A. R. Harwood


What Harwood lacked in talent as a director, he made up for in perseverance, usually in the face of formidable shortages of finance and equipment. He spent over thirty years in the film business, producing a string of low-budget quickies in the 1930s and working for many years as an independent exhibitor and publicist. Alexander Roy Harwood (generally known as Dick) was born in 1897 in Melbourne. After the war he worked for an insurance company and was posted to Tahiti where he observed the shooting of Maurice Tourneur's Never the Twain shall Meet (1925). Thereafter he was determined to become a producer himself, and on his return to Australia he established ties with the film trade, which led to The Man Who Forgot. He planned a second film with Nicholls and Hallam, a farce called Struth, but the project was abandoned in favour of investment in distribution, and for several years Harwood worked with independent agencies in Melbourne. In 1931 he ventured into production again with Out of the Shadows, an attempt to capture the market with the first Australian talkie. Pike & Cooper: 141.

Man Who Forgot, The (A. R. Harwood, 1927) dp William Hallam; Walter Nicholls, William Hallam, 5000 ft (?)

Out of the Shadows (A. R. Harwood) not released [1931] because the only copy was destroyed when the wax (sound) disks melted

Spur Of The Moment (A. R. Harwood, 1931) dp Leslie McCallum, Ed Wintle; James Alexander, William Green, Guy Hastings talkie, static indoors melodrama; opened 26 September 1931, together with Isle Of Intrigue; 50 min. (?)

Isle Of Intrigue (A. R. Harwood, 1931) Dorothy Stanward, James Alexander, Helene Best, Darcy Kelway; pearling schooners of a trading firm are being robbed by a mysterious pirate; opened 26 September 1931; 50 min. (?)

Secret Of The Skies (A. R. Harwood, 1934) Centenary Films, wr. Laurence Brewer, dp Stan Pentreath; John D'Arcy, Norman Shepherd, Ella Bromley; drama, 56 min.

Avenger, The (A. R. Harwood, 1937) New Era Film Productions, wr. Bert Hollis, dp Arthur Higgins, Tasman Higgins; Douglas Stuart, John Fernside, Karen Greyson; crime melodrama; 55 min.

Show Business (A. R. Harwood, 1938) New Era Film Productions, prod. A. R. Harwood, wr. Frank Chapple, dp Arthur Higgins; Bert Matthews, Joyce Hunt, Fred Tupper, Jimmy Coates and his band, the Pathe Duncan Ballet; same story as his Nightclub; 90 min.

Nightclub (A. R. Harwood, 1952) Cambridge Films, prod. David Bilcock, wr. A. R. Harwood, dp Len Heitman; Joey Porter, Joff Ellen, Joan Bilceaux, the Clarence Sisters, the Leonard Boys, the Spencer Trio, the Geoff Kitchen Quintette; golddigger and playboy; Bill Winters goes to a country town to work quietly on the script for a musical show; 55 min.


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