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Far Paradise, The (Paulette McDonagh, 1928)
Gaston Mervale, Arthur McLaglen, Marie Lorraine
The story is set in Kirkton, the southern capital of an unnamed country. Unknown to Cherry Carson, her father is deeply involved in crime and is the subject of an investigation by the Attorney-General, Howard Lawton. Cherry falls in love with Lawton's son, Peter, but her father tries to disrupt the affair. Soon after, Carson goes into hiding, taking Cherry with him. A year later, Peter finds her selling flowers in a mountain tourist resort, struggling to support herself and her father, who has taken to drink. After a series of emotional confrontations, Carson dies of a heart attack and Cherry is left free to marry Peter.
Locations were used in the Burragorang Valley, at Penrith (for the tourist resort), and at scenic points and stately homes in Sydney and Melbourne. Interiors were shot in the lavishly decorated home of the McDonagh sisters, Drummoyne House, Sydney, and in the Bondi studio of Australasian Films. Released by British Dominion Films, the £2000 production opened strongly at the Regent Theatre, Sydney, on 14 July 1928. In 1930 it was bought by Universal Pictures for British distribution as an Empire quota production.
Compared with Those Who Love, the Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June 1928, found the sisters' new romance a marked improvement, revealing 'decision in every detail'. The performance of Marie Lorraine reflected Paulette McDonagh's belief in subdued, 'naturalistic' screen acting; she not only showed 'the utmost confidence in every movement, but she has the power of expressing much feeling with a minimum of outward show'. Pike & Cooper: 145.
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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