F. W. Thring

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Francis William Thring (2 December 1883 - 1 July 1936), better known as F. W. Thring, was an Australian film director, producer, and exhibitor.

Career[edit]

Thring was born in Wentworth, New South Wales, the son of a labourer, William Frances Thring and Angelina Thring (nee McDonald). He worked as a conjurer in the outback and as a bootmaker in Gawler, South Australia, as well as starting Biograph Pictures in Tasmania. In 1911, he became a projectionist at Kreitmayer's Waxworks in Melbourne, Victoria. He thrived in the cinema trade and opened the Paramount Theatre in 1915 and became managing director of J.C. Williamson Films in 1918, which eventually merged to become Hoyts in 1926.

Efftee[edit]

In 1930, Thring sold his interests in Hoyts to Fox Film Corporation and went into film production, establishing Efftee Studios (based on his initials). Over the next five years, Efftee produced nine features, over 80 shorts and several stage productions, including the Australian musicals Collits' Inn and The Cedar Tree. Notable collaborators include C. J. Dennis, George Wallace and Frank Harvey.

Thring visited Britain in 1932-33, where he sold Efftee's entire output: seven features, nine shorts and a series about the Great Barrier Reef made with Noel Monkman.[1]

In 1932 Thring became the leader of a campaign for a quota for Australian films. In 1934, he suspended Efftee's operations, announcing that resumption would depend upon the introduction of an effective quota system in Victoria.

After New South Wales passed its Cinematograph Films (Australian Quota) Act in September 1935, Thring resumed production in February 1936, in Sydney, becoming chairman of directors of Mastercraft Film Corporation Ltd while remaining managing director of Efftee Film Productions. In March he sailed for Hollywood in search of scriptwriters and actors.[1][2][3] and returned in June but died soon after.

Olive Thring (Philip Alexius de Laszlo, 1933)

Thring died of cancer on 1 July 1936, aged 52, in East Melbourne and was buried in Burwood cemetery. He was survived by a daughter from his first marriage to Grace Wight (Viola, known as Lola; 1911–71), his second wife, Olive, née Kreitmayer whom he had married on 25 April 1921, and their then 10-year old son, the future actor Frank Thring.[1]

Lola dated the future Prime Minister Harold Holt but she ultimately rejected him only to marry his divorced father, her father's business partner. Harold Holt thus acquired a step-mother who was three years his junior.[4]

It was estimated Thring lost over ₤75,000 of his own money on his filmmaking and theatrical ventures.[5]

Selected Filmography[edit]

Unmade Films[edit]

  • adaptation of Redheap by Norman Lindsay
  • Pick and Duffers - meant to follow His Royal Highness[6]
  • adaptation of Collitt's Inn[7]
  • Ginger Murdoch from the novel by William Hatfield with George Wallace[8]
  • The Black Sheep - meant to star George Wallaca[9]
  • A Sweepin' in the Deep with George Wallace

Selected Theatre Credits[edit]

  • Clara Gibbins (August 1933) - Garrick Theatre, Melbourne
  • Rope (1933)
  • Collits' Inn (1933)
  • The Streets of London (1933)
  • Children in Uniform (1933–34) - Garrick Theatre, Melbourne with Coral Browne
  • Mother of Pearl (1934)
  • The Beloved Vagabond (1934)
  • Jolly Roger (1934)
  • The Cedar Tree (1934)
  • Her Past (September 1934)
  • Peter Pan (December 1934, December 1935)
  • Crazy Nights Revue (1935) - with George Wallace
  • S.S. Sunshine (1935)
  • The Oojah Bird (1935)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Holroyd, J. P., 'Thring, Francis William (Frank) (1882–1936)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University accessed 22 January 2012.
  2. ^ "FILMS TO BE MADE FROM AUSTRALIAN STORIES.". Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954) (Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia). 2 March 1936. p. 4. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  3. ^ AUSTRALIA THREATENS RAID ON HOLLYWOOD TALENT: Anzacs Plan Twenty Films in Next Year F. W. Thring, Producer, Here to Sign Players; Sydney-Melbourne Actor Colony Offers Nucleus; Climate Like Ours Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 10 May 1936: C1.
  4. ^ Treasury Publications. Retrieved 21 February 2014
  5. ^ Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema:The First Eighty Years, Currency Press, p125
  6. ^ "AUSTRALIAN FILMS.". The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 24 March 1932. p. 9 Edition: HOME (FINAL) EDITION. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Notes on the Screen.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 10 January 1934. p. 5. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "AUSTRALIAN FILMS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 31 January 1934. p. 8. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTIONS.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 14 July 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 

External links[edit]