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Gone to the Dogs* (Ken G. Hall, 1939) Cinesound Features, prod. Ken G. Hall, wr. George Wallace, Frank Harvey, Frank Coffey, dp George Heath; 83 mins; George Wallace, Lois Green, John Dobbi, John Fleeting, Ronald Whelan, Alec Kellaway, Letty Craydon, Kathleen Esler, Hughie (Aloysius, the dog)
George is a disaster-prone attendant at the zoo. One day he accidentally discovers a substance that accelerates motion, and tests it on a prize greyhound, which runs faster than ever before. A gang of crooks, whose hide-out is disguised as a haunted house, kidnap George's dog and plan to substitute their own dog in an important race. George and his friends, however, manage to foil the crooks and their dog wins the race.
Hall followed the pattern of Let George Do It (1938), introducing a romantic sub-plot and several songs, dances and self-contained comedy routines. Among the highlights are the chorus and ballet for the catchy title song, performed in the yard of the greyhound kennels, George's trip through the haunted house, and an opening slapstick scene in the zoo where he tangles with an angry gorilla.
The £20,000 production was premiered by BEF at the Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, in August 1939, and made a clear profit. It was released in England by Renown late in 1940, in a version shortened by some twenty minutes. Pike & Cooper: 185.
Hall, Ken G. 1980, Australian Film: The Inside Story, Summit, Sydney; second edition: the first edition was entitled Directed by Ken G. Hall, 1977.
Pike, Andrew & Ross Cooper 1998, Australian Film 1900-1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, revised edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
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