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Hound of the Deep (Frank Hurley, 1926) prod. wr. dp Frank Hurley, Stoll Picture Productions; 4950 ft; Jameson Thomas, Eric Bransby Williams, W.G. Saunders, Lillian Douglas
To inherit his late uncle's fortune, a London playboy, John Strong, must find a pearl in the waters off Thursday Island. His efforts are disrupted by tropical disease and by a rival's attempts to murder him. Eventually John finds his pearl, foils the villain's schemes and finds happiness with the daughter of an island trader.
The Hound Of The Deep was the second film released in the two-film package made by Frank Hurley for the British company, Stoll Picture Productions. It employed much the same cast and crew as The Jungle Woman (released in May 1926) and was shot on location on Thursday Island, with islanders in minor acting roles. Again, Hurley's strength lay in documentary footage, with ample displays of the island's scenery and of pearling fleets at work. The plot, however, revealed Hurley's adherence to emotionally naive formulas, as the Bulletin, 11 November 1926, commented: the attractions of the 'dinkum' setting 'are subordinated to a hackneyed plot and a made-to-order drama, provided by the ancient stage device of a preposterous will'.
Distributed by J C Williamson Films, it opened at the Lyceum and Haymarket Theatres, Sydney, on 6 November 1926. British release followed in February 1927 under the title Pearl of the South Seas. Pike & Cooper: 134.
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