Australasian Cinema > films > Harmony Row, 1933
Harmony Row* (F. W. Thring, 1933) Efftee Film Productions, wr. George Wallace, dp Arthur Higgins, 78 mins; George Wallace, Phyllis Baker, Marshall Crosby, John Dobbie, Willie Kerr [Bill Kerr], Bill Innes, Edwin Brett, Norman Shepherd, Norman French, Bebe Scott, Gertrude Boswell, Leonard Stephens, Dan Thomas, Nell Fleming, Nell Crane, Elza Stenning, Thelma Scott, Dorothy Weeks, Johnny Marks, Campbell Copelin; comedy
George joins the police force and is assigned to Harmony Row, a notorious haunt of thugs and criminals. On the beat he makes many friends, including Molly, a pretty street musician, and Leonard, a precocious boy soprano who works with Molly. After many adventures, George is persuaded to fight Slogger Lee, the biggest troublemaker in Harmony Row, in a boxing tournament. In the ring George loses badly to Slogger until, suddenly reassured of Molly's friendship, he proceeds to knock out not only Slogger but also the referee and several members of the audience. He finally stands triumphant amid the chaos with Molly in his arms.
The £11,000 production was highlighted by its climactic boxing match, where Wallace performed before a live audience and displayed some nimble slapstick antics. It also introduced a young child 'discovery' from Wagga Wagga, Willie Kerr. Kerr had his own act on stage and next appeared in Cinesound's The Silence Of Dean Maitland (1934); later, as Bill Kerr, he played numerous Australian characters in British radio, theatre and films, including the radio series Hancock's Half Hour.
Distributed by Universal, Harmony Row was usually screened as a support to Diggers In Blighty, and shared that film's relative popularity following their joint premiere in Melbourne at the Hoyts Theatre De Luxe on 11 February 1933.
The full version of the film, as first released in Australia, included a long 'haunted house' sequence, in which George tries to unravel a mystery in an upper class suburban mansion. A shorter sequence was later shot to replace this episode and to bridge the gap in the plot; in this new sequence, George mistakes a high society gentleman for a thief and tries to apprehend him. Campbell Copelin played the gentleman, but received no credit in the film's titles. Pike & Cooper: 160.
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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