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The Tenth Straw

The Tenth Straw (Robert G. McAnderson, 1926) Pacific Films, dp Claud C Carter, 6 reels; Peggy Paul, Ernest Lauri, James Cornell, Jack Fisher, Syd Everett, Robert Ball, Robert G. McAnderson

The central figure in this convict melodrama is Bruce Lowe, 'an aristocrat by birth and a black sheep from choice', who is transported from England to Australia for a crime he did not commit. A malicious officer, Matthew Marr, poses as a friend of Lowe's to gain access to the wealth and affections of his sister, Marie. Later Lowe escapes from prison and takes to the bush. A happy ending is reached after Marr is dramatically denounced by a fellow officer, and Lowe is restored to freedom.
The film, most of which survives today, was screened for a week at the Empress Theatre, Sydney, commencing on 27 March 1926, but it aroused little public interest. Little is known of the director or his cast (all presumably amateur, with the exception of Ernest Lauri, a vaudeville and stage actor known as 'the Singing Anzac'). The story owed much to For The Term Of His Natural Life (refilmed soon after by Australasian Films). The only twist of any note was an episode involving a rich goldfield discovered by Aborigines, for which real Aborigines were employed in the cast.Pike & Cooper: 130.

Garry Gillard | New: 29 November, 2018 | Now: 29 November, 2019