on "5'he Overlanders," has been signed to head the camera team.
Yes, the door to the world film, market is definitely wide open for Australian productions. .1
But, and this is an important point, there must be no more "low, budget" films of poor quality-for example, "A Son is Born."
Australian producers must not quibble over a few hundred pounds' or thousands if they want world release, without which the indus- try here could not hope to be a financial success.
To keep up the standard set by 'Smithy" and "The Overlanders" the "low budget" days must end.
If they do it seems to me that the day will not be far distant when Britain and America will find in Australian film production a force to reckon with.