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Racing Luck* (Rupert Kathner, 1941) prod. Rupert Kathner, Fanfare Films, assprod. Alma Brooks dp Tasman Higgins; 66 mins; Joe Valli (Darkie), George Lloyd (Bluey), Marshall Crosby, Olga Moore, Keith Wood, Connie Martyn, Darby Munro (himself), Raymond Longford; comic adventure; final appearance of Raymond Longford
Bluey and Darkie, both veterans of the First World War, save an ailing racehorse from destruction. With potions used on camels in the war, Bluey restores the horse to health and it wins a fortune in prize-money, but in the excitement Darkie suffers a stroke and dies.
A stage-bound mixture of comic patter, Anzac sentiment and cliched romance, Racing Luck had sufficiently good performances by Valli and Lloyd to pass for registration under the New South Wales quota act. Most of the film was shot in mid-1941 in a tiny North Sydney studio. One of the few location scenes was a flashback to a battle, staged in an open field with noisy sound effects but little visible action. Music was compiled from popular classics, especially Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
Kathner secured a minor release for the film at the Civic Theatre, Sydney, on 21 November 1941, and it was later acquired by BEF for distribution. Kathner's next project, The Kellys of Tobruk, was to be a war comedy with Syd Beck and Ossie Wenban, using actual footage from the Tobruk action. Some attempt was made to prepare the film for release early in 1942 before Chauvel's better publicised Tobruk feature, but it seems never to have been completed. Kathner's company, Fanfare, ran into financial diffficulty, and his studio was taken over by Supreme Sound System. Pike & Cooper: 195.
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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