Production company: New Era Film Productions
Budget: n/a, low
Locations: Sydney and surrounds, including Ryde, Rydalmere, and interiors at the National Studios, Pagewood.
Filmed: October-November 1937 (shooting began 5th October 1937 with the Ryde/Rydalmere shoot)
Australian distributor: Atlas Films, but never given a release in major centres
Australian release: the film was given a trade preview in Sydney on the 17th December 1937.
Rating: For general exhibition
35mm black and white
Running time: c. 55 minutes (Oxford)
Box office: minimal. The film was barely given a screening in the domestic market. However, it was claimed that the British rights to the film were sold to Columbia in 1938 for 45% of the production budget, as detailed in the Sydney Morning Herald on 30th March 1938. This might have been hype, but in any case it's unlikely the film ever moved into net profit:
Not known outside the archive.
New Era Film Productions was a Melbourne production company which decided to head to Sydney to make this melodrama, using the National Studios facility in Pagewood.
The managing director of the company was V. Merrell Wright, and the director Cyril J. Turner. A. R. Harwood was director of production, as well as director of the company's first film.
The film was put together in a great rush, so that a trade screening could happen in December 1937, but the rush was followed by rapid deflation of expectations.
A. R. "Dick" Harwood was no director, and it was a matter of luck and timing that the film was picked up by Columbia Pictures in the UK because it qualified as the last Australian quota film to be admitted under the old film laws in England, which were altered by the Cinematographic Films Bill.
The recovery of 45% of the budget allowed Harwood to try again with Show Business in 1938, which also failed, and which he then remade in 1952 as Night Club. In the usual way, this film was promoted as the first of a six picture slate.
2. Casting Fresh Talent:
Harwood cast relatively inexperienced female actors, and tried to make the best of it with spin-off publicity, but it was desperate stuff.
Marcia Melville dressed in a swim suit for the tabloid trade, as below in the Perth Sunday Times on 14th November 1937, while Jean Battye was supposed to appeal to the up-market demographic.