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They waited and waited for the
sun to shine
- On a Sydney wharf, stars and extras for "lt Takes All Kinds" were at the mercy of the grey sky . . .
-Pictures by staff photographer ERNIE NUTT
. Internationally known actress Vera Miles, left, who stars as a ruthless art thief in the film, "evil tb the end."
. Hollywood's Robert Lansing, star ot "lt Takes All Kinds," with siamese Fang, owned by Mrs. J. Fox. of Balmain, N.S.W.
. Penny Sugg, aged 19, right, whose role is an insurance assessor, in the jacket
dress she wears for her first film scene. .
1%/TEN stood about the
Sydney wharf in straggly groups, hands deep in their pockets as if waiting for something to happen.
They looked like wharfies
in their windcheaters and
jeans - or perhaps the crew of the freigher in the dock.
A voice boomed through a megaphone: "Can we have everyone for this scene?"
There was a flurry of action. Several of the wait-
ing men, who were bit players, extras, and stand-ins for the joint $300,000
American - Australian color film, "It Takes All Kinds," which began shooting in and around Sydney recently, clambered aboard the freighter which had been "borrowed" by the company.
Then it began all over again - the exercise in bore- dom, which apparently is an inseparable part of filming.
A good film moves at a swift pace on the screen, especially an action adven- ture as "It Takes All Kinds" is classed. But when the story is being filmed things seem to move very slowly.
"You learn to be calm or
go mad," said Hollywood actress Vera Miles, who stars in the film. She has been in the business for 20 years and is expert at playing the wait- ing game.
"It makes me think of the
old Army expression, 'Hurry up and wait'-meaning hurry up, stand in line, and wait!
"When you're filming you get ready to do a scene, re- hearse it, get the feeling of
it, then you have to sit
around and wait."
On location the weather can do a lot to prolong the actor's wait. And this day the sky was grey with the threat of rain. The wait could be a long one.
It was Miss Miles' cool composure, her imperturb- able elegance, that won her a place in Alfred Hitch- cock's heart - and his films, "The Wrong Man" and- "Psycho," made her a
"Hitchcock loves his lead- ing ladies to be a certain kind," she said. "He signed
me because I looked the kind he adores - the cool, éle- vant, rather humorless woman. But it?s against my real personality."
Her smile was mischiev- ous. It melted her aloofness.
"I'm always fighting down the impulse not to make a joke," she said. "My husband and family get the full brunt of it. Only with them can I be myself."
She was very much her-
self as she talked to me while
waiting for her make-up call.
Although she looked the part she so often plays, her
manner was warm and
friendly, especially when she talked about her two daugh-
ters and two sons.
"My eldest daughter, Debra, who is 18, nearly got herself engaged recently. But
thank God we were able to
get rid of the boy. No one is
ever fit for your daughter."
It was because Miss Miles was bored with what she
describes as stuffy, ladylike roles that she accepted the
role in "It Takes All Kinds."
She plays Laura, a beauti- ful but ruthless art thief who, according to Miss Miles, "is evil right to the end."
"It's easier to keep a bad girl real, too," she said. "Honestly, no one is going to believe a good girl is pure
ALL the time!"
Miss Miles said she loved working with John Ford in "The Searchers," in which she starred with John Wayne.
"You're never ladylike when you're working for him," she said. "You're gutsy, strong, and fighting for your rights. That's John
Ford's kind of woman."
Despite the demands film- ing makes on her, Miss Miles
"I learnt to act in films," she said. "Give me my choice and I'll work in films every
American actor Robert
Lansing, pictured above with the Siamese that is the cause fff all his troubles in the film, was not so sure. He was waiting with the rest of
the cast for the sun to shine.
"There's an old saying that films are a director's med- ium, not an actor's," he said. "There is a technique to film acting. Before the actor starts a film, he must have a through line of action so he knows pretty well what he wants to do. He does not have the continuity of playing, as on the stage."
Mr. Lansing, in jersey and jeans for the role of a fugi- tive seaman, was waiting to
shoot a scene that occurs halfway through the film.
In it, he discovers the man he thought he had killed in a brawl is suffering from nothing more than a black eye. Yet the brawl scene
had not been shot!
When filming on location, all scenes in one particular spot - a wharf, on this occasion-are shot first, put in the right order later.
Mr. Lansing, who began his career on the stage at nine, finds this a little dis- heartening. But he doesn't believe the theatre should be on a lectern.
"The main function of an actor is to entertain," he said. "You do that by involving
He enjoys working in Aus-
"I'm enchanted with Aus-
tralians, because they are so open, so unguarded," he said.
"It seems their immediate
instinct is friendship. This helps in film acting. It's so
much easier to work in a
place where you don't have - to look behind your back all
"No one's on the defensive
here. In Hollywood there is a great, tiring tension. It's impossible to be creative in such an atmosphere."
By this time the sun had gone for good. Catastrophic- ally, it began to rain.
Footnote: Also in the cast
is 19-year-old English actress Penny Sugg, who now lives in Sydney. Penny, who went to the same English theatre school as Hayley Mills, plays an insurance assessor - in her own words, "a girl who is soft and Tike about life."