Australasian feature films by release date

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1950s Films


Bitter Springs (Ralph Smart, 1950) wr. Monja Danischewsky, W. P. Lipscomb from story by Ralph Smart, prod. Michael Balcon, dp George Heath, music Ralph Vaughan Williams; Chips Rafferty, Tommy Trinder, Gordon Jackson, Jean Blue, Michael Pate, Charles Tingwell; colonial land rights clash tale from UK's Ealing Studios, with an Aboriginal as a major character: Black Jack (Henry Murdoch) is not a tracker as such, but he is a guide, in physical, social and moral senses

Kangaroo Kid, The (Lesley Selander, 1950) Allied Australian films (the McCreadie brothers); Jock O'Mahoney (Tex Kinnane), Veda Ann Borg, Guy Doleman, Alec Kellaway; "oats opera", B-western


Glenrowan, Affair, The (Rupert Kathner, 1951) aka A Message to Kelly; Aust Action Pictures; Bob Chitty (Ned Kelly); 70 min. Chitty was 1940s Carlton captain

Wherever She Goes (Michael S. Gordon, 1951) dp George Heath, music Clive Douglas; Eileen Joyce, Suzanne Parrett, Muriel Steinbeck, Nigel Lovell, John Wiltshire, George Wallace, Tim Drysdale, Syd Chambers, Rex Dawe, Sefton Daly, Jacqueline Cat; biopic of Eileen Joyce; 81 min.


Broken Barrier (John O'Shea, Roger Mirams, 1952) wr. John O'Shea, prod. John O'Shea, Roger Mirams, dp Roger Mirams; Kay Ngarimu, Terence Byler, Myra Hapi; NZ

Kangaroo (Lewis Milestone, 1952) aka The Australian Story; Twentieth Century-Fox, prod. Robert Bassler, wr. Harry Kleiner, dp Charles G. Clarke; Maureen O'Hara, Peter Lawford, Finlay Currie, Richard Boone, Chips Rafferty, Letty Craydon, Charles Tingwell, Ronald Whelan, John Fegan, Guy Doleman, Reginald Collins, Frank Ransome, Clyde Combo (Aboriginal stockman), Henry Murdoch (blacktracker), John Clark; western, set in the Australian outback at the turn of the century; 85 min.

Nightclub (A. R. Harwood, 1952) Cambridge Films, prod. David Bilcock, wr. A. R. Harwood, dp Len Heitman; Joey Porter, Joff Ellen, Joan Bilceaux, the Clarence Sisters, the Leonard Boys, the Spencer Trio, the Geoff Kitchen Quintette; golddigger and playboy; Bill Winters goes to a country town to work quietly on the script for a musical show; 55 min.


Captain Thunderbolt (Cecil Holmes, 1953) Grant Taylor, Charles Tingwell; bush western

Contratto, Il (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1953) b/w; incomplete at the time of the film-maker's death, without soundtrack; has been restored by NFSA; first film about the Italian migration experience, 92 min.

King of the Coral Sea (Lee Robinson, 1953) produced by Southern International (Lee Robinson & Chips Rafferty); Chips Rafferty, Charles Tingwell, Ilma Adey, Rod Taylor, Reg Lye

Phantom Stockman, The (Lee Robinson, 1953) Chips Rafferty, Charles Tingwell, Rod Taylor; produced by Southern International (Lee Robinson, Chips Rafferty)


Long John Silver (Byron Haskin, 1954) Treasure Island Pictures; Robert Newton (in Pike & Cooper: 218-9); first Australian film in Cinemascope

Seekers, The (Ken Annakin, 1954) aka Land of Fury, Group Film Productions, Fanfare Films, prod. George H. Brown, wr. William Fairchild, dp Geoffrey Unsworth; Jack Hawkins, Glynis Johns, Noel Purcell, Inia Te Wiata, Kenneth Williams, Laya Raki; NZ; 8100ft, 89 min.


Jedda (Charles Chauvel, 1955) wr. Charles Chauvel, Elsa Chauvel; Ngarla Kunoth (Rosalie Kunoth-Monks), Robert Tudawali, Betty Suttor, Paul Reynall; young Aboriginal woman raised by white family and torn between two cultures; 101 min., colour


Smiley (Anthony Kimmins, 1956) London Films, an Alexander Korda Production; Colin Petersen (Smiley), Bruce Archer, Ralph Richardson, John McCallum, Chips Rafferty, Reg Lye; sequel: Smiley Gets a Gun

Town Like Alice, A (Jack Lee, 1956) Peter Finch; only final sequences shot in Australia; 112 min.

Walk into Paradise (Lee Robinson & Giorgio Pagliero, 1956) aka Walk into Hell; produced by Southern Films International (Lee Robinson & Chips Rafferty); Chips Rafferty, Françoise Christophe, Reg Lye; filmed in both French and English in PNG; action adventure, exploring for oil in PNG; 93 min.


Robbery under Arms (Jack Lee, 1957) Peter Finch, Ronald Lewis, David McCallum, Maureen Swanson, Jill Ireland; from the novel by Rolf Boldrewood; Capt. Starlight has a black offsider; 96 min.

Shiralee, The (Leslie Norman, 1957) Ealing Films; from the novel by D'Arcy Niland, 103 min.; Peter Finch (Macauley), Dana Wilson (Buster)

Three in One (Cecil Holmes, 1957) trilogy about mateship; Holmes's last film; Joe Wilson's Mates (Henry Lawson story, 'The Union Buries Its Dead'); The Load of Wood (Frank Hardy story); The City (wr. Ralph Petersen)


Dust in the Sun (Lee Robinson, 1958) Southern International; novel, Justin Bayard, by Jon Cleary; Jill Adams, Ken Wayne (Justin Bayard), Maureen Lanagan, James Forrest, Robert Tudawali (Emu Foot), Jack Hume, Henry Murdoch, Reg Lye, Alan Light; Justin Bayard is a Northern Territory policeman taking an Aboriginal captive, Emu Foot, to Alice Springs to be tried for a tribal killing

Smiley Gets a Gun (Anthony Kimmins, 1958) Sybil Thorndike, Keith Calvert, Bruce Archer, Chips Rafferty

Stowaway (Lee Robinson & Ralph Habib, 1958) aka Le passager clandestin; novel by Georges Simenon; Southern International; dp Desmond Dickinson, assistant editor Anthony Buckley (his first feature); Martine Carol, Karlheinz Böhm, Serge Reggiani, Arletty, Roger Livesey, Reg Lye, Maea Flohr; aventure drama


On the Beach (Stanley Kramer, 1959) novel by Neville Shute; Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins

Restless and the Damned, The (Yves Allégret, 1959) aka L'ambitieuse, The Climbers, The Dispossessed; French/Italian/Aust coprop; last of features (partly) from the Lee Robinson & Chips Rafferty production team; ; filmed partly in Tahiti; Edmond O'Brien, Richard Basehart, Andréa Parisy, Nicole Berger, Nigel Lovell, Reg Lye; drama; commercially unsuccessful

Siege of Pinchgut, The (Harry Watt, 1959) Ealing Films; Aldo Ray; last of the Ealing films made in Australia; Matt Kirk takes over Fort Denison in an attempt to get a re-trial

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, The (Leslie Norman, 1959) Ernest Borgnine, Anne Baxter, John Mills, Angela Lansbury

Garry Gillard | New: 15 December, 2016 | Now: 22 June, 2017