The Phantom Stockman
|The Phantom Stockman|
|Directed by||Lee Robinson|
|Produced by||George Heath
|Written by||Lee Robinson|
|Music by||William Lovelock|
|Editing by||Gus Lowry|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures (Australia)
Astor Corporation (US)
|Release dates||June 1953 (Australia)|
|Running time||67 minutes|
|Box office||₤23,000 (outside Australia)|
It was Lee Robinson's first feature.
A young heiress to a cattle station, Kim Marsden, becomes convinced her father was murdered. She sends for a bushman called the Sundowner and his aboriginal offsider, Dancer.
They discover that the person behind the murder is Kim's neighbor, Stapleton, who is in league with some cattle rustlers and is romantically interested in Kim. The rustlers kidnap Sundowner but he uses telepathy to get Dancer to come to his rescue. Kim is united with her true love, McLeod.
- Chips Rafferty as The Sundowner
- Janette Elphick as Kim Marsden
- Max Osbiston as McLeod
- Guy Doleman as Stapleton
- Henry Murdoch as Dancer
- Bob Darken as Roxey
- Joe Scully as the Moth
- George Neil
- Albert Namitjira as himself
Chips Rafferty and Lee Robinson decided to make the film after both had failed to raise finance for individual projects. Rafferty wanted to make a £120,000 13-part series and film, The Green Opal, about immigration problems. Robinson wanted to make a thriller, Saturday to Monday which later became The Siege of Pinchgut. Both were stymied by a government rule at the time which prohibited invent in non-essential industry over £10,000. Robinson and Rafferty decided to make a film that cost under £10,000. They were joined by cinematographer George Heath and formed Platypus Productions. Said Rafferty at the time:
We nutted it out this way. What's the good of imitating English and American pictures when we can get into places these foreign production units can't reach for sandflies and skeeters? We'll pick locations and backgrounds the world knows nothing about. We'll study them for dramatic values. But we're not buying stories. The stories will just come out of our heads and still leave enough wood to make chairs.
The film was originally known as Dewarra, then The Tribesman. Charles Tingwell was meant to play a role but was unable to fit it in his schedule and was replaced by Guy Doleman. Jeanette Elphick, 1952 model of the year, was cast in the lead.
Rafferty and Robinson managed to sell the Pakistan, India, Burma and Ceylon rights for £1,000. While filming The Desert Rats in Hollywood, Rafferty sold the American rights for $35,000, then the English rights for £7,500. The costs were recouped before the film had even been shown in Australia and Rafferty and Robinson were launched as producers. Heath left the team and tried to get up his own film called The Jackeroo but was unsuccessful.
Elphick later went to Hollywood and enjoyed a successful career under the name "Victoria Shaw".
- "FEATURES.". The Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1949 - 1953) (Sydney, NSW: National Library of Australia). 12 July 1953. p. 14. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "The Phantom Stockman". British Film Institute. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Mayer, Geoff. The Phantom Stockman: Lee Robinson, Chips Rafferty and the Film Industry that Nobody Wanted. Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, No. 142, Autumn 2005: 16-20.
- "Bouquet For Beauty.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 30 June 1952. p. 14. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "VICTORIA SHAW: "I have been true to myself".". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 11 February 1976. p. 4. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Film Production Underway.". Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs, NT : 1947 - 1954) (Alice Springs, NT: National Library of Australia). 4 July 1952. p. 1. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Farewell to Keith Price.". Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs, NT : 1947 - 1954) (Alice Springs, NT: National Library of Australia). 11 July 1952. p. 10. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Inigo Jones and the Rain.". Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs, NT : 1947 - 1954) (Alice Springs, NT: National Library of Australia). 18 July 1952. p. 1. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "DEMAND FOR LOCAL FILMS.". The Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1949 - 1953) (Sydney, NSW: National Library of Australia). 2 August 1953. p. 14. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Alan Bardsley - film and television scripts, 1952, 1959". State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- The Phantom Stockman at the Internet Movie Database
- The Phantom Stockman at the National Film and Sound Archive
- The Phantom Stockman at Australian Screen Online
- The Phantom Stockman at Oz Movies