Up Jumped a Swagman

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Up Jumped a Swagman
Directed by Christopher Miles
Produced by Andrew Mitchell
Written by Lewis Greifer
Starring Frank Ifield
Annette Andre
Richard Wattis
Cinematography Kenneth Higgins
Edited by Jack Slade
Distributed by Warner-Pathe Distributors
Release dates
Country UK
Language English

Up Jumped a Swagman is a 1965 British musical comedy film directed by Christopher Miles and starring Frank Ifield, Annette Andre, Ronald Radd and Suzy Kendall.[1][2] DVD Release 2014 Network British Film


An aspiring Australian singer moves to London[3] in the hope of a big breakthrough. He chases after a popular model not noticing the beautiful daughter of a pub owner who loves him. He also gets involved with a gang of thieves.



The film was made when Frank Ifield was at the height of his popularity with an attempt to reproduce the success of Cliff Richard's musicals. Ifield's agent, Lesley Grade, suggested another one of his clients, Christopher Miles as director. Miles was only 25 and had never made a feature film before. He says the script was to be written by the people who did Cliff Richard's musicals. Miles:

Unfortunately the two writers of the Cliff pictures were not then on speaking terms, so the two halves of a rather soggy script arrived separately in the post, and not surprisingly made no sense at all. So Leslie, not one to be beaten, got an old writer friend from ITV, Lewis Greifer, saying "He's the man, I know you'll get on well" which we did. However thinking up a credible vehicle for Frank, amiable and charming as he was, proved to me that ultimately you cannot make a celluloid purse out of a sow's ear, even though Frank was gamely willing to send himself up. It was going to have to be a small budget, and to save money I was asked to use a new film saving invention – the dreaded 'Techniscope' process. By only using two sprocket holes for each frame (instead of the standard four) a narrow negative was created, which had a sort of wide-screen look. However in 1965 colour film stock was still rather grainy, which showed when the final picture was blown up for the large cinema screen.[4]

Miles says the leading lady fell pregnant before shooting started so he replaced her with Suzy Kendall.

The film was shot at MGM's London studios at Boreham Wood, with exteriors at Gravesend Docks St Pauls Cathedral, Hyde Park, the Albert Memorial and Elstree town.


Songs featured include:

  • "Once A Jolly Swagman"
  • "Look Don't Touch"
  • "I Remember You"
  • "I've Got A Hole In My Pocket"
  • "I'll Never Feel This Way Again"
  • "Cry Wolf"
  • "Wild Rover"
  • "Make It Soon"
  • "Botany Bay"
  • "Lovin' On My Mind"
  • "I Guess"
  • "Waltzing Matilda"


A script for a follow up Ifield movie was prepared[5] but never made.


  1. ^ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/56164
  2. ^ Brian Gibson (30 June 1965). "Annette's in top gear". The Australian Women's Weekly (National Library of Australia). p. 7. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Image caption-No title". The Canberra Times (National Library of Australia). 4 October 1965. p. 13. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Up Jumped a Swagman Directors Notes at Chris Miles website accessed 8 September 2013
  5. ^ Nan Musgrove (13 October 1965). "Frank is home with his bride". The Australian Women's Weekly (National Library of Australia). p. 7. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 

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