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Daughter Of The East (Roy Darling, 1924) aka The Boy Of The Dardanelles; prod. wr. Adam Tavlaridi, Blue Bird Films, dp Tasman Higgins; Dorothy Hawtree, Paul Eden, Catherine Tearle, Charles Villiers, Adam Tavlaridi
The film was written and financed by a Greek cafe proprietor, Adam Tavlaridi, who wished to make a film showing the positive contribution of the Greek people to the British war effort. The story's young hero is Harry Wharton, born of English parents in Turkey. Just before the outbreak of war he falls in love with an orphaned Armenian girl, Marian, even though he is formally engaged to an Englishwoman. A powerful Turkish pasha also loves Marian and kidnaps her. Wharton tries to rescue her but is captured as a prisoner of war at the moment when war is declared between Britain and Turkey. Eventually he escapes and, disguised as a Greek, makes his way to join the Australians at Anzac Cove. After the war, Wharton tries to find Marian and learns that her mind has been affected by the trials of the war. His appearance brings back memories to her of their happy pre-war days, and seeing how much Wharton and Marian love each other, his stoic English fiancee gives him his freedom.
Roy Darling's reconstruction of the war was attempted at a time when other Australian film-makers were studiously avoiding war themes, in the belief that the war was too close and too bitter to attract an audience. The film was produced in and around Sydney in mid-1923, with battle scenes staged in the sand hills of Maroubra. Under the title of The Boy of the Dardanelles it was given a trade preview in October, but reactions were evidently discouraging enough to prevent release for a full year. It finally appeared under a new title, Daughter of the East, at the Globe Theatre, Sydney, on 4 October 1924. Press comments were unflattering and the film was not widely shown. Pike & Cooper: 122.
Pike & Cooper: 122.
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