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Let George Do It* (Ken G. Hall, 1938) aka In the Nick of Time; Cinesound Productions, prod. Ken G Hall, wr. George Wallace, Frank Harvey, story Hal Carleton, dp George Heath, sound Clive Cross; George Wallace, Letty Craydon, Joe Valli, Alec Kellaway, Gwen Munro, George Lloyd, Harry Abdy, Neil Carlton, Leal Douglas, Jack Settle, Millie Doris, Sid Doody, Lou Vernon, Butt and Berrigan, Charles Lawrence, Stan Tolhurst, Dud Cantrell's Vocal Trio, Pat Noonan, Frank Perrin, Dan Agar; speedboat chase on Sydney Harbour; 79 min.
Unemployed and frustrated in love, Joe gets drunk and decides to commit suicide. He offers to leave his few possessions to a gangster, Zilch, if Zilch will arrange a painless death. Next day Joe thinks better of the offer, especially when he learns that he has become the heir to a large fortune. Zilch, however, insists on holding to his part of the deal, and in order to get the inheritance, tries to kidnap Joe. A wild speedboat chase across Sydney Harbour ensues before Joe's possession of the money is ensured.
Let George Do It was the first of two comedies that George Wallace made with Cinesound. With relatively tight direction from Ken Hall and a scenario written specifically for the screen, he performed with far greater energy and a more apparent sense of humour than in his earlier films for Efftee.
Dominating the action was the climactic speedboat chase, a rapidly edited sequence making extensive use of the studio's rear-projection equipment and smoothly switching between location action and studio set-ups. A water ballet choreographed by Jan Kowsky (The stage name of Leon Kellaway, a brother of Cecil), was shot at some expense but was largely deleted for the sake of the film's pace, and only a vestige remains at the end of the speedboat sequence.
Shot in February and March 1938, the £21,000 production was released by BEF, simultaneously in Hobart and Brisbane on 17 June 1938, and attracted large crowds. Early in 1940 an abridged version titled In the Nick of Time was released in England by ABFD and the title Let George Do It was used there instead for a George Formby feature released in the same year. Pike & Cooper: 181.
Hall, Ken G. 1980, Australian Film: The Inside Story, Summit, Sydney; second edition: the first edition was entitled Directed by Ken G. Hall, 1977.
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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