Our Friends, The Hayseeds

Our Friends, The Hayseeds (Beaumont Smith, 1917) aka The Hayseeds; Beaumont Smith's Productions, wr. Beaumont Smith, dp Harry Krischock; Roy Redgrave, Walter Cornock, Pearl Hellmrich, Margaret Gordon; comedy; 5000ft

Beaumont Smith's first feature established the traits that marked most of his future work as producer-director-writer. The film was made so rapidly on its shoestring budget that it was known to contemporaries not as a 'quickie' but as a 'whizzie'. Smith's economical shooting style earned him the trade reputation of 'One-take Beau' or 'That'll Do Beau', and his films always came in on schedule and within budget, come hail, rain or accident. Our Friends, The Hayseeds was shot during January, previewed to the trade on 28 February and released commercially on 19 March 1917. The strain of the speed showed; the actors had little opportunity to rehearse, and Theatre, 2 April 1917, found the photography 'very indistinct - or blurred'. The dramatic highlight of the bushfire was managed with the aid of stock footage that Smith had secured some years earlier of a fire in the Adelaide hills. Pike & Cooper: 68.


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