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A tale of rugged pioneer days, Sons of Matthew Charles Chauvel gave the lead role to the young Michael Pate and, as with the earlier Chauvel discovery, Errol Flynn, the film’s success hurtled the actor towards a long career in Hollywood. Controversial in its day for its famous nude bathing scene which the censor, remarkably, let through.
This film is quintessentially Chauvel, combining the strongest factors in his personality. His reverence for the soil and the pioneer spirit is clear in the story of a young couple settling down on a “lost world” plateau in Queensland and raising a family despite drought, fire and natural obstacles. The setting, the rain forests of the border between Queensland and New South Wales, gave him the broad natural background he needed, and the script, with its bushfires and cyclones, an opportunity for spectacle. He could hardly have had a more congenial vehicle - John Baxter, The Australian Cinema.
Digital 2K restoration by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia as part of NFSA Restores.
The screening will be introduced by Adrian Danks, Associate Professor in Cinema Studies at RMIT University. He is also the co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque.
To read Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper's (authors of Australian Film 1900-1977) detailed notes on the film, click here.
Michael Pate, Ken Wayne, Tommy Burns, John Unicomb
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