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WHY AUSTRALIAN FILMS ARE FAILURES
WRONG_TBEMES American Explanation
What happens to Australian films abroad? Few of them receive the honor of a showing in large English or Ameri can theatres, and the proceeds of those that do, are generally swamped up In distribution expenses. The explanation of this, American experts claim, is that Australian producers ehoose wrong themes with little inter, national outlook.
Horseraces, bushrangers, unpleasant look ing abrigines, and depressing views of Australian life are the subjects of most films that have been produced in Aus tralia, while waterfront stories, and the wool race to England receive no attention. Vet these are themes that English and American scenarists would interpret as screen classics, because of their interna tional appeal. 'For the Term of His Natural Life,' the Australian 'Ben Hur,' on which £50.000 was spent, was a flop in England and America, and another costly produc tion. 'The Adorable Outcast.' fared little better. Renamed 'Black Cargo of the South Seas,' and with sound synchroni sation added, it was screened in small town American theatres, but distribution costs absorbed the little money that it made. In England, it is compulsory to show a certain percentage of Empire made Sims, and in consequence a few Australian efforts have landed in Britain. Among these are 'Odds Ob,' 'Tall Timbers,3 'Trooper O^rien,' and 'The Romance of Runnybede.' which have been bought by an American firm for release in England. The only pictures shown on Broadway were those of Snowy Baker. In Austra lia bushmen laughed at his characterisa tion of them, but it Is coTor that theatre patrons want, not accuracy— one of the reasons for the success of American cow boy films. The cowboy who would wear the gee gaws that grace the western film star is not yet born, yet it allows producers to infuse the romance that is lacking in the authentic American ranches.