Australasian Cinema > films > Thoroughbred, 1936


thoroughbredThoroughbred (Ken G. Hall, 1936) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Productions, wr. Edmond Seward, dp George Heath, sound Clive Cross; Helen Twelvetrees, Frank Leighton, John Longden, Nellie Barnes, Ronald Whelan (right, left); 89 min.

A horse-racing picture seemed to be a natural for most audiences, particularly Australian, and Thoroughbred proved that the theory was not wrong. But getting it on the screen was not all that easy because the film was big in size and scope for our limited resources. Ken G. Hall 1980, Australian Film: The Inside Story, Summit, Sydney: 82.

thoroughbredFrank Leighton and Helen Twelvetrees >

After Grandad Rudd (1935) Cinesound closed for six months while Hall visited Hollywood to buy new equipment and study new techniques. His most important purchase was a rear-projection unit which enabled him to stage action in the studio in front of moving backgrounds. The technique saved the expense of moving entire production units into remote locations and it transformed the studio's method of operation. The system was extensively used in Thorougbbred and in every Cinesound feature thereafter. ... The Hollywood star Helen Twelvetrees had been important in the silent era, but by 1935 her popularity had passed its peak and her films were mainly B-productions. Carefully organised publicity, however, won her an enthusiastic welcome in Australia, and public interest in the film was widespread both before her arrival in December 1935 and during her stay. Pike & Cooper: 171, 172.

References and Links

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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