WALTZING MATILDA: A story of a film that was never made!

BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PASTORALIST LEADER, McLAGAN, WAS A DETERMINED AND UNCOMPROMISING SQUATTER. WALTZING MATILDA WAS THE EPIC TITLE OF THE SONG THAT FOUNDED A NATION.

The story begins …

When the squatters, or the landed aristocracy, were caught treating their shearers working for a pittance under extreme hardship and dreadful living conditions all hell was going to break loose.

During 1894, this conflict between the squatters and shearers reached its climax.

The central character in this rebellion was Jock Burns, son of a union shearer. Burns is good-looking, of hard-working Scottish stock who doesn’t care for his father’s union ideology.

Jock starts on his journey through the outback primarily to view the plight of how the shearers and their families lived.

The Pastoralists Association leader, McLagan, who, for 30 years of sticking to the grind and risk, has carved out three large pastoral holdings in three different colonies.

All three of the holdings were set in the lush rich of the prosperous western district of Victoria, up to the harsh and tough, unforgiving outback of NSW and Queensland.

McLagan was a determined and uncompromising squatter who was not going to give into the union demands.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
WHO WAS THE CARTOON CHARACTER TO FIRST ATTAIN THE CELEBRITY OF THE HUMAN STAR?
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There are a hard and strongly cohesive bunch of characters on both sides of this conflict and neither was used to giving up without a fight; the outback moves closer to armed insurrection.

With these events, Jock was thrust into a situation where his sense of a “fair go” compels him to take part and join the union side.

His own leadership qualities force him to take on, reluctantly, the role of a hero.

FINAL PART: Jock pals up with a top-gun shearer, the great Dave Grant, and with him develops a special mateship.

Below: Policemen were everywhere during the height of the battle.


AUSSIE CARTOONS: Images from the arrival of the First Fleet up until now!

FRANK MORRIS


A STOUCH TAKES PLACE IN A FIRST FLEET CARTOON.

INKED: AUSTRALIAN CARTOONS IS ON EXHIBITION AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY, CANBERRA. TO CLOSE ON JULY 21, 2019.

Cartoons, it’s said, capture the moments. This is history truly in a memorable way.  The declaration of war, the dismissal of a prime minister, or a crash in the economy.

All of these can be frozen in time in several brush strokes.

As managing editor of a magazine, I attempted to join that elite bunch of people that have contributed over 14,000 cartoons for public consumption.

It all started when Prime Minister Whitlam was sacked from office by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr. The Prime Minister had even recommended him for the job as G-G.

I was at work when the news broke. I immediately told the editor to drop the cover and prepare to receive a replacement early in the morning.

The magazine was ready to go to press, when a telephone from the ‘boss’ simply said “don’t print that cover”.

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AUSSIE CARTOON …
A SMART LADY DROPPED INTO A MOVIE HOUSE WHILE THE NEWSREEL WAS PLAYING. THEN SUDDENLY SHE SAID TO THE GENTLEMAN NEXT TO HER, “THERE’S JOHN! AT THE RACES! AND HE SAID HE WAS BUSY IN THE CITY.” YEAR 1923 (CIRCA).
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The intended cover portrayed Whitlam as a statue, in a room with other statues of prime ministers, with Kerr racing towards Whitlam holding an evil-looking sword that was about looped his head off.

It was a scintillating cover. All of the office agreed. The editorial remained as well comment from the 12 main morning newspapers.

On show, are over 14,000 cartoons from before the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 until now.

It showcases the work of some of Australia’s most famous cartoonists – Will Dyson, David Low, Phil May, Judy Horacek, Bruce Petty, Alan Moir, Cathy Wilcox and others.

For me: I wanted to purloin the artwork and have it framed. But it wasn’t to be found.

Below: The Australian Stock Exchange Journal, November 1975, missed out its cover of the century.


VALE: The “one and only” Bill Collins dies at home but his great knowledge of the movies lives on!

FRANK MORRIS

“MR MOVIES”, BILL COLLINS, WAS APPLAUDED FOR HIS INDEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOVIE SCENE.  HE GOES OVERBOARD ON THE FOUNTAINHEAD AS IT MANAGES TO FIND ITS WAY INTO COLLINS’ “ALL TIME” GREAT MOVIES.

Bill Collins, “Mr Movies”, died at home on Friday, June 21, aged 84. Collins favourite saying during his tenure of his much-loved Golden Years of Hollywood for Channel Seven (1966 – 1975) was to “sit and relax.”

He worked as a movie commentator for Channel Nine, 1975-1979; and Channel Ten from 1980-1993. Collins moved to Foxtel in October 1995.

He was a film critic with a vast knowledge of his subject.

A profile on Collins’ “undiscriminating admiration” of Hollywood didn’t pass without notice. A fellow commentator, David Stratton, considered him “a national treasure.”

He wrote hundreds of magazine columns and articles on the movie scene around the world.

Collins went berserk every time he had the honour to present The Fountainhead on television. Here is the full article which was published in 2011 or thereabouts:

Professional movie buff Bill Collins tends to go overboard every time he presents The Fountainhead on his Golden Years of Hollywood.

He never fails to wax lyrical about the story, the script and the stars – Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal –- in his usual profound fashion.

Although the film, which is an uneven adaptation of Ayd Rand’s novel (she did it herself) of the name, was released in 1949. The film is somewhat ‘campy’ these days but it still manages to find its way into Collins’ ten “all-time” great movies.

But that’s another story.

However, Mr Collins will be pleased to learn last that at last negotiations are under way in Hollywood to produce a television mini-series based on Rand’s block-buster novel Atlas Shrugged.

(It was eventually made into a 3-part film and released on September, 2011.)

Rand was one-quarter into the script when she died in March, 1982.

In the course of her 77 years, Ayn (pronounced Ein) Rand was acclaimed as “the most creative thinker alive”.  Although her elephantine novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were deprecated by most critics, they sold millions of copies.

The capstone of Rand’s literary career was Atlas Shrugged published in 1957. It’s a “apocalyptic fantasy”, which takes place in America a generation or two hence.

“Combining elements of Buck Rogers, Mickey Spillane and the Rover Boy, it pre-visions the horrors awaiting humanity unless it mends its ways,” was how John Kobler described Altas Shrugged in a 1960s profile of Rand.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
THE FIRST RADIO MAGAZINE IN AUSTRALIA WAS IN 1923. WHAT WAS IT CALLED?
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He moved to Foxtel in 2013 and, at same time, marked his own 50 years in television. “It was pleasure to work with our longest serving commentator on air from our launch date,” said a Foxtel spokesperson.

“Those who worked alongside of him learnt so much from his rich catalogue of movie history.”

Collins top ten are: Gone With the Wind, 1939; The Band Wagon, 1953; The Wizard of Oz, 1939; Vertigo, 1958; All About Eve, 1950; The Voice of the Turtle, 1947; The Razor’s Edge, 1946; The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1945; Brief Encounter, 1945; Waterloo Bridge, 1940.

SOURCE: From Grand Years online in 2011.

Below: “Mr Movies” gets a plug!


WATZLING MATILDA: Final. A story of a film that was never made!

BY SPECIAL CORRESSPONDENT

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

LIZ BATHES IN THE GROWING ATTACTION WITH JOCK’S BURNS.

Within this big canvas, is the growing attraction between Jock and McLagan’s daughter Liz. She is a woman ahead of her time. She see Jock’s unique talents and care were something to be regarded.

The chemistry between them was often stormy and is played out against the historic event which was about to be unfurled.

Jock and his travels would bring increased mateship with the great Dave Grant. Grant was a top-gun shearer and past hero of the union movement.

This is to be Dave’s last season as a shearer. He had promised his wife, Mary, to make the first payment on their own land.

Though, within the shearer’s camp, Dave’s is the voice of reason when it comes to violence. He is a counter-weight to the heavily armed radicals who want nothing less than revolution.

While trying to dissuade a certain group of scabs into coming over, Dave is shot down by hired gunmen and dies in Jock’s arms.

Jock realises at that moment that he must tread a path in Dave’s footsteps and begins organising to find a solution to this over-bearing conflict.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
SHE WAS CROWNED THE FIRST MISS AUSTRALIA IN 1926. ALTHOUGH SHE WAS 19, SHE WAS A RANK OUTSIDER. WHAT WAS HER NAME?
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His meeting with Banjo Paterson restores his distant dreams of being something else other than a shearer.

Against big scenes of burning river boats, woolshed fires and attacks in trains loaded with scabs and other armed hangers-on, the night certainly turns into a crazy emotional coaster ride.

Strong as the love affair is, Waltzing Matilda is not light on humour and the mateship which sustained men in a hard country like Australia.

The shearers, who were born independent and stubborn people, were democrats to the final core, with an instinctive feel for what constituted a “fair go”.

Jock and the leaders forge an agreement with the rich and powerful which will change society forever.

LATER: These ideals were carried over into Federation in 1901. Which means, simply, the establishment and formation of the first Labor Government in the world. They were passed into law, and many innovations towards a fairer, more just society, were achieved.

SOUCED: The contents have been adapted from the Waltzing Matilda Film Presentation Booklet produced in 2001.

Below: Shearers versus the police.

Next: More language you don’t often see.


GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …

THE FIRST BOOK TO USE THE WORD ‘AUSTRALIA’ WAS IN THE TEXT OF ZOOLOGY OF NEW HOLLAND.

WHAT DATE WAS IT PUBLISHED?

THE ANSWERS: FELIX, WIRELESS WEEKLY, BERYL MILLS, 1794.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 28 June 19

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