"SOUTHERN CLOUD" Mystery For SCREEN
The disappearance of the "Southern Cloud" on a day of terrible storms in 1930 is the greatest unsolved mystery in Australia's history.
FOR years the problem has fas -
ciliated the public, and count- less solutions have been sug- gested.
A new solution of the puzzle is offered in "Secret of the Skies," a film made in Melbourne by Centenary Films Ltd., which is an all-Australian production, filmed in Melbourne and in the Austra- lian Alps, and directed for Centenary
Films by Dick Har- wood. Ella Brom- ley and John Darcy have the leading parts, and Norman Shepherd, Jimmy Dee, Fred. Patey and Guy Hastings are also in the cast.
Who has for- gotten that terrible day of gale and rain in 1930 when the "Southern Cloud," the
Australian National Airways triple engined Fokker monoplane, with Pilot Shortridge and a full complement of passengers, disappeared somewhere be- tween Sydney and Melbourne?
For months the search went on, and still, from time to time, search parties
go out to investigate reports of the find- ing of wreckage. Parties as far apart as Moss Vale (N.S.W.) and Bass Strait were in recent months still pursuing the answer to this unsolved riddle of the skies.
The filming of the "Secret of the Skies," based on the story of the disap- pearance of the "Southern Cloud," marks a new departure in the making of films in Australia.
Hitherto Australian producing com- panies have confined themselves to the production of stories such as "On Our Selection," "The Squatter's Daughter," and "The Sentimental Bloke," which were proved box-office attractions as stage plays.
The directors of Centenary Films have decided that there is plenty of suitable film material which has not been ex- ploited by the stage. This choice of fresh material will free them from the fixed conventions of the theatre, and enable them to produce films of a wider scope
Some people believe that the "Southern Cloud" was lost in Bass Strait, but Larry Brewer, who wrote the scenario for "Secret of the Skies," accepts the theory held by many people that the "Southern Cloud" came down in some inaccessible part of the Australian Alps.