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Circumstance** (Lawson Harris, 1922) prod. Lawson Harris, Austral Super Films, wr. Lawson Harris, Yvonne Pavis, dp Arthur Higgins; Yvonne Pavis, Carlton Max, Cane Arthur, Lawson Harris, David Edelsten, Gordon Collingridge; 5 reels

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The story imposed a 'severe strain on the spectator's credulity' (Theatre, 1 August 1922). A contemporary urban drama set in Sydney, it told the story of a young woman who is seduced and deserted by a ne'er-do-well and faces a life of poverty as a social outcast. She is rescued by a wealthy novelist who proposes to write a story about her life and she becomes the darling of his household. The novelist's cousin returns from the war and asks the girl to marry him, only learning at the wedding hour that she is the same girl he had seduced and forgotten in the wilder days of his youth.
Austral Super Films was formed by two Americans, Lawson Harris and Yvonne Pavis. Harris, the managing director, was a young all-rounder from Hollywood who came to Australia in 1920 to assist Arthur Shirley with the ill-fated production of The Throwback. His partner, Yvonne Pavis, had begun acting in Hollywood in 1910 with the Vitagraph company. She later played both ingenue and character roles with other studios under the name of Marie Pavis. Early in 1922 she arrived in Sydney to join Harris, who had left Shirley's enterprise and opened an acting school in partnership with Vera Remee. The production company was formed soon after, and three low-budget features followed in quick succession. The first, Circumstance, cost less than £800 and earned a tidy profit after its release at the Haymarket Theatre, Sydney, on 3 June 1922. Distribution was handled directly by the Sydney office of the company. Pike & Cooper: 111-112.

References and Links

Pike & Cooper: 111-112.

See also: Sunshine Sally.

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