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Premiere of "Bitter Springs"
S TOMMY (Tommy Trinder) and fl ll Charlie (Nicky Yardley) are held I B captive in a hollow tree by f| pi aborigines in this shot from fl
British movie makes heroes
of aboriginal tribesmen
Because "Bitter Springs," Ealing's Australian film, was made at Quorn, South Australia, the studio chose Adelaide for the world premiere last Friday.
Characterised by traditional film glamor and pomp, the event was given added importance by the Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies, accepting an invitation to be present.
DIRECTED by Ralph Smart
from the screen-play by author-playwright W. P. Lips- comb, the international cast of actors includes comedian
Tommy Trinder and Gordon Jackson, with Chips Rafferty, Jean Blue, Michael Pate, Charles Tingwell, Nonnie Piper, and Nicky Yardley.
Quorn, in South Australia, was picked as the location area because Warren's Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges, had everything required by the script, from towering red cliffs and forest giants to waterholes, wild game, and mountain backdrops.
Aboriginal men, women, and children appearing in "Bitter Springs" received high praise from director Ralph Smart, who describes them as intelligent, with a natural aptitude for acting.
The story begins about the year 1900 with Wally King (Chips Raf- ferty) leaving Adelaide with a gov- ernment grant of 1000 square miles of rich grassland in "the centre" 600 miles inland, beyond desolate
Ile is accompanied by his wife (Jean Blue), son John (Charles Tingwell), and daughter Emma (Nonnie Piper). Black Jack, their aboriginal hand, tails the horses.
In the last outpost of civilisation they pick up a Cockney vaudevil- lian, Tommy (Tommy Trinder), who is busking his way round the country, his son Charlie (Nicky Yardley), and a Scots carpenter, Mac (Gordon Jackson).
Halfway across the desert they run out of water but are saved from turning back by meeting Mounted Trooper Ransome (Michael Pate),
who directs them to a dried creek bed where they can get water.
Ransome bitterly assails the gov- ernment for granting the Karagarni
waterhole to thc King family, and asks Wally what he intends to do about the tribe which has lived around it for a thousand years.
As he points out, three approaches are open-"shove em off," "ease 'em out gently," or "take 'em with you."
Inevitable clashes between' the whites and Karagarni and Warra garni tribesmen over precious water- holes seesaw back and forth until Black Jack, realising the futility of the battle and the ultimate penalty the tribes must pay if whites are killed, brings hostilities to an end.
Finally Ransome tells King that he has orders to clear the tribe off King's land, but Wally says, "I've tried easing 'em out and shoving 'em off-now I'll try taking 'em
The finale, a year later, shows the tribe as stockmen and drovers work- ing the King range.
MR. and MRS. WALLY KING (Chips Rafferty and Jean Blue) look over the land on arrival at
JOHN KING (Charles Tingivell) and Mac (Gordon Jackson) argue over the leay to treat the natives when Mac begins to see the aboriginal
problem from Trooper Ransome's viewpoint.