Australasian Cinema > directors > Frank W. Thring (1882-1936)
Thring was born in Wentworth, NSW, in 1883. After working as a conjurer in variety shows and as a touring film exhibitor, he rapidly established a leading place in the Melbourne film trade. In 1924 he merged his theatre interests with Hoyts, making that chain one of the two major theatre groups in Australia. He served as managing director of Hoyts until September 1930 when he unexpectedly resigned and sold his controlling interest to an American company, the Fox Film Corporation. At the same time he announced his plans to launch a major film production program in Melbourne, deriving the studio's name of Efftee from his own initials. In preparation he leased the fire-damaged His Majesty's Theatre from J C Williamson and converted it into a talkie studio. RCA sound equipment arrived from the U.S.A. early in 1931 and the studio was officially opened in June.
Over the next five years Efftee produced seven features and numerous shorts, as well as several stage productions ... Pike & Cooper: 155.
F. W. Thring had a son with the same name, Frank Thring, an actor best known for his work in Hollywood sword-and-sandal epics like Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) in which he played Pontius Pilate, but who was also in such Australian films as The Man from Hong Kong (Robert Trenchard-Smith, 1975), Mad Dog Morgan (Philippe Mora, 1976), Howling III (Philippe Mora, 1987), and the 1970 Ned Kelly (dir. Tony Richardson).
A Co-respondent's Course (E. A. Dietrich-Derrick, 1931) prod. Frank W. Thring; John D'Arcy, Adele Inman, Norman Lee; among the earliest talkies; first production from Efftee Films; extensive use of locations; 'featurette', short; marital comedy; claimed by Tony Harrison (1994: 22) to be the 'first full-length talkie made in Australia' - but it was not
Diggers (Frank W. Thring, Pat Hanna, 1931) Efftee Film Productions, wr. Pat Hanna, Eric Donaldson, dp Arthur Higgins; comic adventures of Chic (Hanna) and Joe (George Moon); followed by Diggers in Blighty and Waltzing Matilda; opened 6 November 1931; 61 min.
Haunted Barn, The (E. A. Dietrich-Derrick, 1931) Efftee Film Productions, prod. Frank W. Thring, wr. Gregan McMahon, dp E. A. Dietrich-Derrick; Josef Bambach, Phil Smith, Donalda Warne; 62 min.
The Sentimental Bloke (Frank W. Thring, 1932) Efftee Film Productions, wr. C. J. Dennis, dp Arthur Higgins; Cecil Scott, Ray Fisher, Tal Ordell; 92 min.
His Royal Highness (Frank W. Thring, 1932) aka His Loyal Highness; Efftee Film Productions, wr. C. J. Dennis from story by George Wallace, dp Arthur Higgins; George Wallace (feature debut)
Harmony Row (Frank W. Thring, 1933) Efftee Film Productions, wr. George Wallace, dp Arthur Higgins; comedy; George Wallace (Constable Dreadnought), Phyllis Baker (Molly); Bill Kerr (as Willie Kerr); 78 min.
Ticket In Tatts, A (Frank W. Thring, 1934) Efftee Film Productions, wr. George Wallace, John P. McLeod, dp Arthur Higgins; George Wallace, Frank Harvey, Campbell Copelin; 88 min.
Clara Gibbings (Frank W. Thring, 1934) Efftee Film Productions, wr. Frank Harvey, dp Arthur Higgins; Dorothy Brunton, Campbell Copelin, Harvey Adams; 81 min.
Streets Of London, The (Frank W. Thring, 1934) Efftee Film Productions, wr. Frank Harvey, dp Arthur Higgins; Frank Harvey, Ethel Newman, Leonard Stephens; 85 min.