Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: July 2018

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports – He dared to surf by day

EDITOR DEFIED THE LAW!

FRANK MORRIS

DEFIANCE: WHEN W.T. GOTCHER REFUSED TO OBEY A “CENTURY LAW” TO WEAR A “PROPER COSTUME”, IT INSPIRED MEN AND WOMEN TO WEAR THE RIGHT SORT OF COSTUME OF THE TIME. Below: LADIES, TIMES ARE A-CHANGING. Below: A BEACH INSPECTOR STUDIES THE NEWLY MADE COSTUME.

1902

A defiant swimmer this year took action that was to result in a big change in Australia’s way of life!

Although the beaches had seen old-style English “bathing boxes” as early as 1870, by the end of the century laws prohibited bathing during daylight hours within sight of the public.

But W.H. Gotcher, editor and owner of the Manly Daily defied the law.

He advertised in his paper that he intended surfing at noon – and did so. He bathed in the sea often, and without prosecution. Others joined in.

******

FEDERATION: SOLDIERS BACK FROM WAR; MANY DEATHS

Australians were fighting the Boers in Imperial troops at the time of Federation.

Units saw action in the drawn-out campaigning throughout the country before the war ended on May 31. Australia contributed a total of 848 officers, 15,327 other ranks and 16,314 horses to the war.

The 518 deaths included almost as many from disease, as from battle wounds.

Another 735 Australians were wounded and 147 missing.

******

HIGH COURT SET UP; AUSTRALIA BOUND DECISIONS

The Commonwealth created the High Court of Australia and it was seen as a wonderful break-through for the law.

This was a most significant move. The High Court was subordinate only to the Privy Council. All other courts in Australia were bound by decisions of the High Court.

******

ELECTORAL ROLL IS FOR WHITES ONLY

The Commonwealth’s determination to keep Australia “white” was emphasised when new laws prohibited non-Europeans – including Australian Aborigines but not Maoris – from having their names on an electoral roll.

GOVT DROPS PRICE: Water on tap in Western Australia’s gold towns

1903

DIGGER: “PADDY” HANNAN WAS A PROUD MAN. Below: HANNAN’S GRAVE.

The piping of water to the goldfields towns was an important development in Western Australia.

After “Paddy” Hannan’s discovery of gold in 1893, crowds of miners had flocked to Hannan’s Find. The discovery was perched on a desert area where a common growth was the shrub called “galgurli” by the Aborigines.

Soon the settlement took the name Kalgoorlie. In 1895, it became a municipality.

Water was precious because it had to be hauled in and sold at prices fluctuating between one and two shillings a gallon.

Later the condensing of water from the salt lakes dropped the price to a penny to fourpence a gallon.

Eventually, the State Government bowed to pressure from the goldfields towns to build a 2.5 million pound 350 mile pipeline from the Darling Ranges near Perth to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.

Previous governments has been wary of the project in case the gold boom was short-lived.

The great undertaking took seven years to build. On January 23, the pipeline was opened.

******

MOVE TO SETTLE DISPUTES

The wisdom of a Government in creating the High Court led to further sound legal developments and the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration was set up.

Its purpose was to deal with disputes between workers and their employers affecting several States.

<< The Making of a Nation by Frank Morris, Sun, 1975.

Continued in two weeks.


LES MISERABLES: The world’s heart was broken, thanks to the daily press at the time. Victor Hugo wrote this ground-swelling saga of the social uprising and bloody fighting, and striking the barricades, which took place in the streets of Paris in 1832. What’s the meaning of Les Miserables? Norman Denny, translator of Victor Hugo’s fine piece of story-telling, said “Hugo’s miserables are not merely the poor and wretched -- they are the outcasts -- the underdogs, the rejected of society and the rebels against society.” The series start in two week time.


CARTOONIST: AUBREY COLLETTE IN 1965 WAS EARNING WIDESPREAD PRAISE

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

CARTOON MAGIC: HERE IS ONE OF COLLETTE'S HUMEROUS CARTOON ON THE CONSENUS.

In an abstract way, the majority of Australians are solidly against any form of Press censorship. But, with comparatively rare exceptions, the reality of censorship of daily newspapers never touches them.

Not, so, however, for Aubrey Collette, staff cartoonist of The Australian. Government censorship forced him to resign his job, leave his home, and eventually his country.

Ceylon-born of Dutch descent, Collette was working on the Times of Ceylon and Ceylon Observer when bitter political upheavals led to the introduction of Press censorship by the government.

“The life of a newspaper cartoonist under censorship has more than its share of difficulties,” Collette said of this period, “so I decided to leave.” He had already spent six months in the US where his cartoons, published in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post, attracted notice.

So it was with some confidence that he left Ceylon for England.

A RARE HONOUR

But breaking into the established British cartooning field proved difficult, so Collette worked as a freelance in the cartoon and illustration scene.

After eight months -- “I was caught in the worst winter in living memory” – he decided to come to Australia, and found employment as an illustrator with the NSW Department of Education.

Then, in June 1965, he joined the staff of The Australian in Canberra, replacing Bruce Petty, now overseas. Within a few months, Collette’s cartoons were earning widespread praise. Dozens of prominent political and government figures have asked for his originals.

He has also been elected an honorary member of the Cartoonists’ Society of America – a rare honour.

The wheel has now turned full circle for Collette. From being censored he is now fighting censorship with a newspaper noted for its vigorous stand on the issue.

”There couldn’t be a better paper to work for,” he says. “The Australian’s viewpoint is impartial, and I’m quite free to say what I want. And it’s only under these conditions that a cartoonist can do his best work.”

<< inFOCUS, 1965, a newsletter produced by The Australian.

lIIustation: Cartoon creation: Aubrey Collette at work.


Small Screen Success: Garry McDonald as Norman Gunston, his most famous role

FRANK MORRIS

LEGAL: NORMAN GUNSTON AS THE DEADPAN INTERVIEWER. Below: A PHOTOGRAPH FOR HIS MOTHER.

Good actors never stand still. They are, or mostly, on the move to a new discovery. Take Norman Gunston, for instance. The hapless comic, Gunston, The Little Bleeder, who came over as a dim witted ponce.

Garry McDonald, actually, had the temerity to present “the most naïve television interviewer in Australia”.
Yes. Gunston burst upon as “unsuspecting” Aussie landscape in the 1970s. As a member of Aunty Jack’s team

Garry McDonald/Norman Gunston won the TV audience with inane facial gestures, and questions to Australian and overseas stars.               

Meantime, Aunty Jack folded and went to TV limbo. “The Gunston character survived and Garry won a Gold Logie and, for three years, he was reportedly one of the highest paid performers on television.”

GUNSTON’S BOOST

Gunston was not a character to do continuously, said McDonald. But showing Gunston every week the public eventually grew tired of it. “I was pressured into making the show,” said McDonald. “This is not the magic of the show’s formula.”

Here’s a taste of Norman Gunston:

On November 11, 1975, Gunston wound up on the steps of the old Parliament House with former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who was just going to address the crowd over his dismissal. “Is the moment an affront to democracy?” TV interviewer, Norman Gunston, yelled out over the angry crowd.

“Yes!” the crowd shout back. He asked, “Is it just good luck for Fraser?

“No!” they shouted. “Thank you very much, just wanted to know,” Gunston deadpans.

He had no regrets about creating Norman Gunston. He thanks the boost it gave to his career. McDonald went on to star in TV comedy and serious acting roles.

<< Background from Garry McDonald’s profile.


60 YEARS AGO: We watched man’s great leap on the moon surface!

FRANK MORRIS

MADE IT! NEIL ARMSTRONG SAYS: WE ARE HERE!

Doesn’t time fly! On the July day, 60 years ago, at 12.56pm, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his footprint on the moon. Watched by more than 600 million people around the world, Armstrong’s ghostly figure emerged from the spacecraft. Armstrong’s initial words as he gingerly slithered his feet across the moon’s surface were: “That’s one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.” Twenty minutes later he was joined by his space companion, Buzz Aldrin.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 July 18

A NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports on the 20th century!

A new century is born when Queen Victoria signs the document by which Australia was formed.  Queen Victoria, sadly ended her reign after 64 years as Queen of England. She died on January 22.  Amid basking sunshine, at Centennial Park, Sydney, on January 1, 1901, six separate British colonies came to together as one continent. Australia’s new federal parliament was set up. When the Boer War ended, we were a nation; World War 1 erupted; decades of internal progress took place; the Royal visit to the new Federal Parliament; the gloom of Australia in World War 11; followed by development of world feats in aviation and Olympic victories. From 1945, Australia continued to live off the sheep’s back, increased in population; the development of national resources and the new techniques and new ambitions that have changed and enlarged Australia’s role in the world. – FM.   

FRANK MORRIS

PARADE OF PARADES: THE STREETS OF SYDNEY WERE OVERWHELMED WITH PEOPLE ON JANUARY 1, 1901. IT WAS OUR DAY! Below:  A SOUVENIR CERTIFICATE, WHICH HAS QUEEN VICTORIA  AND MONOGRAMS OF THE SIX STATES. Below: THE CROWD SPILLS OVER TO THE CENTENNIAL BUILDING, AT CENTENNIAL PARK.

1901

GREAT CELEBRATIONS TO MARK OUR NATIONHOOD

Federation was greeted with a day of jubilant and enthusiastic festivities on January 1. The elaborately decorated streets were thronged with excited and good-humoured people.

At Centennial Park, the colonies were proclaimed a Commonwealth under the Governor-General ship of Lord Hopetoun with Edmund Barton as the first Prime Minister.

Magnificent weather showed the Harbour in unsurpassed beauty, the parks were ablaze with flowers.

A five-mile long procession passed through the streets and this was followed at night by a Harbour display with fireworks and illuminations.

The first official action was the establishment of a Commonwealth Gazette. The first issue was hand-written and delivered to the printer by Mr R.R. (later Sir Robert) Garran, the first Commonwealth Attorney-General.

EDMUND BARTON, PM

Queen Victoria, who signed the Constitution Act by which the Commonwealth was formed, died on January 22.

The Act accepted a written constitution drawn up by leading statesmen of each Australian colony. It provided for two Houses of Parliament for the Commonwealth, a House of Representatives and a Senate.

The initial Federal election, held on March 29 and 30, returned Mr Edmund Barton as Prime Minister.

In an editorial, The Sydney Morning Herald said: “The result, so far as it goes, may be regarded as satisfactory …”

******

TEMPORARY POSTS CHOSEN

Melbourne was chosen as a temporary seat of government and the Victorian Parliament House became the first home of the Commonwealth Parliament.

The Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) arrived in Port Phillip Bay on May 5 to open the first Parliament.

Some 12,000 people attended the ceremony in the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings.

BUBONIC SCARE: A plague hit the nation

1901
When the bubonic plague hit Sydney in 1900, an advertisement for Dr Morse’s Indian Root Pills, the only medicine to fight pandemic, was widely publicised in the Sydney Morning Herald. It said: “The Plague. Black Death. The scourge of the past – grim bubonic plague.”

The advertisement added: “Stands alone as a perfect blood purifier.”

In part, the copy read: “The grim bubonic plague is marching with stealthy but steady strides to these shores. The foe is at our door. Sanitary science, with powerful disinfectants, fumigations and rigid quarantine regulations, stands guarding our ports.”

THIRD OF VICTIMS DIE

When Dr Morse had completed dubbing our conscience about his products, the Government “quarantined the rat-infested area and began rat-catching, fumigating, hosing and white-washing feverishly.”

The press detailed the symptoms of the first victim with relish: “seizures of giddiness, headache, and stomach pain followed by fever, thirst and a bounding pulse.”

When the last attack had occurred in August 1900, the stringent measures dictated by the government did not stop a further outbreak striking our shores – of which Circular Quay bore the brunt – between 1901 and 1902 “with 130 victims, of whom 39 died. Occasional outbreaks took place until 1909.”

In all, 1121 persons were infected, of whom a third died.

NEXT WEEK: To be continued.

<< The making of a Nation; by Frank Morris in the Sun newspaper 1975.


AUTHORS: Zane Grey, US novelist, knew who all the bad men were

GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS! HE KNEW BOTH KINDS AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE.

FRANK MORRIS

GO FOR YOUR GUNS: ZANE GREY FILMING RIDER OF THE PURPLE SAGE IN 1918. GREY WASTED LITTLE TIME UNTIL HE BECAME QUITE FAMILIAR WITH THE WILD WEST.

Zane Grey actually stood face-to-face with gunslingers, gamblers and lawmen which were passed on to him by men in the know. He hunted mountain lions with Indians and outlaws with the Texas Rangers. He knew the good guys and the bad guys of the West – Grey knew both kinds. And he lived to tell about it.

Grey sought out men, real men, and what that had to tell him about Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Captain McNelly of the Texas Rangers and General George Armstrong Custer left nothing to the imagination.

He would play poker with Arizona card sharks. He would talk and walk with the dance-hall girls until there their pretty lips would say, “I’ve told you everything”; and cowboys, who had looked into the icy eyes of William Bonney, Billy the Kid. He got the fair-dinkum facts about the most gruelling episodes in the history of the West, firsthand.

Take a novel like The Border Legion, for instance. It is based on eye witness accounts of how an outlaw army, led by Henry Plummer and Boone Helm, robbed, murdered and terrorised the town of Alder Gulch on the Idaho-Montana border.

In the end, Plummer and Helm were captured and hanged by a group of vigilantes who took the law into their own hands.

VIVID DETAIL

Lassiter, from Riders of the Purple Sage, was one of the most feared guns in the West and gambled his life, and the woman he loved, for one last chance at freedom. This has been perhaps the most popular Western ever written.
The book captured the drama and the nuances of the Mormon struggle for existence that ever took place in the bleak and hostile Utah territory.

Hide-hunter Tom Doan, the figure head of the novel The Thundering Herd, rides to rescue a kidnapped girl, but Doan is trapped between rampaging Comanches and miles of stampeding buffalo.

Grey describes in vivid detail the methods used by hide-hunters as well as virtually every aspect of their lives; his realistic accounts of the killing and skinning of the buffalo have never been surpassed.

There also Wildfire, Arizona Ames, Maverick Queen, The Vanishing American and The Hash Knife Outfit, and many others, each written with the hell-for-leather realism that makes Grey one of the most popular of all Western scribes.

In his lifetime, Grey originated more than 90 Western novels. His last abode in Pennsylvania has been taken over by the National Parks Service and turned into a museum.

Grey died in 1939. He was 67.

Illustration: Zane Grey at the peak of his career. 

<< Written from the material of The Grey Zane Library, 1976.


COMING: HOW THE PRINTING INDUSTRY WAS BORN … ARTBEAT -- amateur painters who made a fortune … THE AGEING SOCIETY … MR ETERNITY: THE STORY OF ARTHUR STACE AN UNLIKELY AUSTRALIAN ICON … EDITOR TOM MEAD, BREAKING THE NEWS … THE ARGUS – A ROMANCE OF THE NEWSPAPERS. AND THERE ARE MORE. GEORGE HOWE, AN AUSTRALIAN AESOP … MILES FRANKLIN. HER OWN STORY.


CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM: Final. Welcome to where the great author lived!

FIRES WERE LEFT BURNING ALL DAY. THERE WERE DUST AND SOOT EVERYWHERE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE ENTRANCE: CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GREAT AUTHOR. Below: THE SCULLERY AND WASH-ROOM (ILLUST) CONSUME MUCH OF THE HOUSEHOLD WORK.

The kitchen had many uses in the Victorian home. It was not only where the meals were cooked, but also the centre of the servants’ social life.

It often served as bedroom and sitting room as well as a dining area for the household staff; and was not unusual for one of the servants to keep an armchair to relax in; or even a rolled up mattress which would be unfolded before going to bed.

BUSIEST ROOM

Contrary to the uses it had, the kitchen was often one of the least pleasant rooms in a Victorian house. There was little natural light, or fresh air, and the fire was burning all day, leaving dust and soot everywhere.

Coals for the fires were dropped into the vault just outside the front door of the kitchen, and food deliveries arrived regularly. It was the busiest room in the house. The result was a dark and overheated basement infested with vermin and pests.

Next, into the Scullery and Wash-house.

DOWN IN BASEMENT

Much of the general household work was carried out in the scullery and wash-house. It easy to assume that this was the second most zealous room in the house; it was.

The maid would wash clothes and dishes, boil water, iron and occasionally prepare food for cooking.

From the scullery, she would work her way around the house making sure she kept up with the weekly cleaning schedule.

Dickens frequently described servants at work in his writing and so forth. Unlike most Victorian authors, he took an interest in the lives of people who come from all walks of life. His sympathetic portrayal of servants endeared him to household staff around the country.

Next, upstairs, to Dickens’ Bedroom.

THE 10 CHILDREN FACTOR

This bedroom has been created to evoke an ambience of privacy and personal space. When Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street, his appearance and lifestyle were greatly influenced by the Regency period.

His long hair and brightly coloured waist-coast help Dickens to blend in with the dandies of the time.

His contemporary Thomas Carlyle observes: “He is a fine little fellow … clear, blue, intelligent eyes, eyebrows that arched amazingly, and a large protrusive rather loose mouth. Surmount this with a loose coil of common-coloured hair, and set it on a small compact figure, very small.”

In this room, which has privacy and personal space aplenty, Catherine gave birth to two baby girls. By 1852, she had given birth to 10 children, offer suffering from post-natal depression. In the 1850s, the marriage became increasing unhappy. In 1858, Dickens separated from Catherine.

The dressing room, which was mainly for Dickens’ preparations, is room 10; Catherine carried out her daily dressing routine in the Bedroom.

Frank Morris comments: The rest of the rooms are wine cellar, drawing room, study, Mary Hogarth room, nursery and the servants’ bedroom.

<< Charles Dickens Museum, London; Plan and Visitor Guide; 2018.


Time Magazine: The imperfect crime

A Florida man had a sheriff’s office test whether he’d been sold fake meth. It was real, so they arrested him. Here, one criminal who accidentally gave himself up – Abigail Abrams.

DRUNK DRIVING. An Australian man with a suspended license allegedly drove drunk into to a Sydney police station in April. Police said he told them he had come to check in, per the terms for his bail on earlier drunk-driving charges.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 20 July 18

Charles Dickens Museum: Entrance Hall, dining room and morning room

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

APPARITIONS: YOU’LL NOTICE CHARLES DICKENS’ PRESENCE IN EVERY ROOM. Below: ONE OF DICKENS’ ENGRAVINGS FROM A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Below: THE ENTRANCE HALL WAS A BUSY AREA  WITH THE AUTHOR CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE.

The entrance hall to 48 Doughty Street was a busy area in Dickens’s time. The author was constantly on the move. Although he was a keen walker, he would often order a carriage to the front door for rides with friends and family outings. He also kept a horse in stables around the corner.

Framed on the wall are documents that represent each of Dickens’s homes from 1837:

Nicholas Nickleby was written at here at Doughty Street; The Old Curiosity Shop, watercolour by George Cattermole, comes from Devonshire Terrace where Dickens lived from 1839 until 1851; Tavistock House, referred to in the theatre playbill, was the family home until 1858.

Dickens moved to Gad’s Hill Place, the only house he ever owned, and was very proud of this building with, as the gilded inscription shows, its literary connection to Shakespeare. The wall also has letters in Dickens’s hand-writing dating from his time at Doughty Street.

Next, in the Dining Room.

LITERARY WORLD

This room featuring an elegant curved wall well and truly central to Dickens’s lifestyle in the late 1830s.

As a rising author enjoying his first rush of success, he liked to entertain the friends he had made in the literary and artistic world, as well as his relations.

“Can you come and take a cutlet with us today at 5?” wrote Dicken’s to a friend. “Let me know and we’ll add a bit of fish.” An invitation to dine with the 25-year-old author of The Pickwick Papers was irresistible. On one occasion, fourteen dinner guests had to be squeezed into this room.

Next, in the Morning Room.

HOUSE MATTERS

This would have been the family room and, mainly, the domain of Dickens’ wife, Catherine, and their children. The Dickens were married in 1836. By the time Dickens and Catherine had moved to Doughty Street their first son, Charles Junior had been born.

While living here Catherine gave birth to two girls, Mary and Katey.

The Morning room was a space for Catherine to arrange household matters, welcome visitors during the day, and write letters. As Dickens travelled a great deal, much of their daily correspondence was in writing.

Many letters that still survived, show the happiness of the young couple during their Doughty Street days.

Next: You’ll make your way to the kitchen, scullery, washhouse, and the wine cellar – all as Dickens left them.


COMING: JOHN PAINE’S FEDERATION PHOTOGRAPHS: The sum of 20,000 pounds brought heaps of surprises in an effort to create a spectacle that would rival any held in the British Empire.


WILL FOR LIFE: The soldier without a gun!

HEART-WARMING STORIES OF HER FATHER AS A STRETCHER-BEARER IN THE LAST WAR -- ONLY IF HE COULD SAVE PROPLE AND NOT HURT THEM.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

LET’S GO, LADIES AND GENTS: ERLE PLAYED THE ACCORDION AND LEARNT A FLORICKING TUNE OR THREE. Below: MRS SHIRLEY GASH – “HE TALKED ABOUT HIS DAYS AS A STECHCHER-BEARER IN THE THICK OF WAR”. Below: A STILL LIFE – ERLE’S BAG OF MEDICAL GEAR, A PHOTO OF ERLE AND A BROWN COVERED BIBLE.

Throughout Shirley’s life, right up until she buried her father, Erle made her make a pledge that she would remember the Red Cross and “leave a bequest if able”. Erle was not in a position to leave a bequest himself and Shirley was happy to carry out his wishes.

Erle Gash passed away in 2010. He was 93.

He was recruited as a foot soldier in the Second World War but vowed he would only go to war if he was able to save lives rather than hurt people. Erle was firm that he did not want to carry a gun.

That being the case, he trained with Red Cross and became a stretcher-bearer and medic doing his job for nearly four years mainly in El Alamein, in Egypt, and Italy. Shirley says he would talk about how his tent displayed a large Red Cross emblem but it didn’t stop it from being bombed.

There were several medics injured from time to time.

FROLICKING TUNES

When Erle returned from the war, he continued to have a soft spot for Red Cross. He was always thinking about how he could pitch in to help.

Shirley recalled one heart-warming anecdote about her father when he was in his late 80s and decided that he wanted to raise some money for Red Cross. Being on a pension, he was not able to give personally but to inspire others to donate.

Erle could play the piano accordion and during his time in Italy he learned many frolicking tunes. Due to his age, he couldn’t cart around heavy equipment, He bought himself a small amplifier, which he attached to a luggage trolley, and got himself a busking permit for the main streets of Auckland, New Zealand.

MAN ON A MISSION

His sign read: “War veteran raising funds for the Red Cross.” He was hugely successful on his beat, raising approximately $10,000 over a number of years.

“For ‘an old guy’” Shirley says, “he was pretty amazing. He was very passionate and wanted to urge others to give to Red Cross.” Two young members from Red Cross attended to pay their respects at Erle’s funeral.

Says Shirley: “The family were so appreciative of this and thought it was wonderful that her 93-year-old dad had an impact on younger and future generations. I am so happy and proud to carry out my father’s wishes. My Will has been updated to leave a bequest to Red Cross.”

He was like a man on a mission.

<< Wills for Life the seniorsbook.com.au

COMING: Shorty, spring will be in the air. Exercise, gently. They’re are easier that you think.


FILM GREAT: Gone With the Wind – it was a picture for all time

RHETT BENDS SCARLETT BACK AND KISSES HER. NOT ONCE, BUT SEVERAL TIMES!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PICTURE FOR ALL TIME: GONE WITH THE WIND, AT THIS MOMENT, RHETT AND SCARLETT ARE ON A SMALL SCREEN SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD.  GWTW WENT ON TO MAKE MARGARET MITCHELL  AN INTERNATIONAL PERSONAGE. GWTW TOOK HER TEN YEARS TO WRITE.

“I don’t want the part for money,” said Clark Gable to producer David O. Selznick. Gable was being offered the role of Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, but happily he ate his words. He accepted $2500 a week and $100,000 bonus.

The handsome, macho ‘King of Hollywood’ was the first choice for Rhett, but almost every female star was considered for the wilful Scarlett O’Hara.

A year later, Selznick made his decision.

When he saw the exquisite, green-eyed, twenty-five years old English actress Vivien Leigh, the search was over. A famous coupling was born.

A huge party at the ball at Twelve Oaks and the evocation of the Old South as represented by “Tara”, the O’Hara’s monolithic white mansion, symbolised the relationship between Rhett and Scarlett. It was a monument to devouring passion brilliantly embodied by Gable and Leigh which lifted the film into the highest category.

"Rhett Don't", I'll Faint!

Both characters were spirited, arrogant, self-centred and amoral. This is in marked contrast to Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland – Ashley and Melanie Wilkes.

Although Scarlett schemes her way to attract the fragile but aristocratic Ashley, she is irresistibly drawn to the virile Captain Butler – roguish black sheep of “the Charleston family.”

The directed sequence which deals with Rhett’s proposal of marriage to the already twice widowed Scarlett, is one of the most skilfully written. Butler is brief and to the point when he says, “I made up my mind that you were the woman for me, Scarlett, the first time I saw you at Twelve Oaks.”

When she objects to this approach, he sinks on one knee and takes her hand.

He said that, “A feeling more beautiful, more pure, more sacred … dare I name it? Can it be love?” Although he was play-acting, there is much truth in what he expresses. When she tells him she will always love another man (Ashley) … he takes her in his arms, bends her head back and kisses her hard on the mouth – again and again.

She struggles for air.

Scarlett: “Rhett don’t, I’ll faint.”

Rhett: “I want you to faint. This is what you were for, Scarlett.”

Naturally, the marriage of two such stubborn and tempestuous people is doomed. In the end, when Rhett decides to leave her, she sobs, “What’s to become of me?”

Turning in the doorway he replies, in one of the cinema’s most famous and well-remembered lines, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

<< Adapted from Great Love Scene by Ronald Bergan; Octopus Books, 1986.

Illustrations: Hands in pockets, a familiar pose, Rhett tells Scarlett that he’s not going to stand around any longer; Rhett gives Scarlett the kiss of life!


A NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports on the second century!

FRANK MORRIS

THE HARD YAKKA: AUSTRALIA BECOMES A COMMONWEALTH.

What must it have been like to witness the jubilant festivities of Federation!

On January 1, 1901, the activities went ahead in Sydney, amid classic sunshine, and six states joined forces. All told, 20,000 pounds were spent in an effort to create a spectacle that would rival any held in the British Empire.
You can read the lot in the first issue of the Australian Chronicle, January 1, 1901.

Australian Chronicle said “there was no better vista than a five-mile long procession that passed through the streets followed at night by a Harbour display with fireworks and illuminations.”

START THIS WEEK.


COMING: How do I cope if I’ve got a gambling problem?

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 July 18

FLASHBACK: Lyn Brown -- The poet had a passion about great writing

POET LYN BROWN LIVED IN OATLEY, A TINY SUBURB OF SYDNEY, NSW, WITH HUSBAND FRED FOR 51 OF HER 84 YEARS. THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN AT THE BEHEST OF HER HUSBAND WHO SAID THAT, “LYN CONSIDERS THAT SHE IS NEITHER FAMOUS NOR NOTORIOUS. THE DISTRICT IS THE FREQUENT BACKGROUND OF MANY OF HER POEMS.” SHE TALKS PASSIONATELY ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF HER WRITING.

FRANK MORRIS

POEM WRITING: WHEN YOU TRAVEL TEN MILES DOWNSTREAM YOU'LL BE SURROUNDED BY THE NEAR TRANQUILITY OF NATURE. BELOW: "MY BOOKS CONTAIN THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES I'D LIKE TO SHARE WHILE I AM STILL ABLE TO," SAYS LYN BROWN.

Lyn’s great passion for writing and reading has not wavered. Her last book, Fire and Water, was published last year (2001) and contains 88 poems, fifty-seven of them were written between 1999 and 2000.

Says Lyn: “I am usually out of bed at the crack of dawn, sitting in my ‘work’ corner, writing or ruminating about a poem. It’s the best time of the day for it. One is fresh and clear of mind.”

Did she mind Fred putting pen to paper?

“No,” she says, “I am, unashamedly, a self-confessed publicity seeker – by not for the obvious reasons. I believe it is important to communicate the fact that people are out there doing things, doing them well and enjoying what they do.

“It gives great encouragement to others who might feel reticent in having a go.”

THE MILES DOWNSTREAM

Lyn’s poems have been published in leading Australian and international literary journals. Many of her poems also appear in anthologies published in 1980 and 1982. Copies of her later collections, Ten Miles Downstream and Fire and Water, are in the local library.

Her favourite poems are contained in Ten Miles Downstream. The fact that she could walk to the Georges River from her parents’ home at ‘rural’ Fairfield (west of Sydney), where she was born, provided a ready-made title.
Says Lyn: “I’ve been here and there in the world, but in a sense it seems than in my eight decades of life I have simply travelled 10 miles downstream.”

POEMS TELL THE STORIES

Many of the 66 poems in this collection first appeared in such journals as Meanjin, Southerly, the Sydney Morning Herald and several others. The poems have been described as being “like the gentle unfolding of the poet’s life,” which has been lived “with keen sensitivity to the events around her.”

Her last book, Fire and Water, was published in 2001.

Says Lyn: “The poems are narrative and reflective, covering my eighty four years of life and containing thoughts and memories I would like to share while I am still able to record them. I have tried to let the poems tell the stories.”
Her other collected works include Late Summer (1970), Jacaranda and Illawarra Flame (1973) and Going Home at Night (1979).

<< Part of an interview adapted from The Poet of Oatley published in Best Years, 2002.

COMING: Beryl Thompson was head buyer at a Sydney department store. She had been a poet for nearly 40 years.


FILM GREAT: Casablanca – Melodrama, flawlessly acted!

BOGART’S FAÇADE OF NEUTRALITY BEGINS TO WEAKEN AS HE RECALLS BITTERSWEET MEMORIES.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

SELECTED: CASABLANCA WAS CHOSEN AS THE MOVIE OF THE 1940S. BOGART WAS HE HEAD OF THE PACK … AND BERGMAN HIS BITTERSWEET EX-LOVER.

Casablanca, released in 1943, has became a recognised screen classic and is considered by many to be the representative picture of the forties. Humphery Bogart played Rick, the owner of Rick’s Café Americain, a night club and focal point for intrigue in Casablanca.

A glossy, star-laden sentimental melodrama it owes it success to a gallery of fine performances and to their almost miraculous interplay with each other.

The plot revolved around an assortment of strongly delineated characters coming into Rick’s night club … as refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe (seek) to gain exit visas to Lisbon. Bogart, playing the café’s owner, is a former soldier of fortune and one who has grown tired of smuggling and fighting …

Even loyalty to a friend doesn’t move him as he refuses to help Ugarte, Peter Lorre, a desperately frightened little courier who is fleeing from the police. Ugarte is shot and killed only moments later, but not before he has given Rick two letters of transit.

Emphatically, Bogart says, “I stick my neck out for nobody.”

Past love affair

But we know he will do just that …with a beautiful woman, Ingrid Bergman; he still loves and bitterly remembers.
Bergman is married to an underground leader, Paul Henreid, and desperatety needs those papers Bogart conveniently now has in his possession. The cynical Bogart’s façade of neutrality begins to weaken as he recalls the bittersweet memories of his past love affair.

(They were memories triggered repeatedly by the theme, As Time Goes By, which comes from Sam, his piano-playing confidante, played by Dooley Wilson.)

Bogart refuses to help her, still resentful of her desertion of him on the eve of their departure from Paris. She explains that she was married to Henreid at the time she fell in love Bogart; she had believed him to have been killed.

But when she found that her husband was alive, she felt obligated to return to him. Bogart is convinced she is telling the truth. He finally sets up an involved plan which succeeds when Bergman and Henreid are safely placed on the plane to Lisbon.

Intermixed with this intrigue are all the fascinating and beautifully acted supporting roles. With his customary skill, Claude Rains as Major Renault, a prefect of police, who is like Bogart in many ways, claims neutrality but is definitely against the Nazis.

Magic! Bogart and Bergman

He is Bogart’s most devoted adversary, tauntingly calling the man a “sentimentalist” and delivering his share of cynical and amusing lines.

Rains shares the final memorable scene of the film: after Bergman’s plane takes off, he and Bogart walk off into the misty night, two men who are sentimentalists and now share the common bond of being patriots.

As Major Strasser, Conrad Veidt was the very essence of German rigidity – unfeeling, unconcerned about life – but firmly believing in the foolish ideology of his Nazi compatriots. Sydney Greenstreet, as Senor Farrari, a black marketeer who is on good terms with Bogart.

The magic that developed from the teaming of Bogart and Bergman was enough to make a new romantic figure out of the former tough guy. He now added the softening traits of tenderness and compassion and a feeling of heroic commitment to the cause.

Casablanca brought Bogart his first Academy Award nomination. He lost to Paul Lukas for Watch On the Rhine. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< The adaption of Casablanca came from the book, Humphrey Bogart by Alan G. Barbour, published as The Pictorial Treasury of Film Stars; Galahad Book, New York; 1973.

Illustrations: A line or three: Bogart is unrelenting about what he says to Bergman. Loyalty: “Emphatically, no” said Bogart to Ugarte.


OZ SPOT: Chips Rafferty – “He was fit for the stars”

TALKING ABOUT HIS OWN MOVIE DEBUT IN AUSTRALIA’S FIRST ‘TALKIE’ HE SAID, “I WORKED FOR FIVE WEEKS ON THAT FILM AND IF YOU HAD BLINKED YOU WOULD HAVE MISSED ME.”

FRANK MORRIS

STOOD OUT: TALL AND LEAN CHIPS RAFFERTY (CENTRE) SURROUNDED BY CHARLES TINGWELL, CHARACTER UNIDENTIFIED, AND POPULAR BRITISH ACTOR GORDON JACKSON IN BITTER SPRINGS. FROM THE OVERLANDERS TO WAKE IN FRIGHT, NOBODY WOULD TANGLE WITH CHIPS/* RAFFERTY. BELOW: ILMA ADEY AND CHIP RAFFERTY IN KING OF THE CORAL SEA, THE STORY OF ILLEGAL SMUGGLING ISLAND IMMIGRANTS INTO AUSTRALIA.

In 1971 Chips Rafferty, who was for two decades one of Australia’s top-ranking film stars, died suddenly of a heart attack, aged sixty-one. He was walking near his home when he suffered the attack.

Born John Pilbeam Goffage at Broken Hill, NSW, Rafferty’s life as a young man, according to a reliable biographical profile, was one “of fits and starts.”

A talented artist who at one time studied briefly at the Royal Art Society, Sydney, he had various jobs in and around NSW and Queensland as an apprentice iron moulder, cellarman, kangaroo shooter, drover, opal gouger and gold fossicker.

At 29 years of age the tall, lean awkward looking Rafferty made his film debut in 1938 in a minor part in the Australian talkie, Ants in His Pants. Although it was only a bit part, he said, “I worked for five weeks on the film and if you blinked you would have missed me.”

The following year, he starred with the patriarchal Bert Bailey in Dad Rudd MP as a comical member of a fire brigade crew.

WAS GIVEN PRAISE

He later starred in The Lives of Joanna Godden with Googie Withers, Eureka Stockade, Bitter Springs, The Overlanders, Forty Thousand Horsemen, Smiley, King of the Coral Sea and Walk into Paradise, which was the first Australian movie to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Another film for which was praise was given was the Overlanders. Made in 1946, the British film “was considered an Australian and international success,” said Judith Adamson, who wrote Australian Film Posters 1906-1960.

PROJECT A SUCCESS

Australian Prime Minister, Mr J. B. Chifley, said “the production of the Overlanders on a multilingual basis will help greatly to publicise our country throughout the world … I believe that a production like the Overlanders adds to the dignity and importance of the film industry …”

“Suddenly, feature production ceased in Australia until 1965. Southern International was the last of the old Australian companies left.”

Rafferty’s last feature film role, and probably his best characterisation by far, was the police chief Jock Crawford in Wake in Fright in 1971. Which, of course, was described as a “watershed for the emerging Australian film industry.”
Frank Morris comments: What will the Australian film industry do for Chips Rafferty in three years time – the anniversary of his death? We’ll have to wait and see.


FLASHBACK: Going, going, gone – Stradivari goes for over cool $ million

FRANK MORRIS

MILES AHEAD: THE STRADIVARI VIOLIN, MISSING IN ITS CASE, WAS FOUND IN A CLOSET IN A FRENCH VILLAGE YEARS LATER.

The Stradivari cellos are considered to be one of the sweetest sounds you will hear from such an instrument, that’s why Antonio Stradivari must be spinning in his grave. One of his Stradivarius cellos, circa 1698, was sold for a record for $1.3 million at Southey’s, London, in 1988.

According to the International Herald Tribune, “the previous record for a cellos was $800,000.”

It was also made by the Italian master instrument maker, Stradivari. Apart from the fact that he brought his craft to a high-pitch of perfection, one of the secrets of Stradivari’s cellos and violins and other wood instruments was the varnish.

It’s classical ingredients have never been discovered.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 July 18

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