Walk Into Paradise

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Walk Into Paradise
Walk Into Hell.jpg
US film poster
Directed by Lee Robinson
Marcello Pagliero
Produced by Marcello Pagliero
Chips Rafferty
Lee Robinson
Written by Lee Robinson
Chips Rafferty
Rex Rienits
Starring Chips Rafferty
Françoise Christophe
Music by Georges Auric
Cinematography Carl Kayser
Edited by Alex Ezard
Southern International Productions (Australia)
Discifilm (France)
Distributed by MGM (Aus)
Release dates
  • 28 July 1956 (1956-07-28) (France)
  • 24 October 1956 (1956-10-24) (Australia)
Running time
93 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget ₤65,000[1]
Box office ₤90,000 (England)[2]
1,333,157 admissions (France)[3]

Walk Into Paradise (also known as Walk Into Hell) is a 1956 French-Australian international co-production adventure film directed by Lee Robinson and Marcello Pagliero shot on location in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.


In New Guinea, an expedition led by Australian District Officer Steve McAllister heads up the Sepik River to a valley where the adventurer Sharkeye Kelly has discovered oil. The party includes United Nations doctor Louis Dumarcet and crocodile hunter Jeff Clayton.

Louise takes blood samples from small children and is attacked by a witchdoctor. The expedition risks being massacred but the children recover in time.



The film was originally planned as an entirely Australian film by Southern International Productions. Pre production began in 1954.[4][5][6]

Richard Boone and Chips Rafferty became friends making Kangaroo together. In 1954 Boone announced he would act in the film, then called The Head Hunters.[7] It was delayed reportedly due to poor weather.[8]

French producer Paul-Edmond Decharme proposed Rafferty and Robinson go into business with the French company Discifilm. The script was rewritten to accommodate two French stars. Robinson later claimed that 60% of the money invested in the film came from housewives.[9][10]

Shooting began in New Guinea in June 1955 and took place over twelve weeks.[11] Every scene was shot twice – once in French, once in English: Pagliero would direct the French version, Robinson would do the English.[2][12] Despite the difficulties of shooting on location, the film was infused only three days behind schedule.

The film was edited in Paris.[1]


The film was released in France as L’Odyssée du Capitaine Steve. A novelisation of the script by Gavin Casey was published in 1956.

Director Lee Robinson was nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival,[13] but was beaten by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle for Le Monde du silence.

American producer Joseph E. Levine purchased the film for distribution and added more jungle footage. When the film did poor business he retitled it Walk into Hell that increased its earnings dramatically.[14][15] Robinson claimed at one stage the movie was one of the 100 top grossers in the US.[2]


  1. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 222.
  2. ^ a b c "Lee Robinson interview with Albert Moran, Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture vol. 1 no 1 (1987)". murdoch.edu.au. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  3. ^ French box office figures for 1956 at Box Office Story
  4. ^ "'Chips' scores in N.G.". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 11 May 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Film Location Chosen On Sepik River.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 11 May 1954. p. 9. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "SEPIK RIVER FILM TO BE MADE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954). Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 11 May 1954. p. 13. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Dick Boone Visits New Guinea for Movie on Head Hunters Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 31 Dec 1954: 10.
  8. ^ George Sanders Joins All-Star Group; 'Consul at Sunset' Optioned Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 05 May 1955: B17.
  9. ^ "New hope for stars of the future." The Australian Women's Weekly 9 May 1956: 23 accessed 16 December 2011
  10. ^ "French movie stars for New Guinea wilds.". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 29 June 1955. p. 13. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "SEPIK RIVER FILM TO BE MADE.". The Mercury. Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 11 May 1954. p. 13. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Worth Reporting.". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 25 May 1955. p. 30. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Walk Into Paradise". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  14. ^ Scheuer, P. K. (1959, Jul 27). Meet joe levine, super(sales)man! Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/167430798
  15. ^ Robertson, Nan (1 August 1987). "Joseph E. Levine: a towering figure in movie making is dead". New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 

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