Damien Peter Parer was an Australian war photographer. He became famous for his war photography of the Second World War, was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire at Peleliu, Palau, he was cinematographer for Australia's first Oscar-winning film, Kokoda Front Line!, an edition of the weekly newsreel, Cinesound Review, produced by Ken G. Hall. Damien Parer was born at Malvern in Melbourne, the eighth child of John Arthur Parer, a Spanish-Catalan born hotel manager on King Island and his wife Teresa. In 1923, he and his brother Adrian were sent as boarders to St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst and St Kevin's College, Melbourne, he joined the school's camera club, decided that he wanted to be a photographer, rather than a priest. However, finding a job as a photographer in depression-era Australia proved difficult, so he resumed his education at St Kevin's in East Melbourne. While at this school he won a prize in a photographic competition run by the Melbourne newspaper, The Argus, used the money to buy a Graflex camera used by professional photographers.
Parer obtained an apprenticeship with Arthur Dickinson. He said that he learned most about photography from Dickinson and Max Dupain, he finished his apprenticeship in 1933 and, sometime obtained work with the director Charles Chauvel on the film Heritage, where he met and became friends with another up-and-coming filmmaker of the time, John Heyer. In September 1935 Damien was offered and accepted via telegram the Assistant Cameraman position on Charles Chauvel's movie Rangle River. At the conclusion of that film, with the help of Chauvel, he obtained work in Sydney, so moved there in 1935. By World War II, Parer was experienced at photography and motion pictures, was appointed as official movie photographer to the Australian Imperial Force His first war footage was taken on HMAS Sydney after it had sunk the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni. Soon after, he was aboard HMS Ladybird, his first experience at close quarters was during a troop advance at Derna. Parer filmed in Greece and in Syria, covering the action from aircraft, the deck of a ship and on the ground with the infantry.
After Syria he travelled to Tobruk in August 1941 before covering the fighting in the Western Desert. By mid-1942 Parer was in New Guinea ready to cover the fighting against the Japanese. Together with war correspondent Osmar White, he undertook an arduous journey by schooner, launch and on foot from Port Moresby to Wau via Yule Island and Kudjiru, in order to document the efforts of the meagre forces fighting on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. During this phase of the war, he filmed some of his most famous sequences, some at Salamaua and, most notably, those used in Kokoda Front Line!. This documentary won Ken G. Hall, an Academy Award for documentary film-making. Damien Parer shot footage during the Battle of Guam that won him a posthumous Headliner Award from the American Journalists' Association. Parer was killed on 17 September 1944 by Japanese gunfire while filming a United States Marine advance in Palau on the island of Peleliu. Damien Parer was buried in a shallow grave on Peleliu but exhumed and moved to Makassar War Cemetery, South Sulawesi, Indonesia after the war in 1946.
He was moved to his current grave location in Ambon War Cemetery,Pandan Kasturi, Kota Ambon, Indonesia when all the graves in Makassar were relocated there in 1961. He married Elizabeth Marie Cotter on 23 March 1944, his son was born in 1945 after his father had died. Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer was a 1988 telemovie for Network 10 directed by John Duigan with Nicholas Eadie as Parer. A second television film about Parer called Parer's War, starring Matthew Le Nevez, premiered on 27 April 2014 on the ABC. Damien Parer is credited for the following films: Life at Sea Camp Life Anzac Day, Gaza, 1940 The Fall of Bardia, Naval Action The Action Against Tobruk with Frank Hurley Tobruk—The Day by Day Story with Frank Hurley The Evacuation of Greece The Return of the Seventh Division The Blitz on Port Moresby The Strangest Supply Route of the War Moresby Under the Blitz Kokoda Front Line! The Road to Kokoda Men of Timor RAAF Coverage, Moresby The Bismarck Convoy Smashed Assault on Salamaua Air Transport His outstanding films with Paramount News from the end of August 1943: The Landing at Tarawa The Landing in the Admiralties The Invasion of Hollandia I Saw it Happen the invasion of Guam McDonald, Neil War Cameraman: The Story of Damien Parer, Port Melbourne, Lothian McDonald, Neil "Parer, Damien" in Australian Dictionary of Biography Who's Who in Australian Military History: Damien Peter Parer, Australian War Memorial More information from AWM Damien Parer on IMDb Damien Parer at the Australian War Memorial Nine MSN on Damien Parer Photographic reels at the National Library of Australia National Museum Australia has one of the Eyemo cameras used by Parer filming Kokoda Front Line! in its collection
The Battle of Midway (film)
The Battle of Midway is a 1942 American documentary film short directed by John Ford. It is a montage of color footage of the Battle of Midway with voice overs of various narrators, including Johnny Governali, Donald Crisp, Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell; the film begins with its strategic importance. About five minutes into the film the format changes somewhat, with more leisurely pictures of the G. I.s at work on the island, a female voice over. The female voice over takes the personality of a middle aged woman from Springfield, a mother-type figure pointing out how she recognizes a boy from her home town; the boy is Army Air Force pilot William E. "Junior" Kinney. Stock footage of the Kinney family back home is introduced. Abruptly the narrative turns to the battle itself with five minutes dedicated to the defense of the island, the naval battle, the aftermath. At the end the various known Japanese losses are shown and brushed over with red paint; when the United States Navy sent director John Ford to Midway Island in 1942, he believed that the military wanted him to make a documentary on life at a small, isolated military base, filmed casual footage of the sailors and marines there working and having fun.
Two days before the battle, he learned that the Japanese planned to attack the base and that it was preparing to defend itself. Ford's handheld, 16mm footage of the battle was captured impromptu, he had been in transit on the island, roused from his bunk by the sounds of the battle, started filming. Ford was wounded by enemy fire while filming the battle. Acclaimed as a hero when he returned home because of the footage and the minor wound, Ford decades incorrectly claimed to Peter Bogdanovich that he was the only cameraman. Ford was worried. After returning to Los Angeles, he gave the footage to Robert Parrish, who had worked with him on How Green Was My Valley, to edit in secret. Ford spliced in footage of James Roosevelt, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's son and a Marine Corps officer. Parrish wrote an in-depth account of the making of The Battle of Midway in his autobiography, Growing Up in Hollywood; the film runs for 18 minutes, was distributed by 20th Century Fox, was one of four winners of the inaugural, 1942 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Seeing men he had met and filmed die horrified Ford, who said, "I am a coward" compared to those who fought. He had spent time with Torpedo Squadron 8, 29 of 30 men of the unit died or were missing after the battle. Ford assembled the footage he had taken of the squadron into an eight-minute film, adding titles praising the squadron for having "written the most brilliant pages in the glowing history of our Naval Air Forces" and identifying each man as he appeared, he printed the result, Torpedo Squadron 8, to 8mm film suitable for home projectors and sent copies to the men's families. The Academy Film Archive preserved "The Battle of Midway" in 2006; the film is part of the Academy War Film Collection, one of the largest collections of World War II era short films held outside government archives. List of American films of 1942 List of Allied Propaganda Films of World War 2 Midway The short film The Battle of Midway is available for free download at the Internet Archive The Battle of Midway on IMDb Reel America: The Battle of Midway and John Ford on C-SPAN
Come Up Smiling
Come Up Smiling is a 1939 Australian comedy starring popular US stage comedian Will Mahoney and his wife Evie Hayes. It was the only feature from Cinesound Productions not directed by Ken G. Hall; the film was known as Ants in His Pants. Barney O'Hara is a performer in a touring carnival, he runs a sideshow act with his daughter, ex-Shakespearean actor, Horace Worthington Howard, struggling to make money. One of the main attractions is Pat's voice. One day Pat is invited to sing at a party held by Colonel Cameron and his daughter Eve, but her voice fails her. A specialist tells Barney. To raise the money, Barney agrees to fight a boxer known as'The Killer', he is helped in his training by dancer Kitty Katkin. On the day of the fight, ants are slipped into Barney's shorts, he wins the money to enable Pat to have her operation. The film was developed as a star vehicle for popular comedian Will Mahoney, an American vaudevillian who toured Australia in 1938. Ken G. Hall hired Mahoney's regular co-stars, his wife Evie Hayes and manager, Bob Geraghty.
Hall hoped that Mahoney's appeal would help the film outside Australia: This is the most important contract, signed at Cinesound as Mahoney is the highest paid star we have signed up. In fact, I think he's the highest paid stage artist to have toured Australia, it is only the improved conditions of the Australian film industry, due to recent legislation, that has made it possible for us to enlarge our production budget. If any artist can carry an Australian film to overseas markets, it's Will Mahoney. Mahoney said, "I think I'll be a big success in this film, but don't get me wrong. It's only because I'm playing myself and I feel I know me pretty well."It was the only film from Cinesound Productions not directed by Hall. The writer-director, William Freshman, was born in Australia but had been working in the British film industry. Freshman was hired along with his wife, scriptwriter Lydia Hayward, to give Hall time to prepare for other projects. "We are now planning bigger things, as we are well able to do, by reason of the additional time at my disposal", said Hall at the time.
"Opportunity will be taken to find big subjects from which to make big pictures — like Robbery Under Arms, which I expect to direct Overland Telegraph, Eureka Stockade, others of that calibre, though not all historic." The Freshmans arrived in Australia in April 1939 and the script was ready by June. Hall wrote that Freshman "seemed to lack the vital comedy sense we needed, but he was a good constructor in a general way of screenplay writing; the boxing ring sequence was, I think, one of the funniest things we did at Cinesound."The romantic leads were played by Cinesound regular Shirley Ann Richards and John Fleeting. Fleeting had appeared in Gone to the Dogs. Singing star Jean Hatton appeared in her second movie; the film was the first starring future Australian filmstar Chips Rafferty. The movie was shot at Cinesound's Bondi studios, with carnival scenes filmed at the Sydney Showground. An estimated 16,000 extras were used. During filming, Jean Hatton was managed to recover. Adolph Zukor of Paramount visited the set during filming.
He had seen Dad and Dave Come to Town on the boat out to Australia and was so impressed by its quality that he asked to visit Cinesound. Zukor watched Hall direct a sequence of Come Up Smiling and told reporters, "I watched that director at work and he seems to be conversant with film technique. I've been pleasantly surprised with. I didn't expect to find anything like the facilities. I would say that Clnesound is just as good as anything we have to Hollywood." The film was not an immediate success at the box office so Hall had it re-cut and re-released as Ants in His Pants, adding a new song to explain the title. The movie performed much better on re-release. Reviews were mediocre. Come Up Smiling on IMDb Come Up Smiling at Oz Movies Come Up Smiling at AustLit
Gone to the Dogs (1939 film)
Gone to the Dogs is a 1939 musical comedy vehicle starring George Wallace. It was the second of two films he made for director Ken G. Hall, the first being Let. George is a disaster-prone zoo attendant who accidentally discovers a substance that accelerates motion, enabling his greyhound to run faster; this attracts the interest of a gang of criminals, who kidnap George's dog and plan to substitute their own in an important dog race. George and his friends defeat the crooks and their dog wins the race. George Wallace signed with Cinesound in February 1937. Stuart F. Doyle announced that Gone to the Dogs would be his first movie for the company but he ended up making Let George Do It first; as with all Cinesound comedies in the late 30s, uncredited work on the script was performed by Hall, Jim Bancks and Bill Maloney. Frank Coffey was Cinesound's in house story editor. Filming was completed by May. Wallace's female co-star was Lois Green, an actor with extensive stage experience with J. C. Williamson Ltd, who left Australia after filming to go work in London.
The romantic male lead was an unknown amateur actor called John Fleeting, who appeared for Hall in Come Up Smiling. The cast included John Dobbie, Wallace's long-time stooge on stage, Howard Craven, a former publicity writer for MGM in Sydney who had gone into acting. Hughie the dog, who played George's greyhound, was selected over 100 other applicants. Extras were drawn from Cinesound's Talent School. A set built for the film was promoted at the time as being the largest built for an Australian movie at over 12,000 square feet; some location shooting took place at Taronga Zoo. While on location in Campbelltown, a scene was filmed. A farmer called the police. A highlight of the film involved a "greyhound ballet"; this involved training greyhounds for two weeks so they would be used to the lights and working with ballet dancers. The opening sequence involves Wallace having an encounter with gorillas. Cinesound's special effects man J Kenyon recalled an incident with creating the costumes: The costumes were made first of all by the furrier, but they fitted so the actors could hardly move in them, so I got to work.
I had to unpick all the stitches and redesign the costumes, allowing for more accommodation. None could cope with being enclosed in such a'hot house,' and in the end we had to get a professional wrestler to play the part of both animals, he lost three stone. The wrestler was Fred Atkins. Grant Taylor auditioned for the part of the gorilla, he was unsuccessful but this led to him being cast in Dad Rudd, MP. The theme song was composed by a Viennese composer living in Henry Krips. Hall wrote that the two films he made with Wallace "were substantial hits". Reviews were positive. Gone to the Dogs in the Internet Movie Database Gone to the Dogs at Australian Screen Online Gone to the Dogs at Oz Movies Gone to the Dogs at Peter Malone
Dad Rudd, M.P.
Dad Rudd, M. P. is a 1940 comedy, the last of four films made by Ken G. Hall starring Bert Bailey as Dad Rudd, it was the last feature film directed by Hall prior to the war and the last made by Cinesound Productions, Bert Bailey and Frank Harvey. Dad Rudd wants the size of a local dam increased for the benefit of local farmers but faces opposition from a wealthy grazier, Henry Webster; when the local Member of Parliament dies, Webster runs for his seat, Rudd decides to oppose him. Webster and his team use dirty tricks to defeat Rudd, so he calls in his old friend from the city, Entwistle to help. Matters are complicated by the fact. On polling day, a fierce storm causes the dam to collapse. A major flood traps workers on the wrong side of the dam and the Rudds and Jim Webster team up to save the day. Dad Rudd is elected to parliament; the last six films made by Cinesound Productions were all comedies as producer Ken G. Hall sought to ensure guaranteed box office successes, he elected to make another Dad and Dave film instead of two other long-planned projects, an adaptation of Robbery Under Arms and a story about the Overland Telegraph.
Hall said in 1939 that: Though we were entertaining the idea of other types of stories, the amazing enthusiasm for Dad and Dave Come to Town makes another Bailey picture the wisest commercial choice. We feel that, by placing'Dad' in politics, we will inject any amount of comedy material, typical of Bailey at his best. William Freshman was reported as having worked on the script and is credited along with Frank Harvey on the script submitted for copyright registration with the National Archives of Australia; however he does not have screen credit. The movie was more serious than others in the series, being a drama with comic interludes. Bert Bailey commented during filming that: In one of the old'Selection' books, Dad did stand for Parliament. But, for comedy purposes. In Dad Rudd, M. P. when Dad does come down and speak in Parliament, there is not one tinge of comedy. He is an earnest old chap, speakong in a plain, common-sense way on water conservation, he is saying what he believes is the right thing to be done for the farmer, for the country.
For water is a national asset. In this scene, Dad does allude to the war, he says that the spirit which animated the pioneers who crossed the plains and fought the land is the same spirit behind the adventurous boys who go abroad to fight for Australia." Ken Hall himself edited out this speech when the film screened on ABC TV in 1970. "In the light of the world as we know it in the seventies, it all sounded so follow, so phony, so naive", he wrote. But the speech remains in most copies of the film available today; the romantic leads were played by Yvonne East and Grant Taylor, both graduates of the Cinesound Talent School making their first film. Chips Rafferty makes an early screen appearance as a fireman in the Keystone Kops-style opening sequence; the cast had more continuity than usual for a Cinesound Rudd film, with Alec Kellaway, Connie Martyn, Ossie Wenban, Valerie Scanlan and Marshall Crosby all reprising their roles from Dad and Dave Come to Town. American actor Barbara Weeks, visiting Australia at the time of shooting with her husband, played a small role at the behest of Ken G. Hall.
During pre production, Cinesound was visited by Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures touring Australia. He had seen Dad and Dave Come to Town on the boat trip from the US, been so impressed with the film's quality he wanted to visit the studio. Shooting took place in February and March 1940, in the Cinesound Studio and on location at Woronora Dam and Camden. Cinesound hired space on the lot of the closed-down Pagewood studios for building a scale reproduction of the dam for the climax; these were supervised by J Alan Kenyon. The fake dam held 12,000 gallons of water. According to Hall: It was best-made of the Bert Bailey films. In the process of the gradual evolution of the people and the storylines we had set down for these productions, the rawness had gone off the characters. There was much less burlesque of the types; the story was more believable. The movie was financed with an guaranteed overdraft of £15,000 from the New South Wales government. Dad Rudd, M. P. was a hit at the box office, achieving a successful release in Britain.
However it was felt this result was below expectations. Hall thought this was due in part to the fact that it was released "when Britain was standing alone under the blitz and all of Europe was aflame, it was a disastrous time for the entertainment industry. The theatres in Australia reached their lowest ebb since the depths of the Depression; some suburban houses went dark and many city houses might just as well have been closed for all the good they were doing."The drain on material caused by World War II saw Cinesound abandon feature production in June 1940 for the duration of the war. They never made another feature film. Dad Rudd, M. P. in the Internet Movie Database Dad Rudd, M. P. at Australian Screen Online Dad Rudd, M. P. at Oz Movies Complete copy of shooting script at National Archives of Australia Clip from the film featuring Entwistle at YouTube Dad Rudd's speech to parliament at Australian Screen Online Dad Rudd, MP and the making of a national audience by Julieanne Lamond
On Our Selection (1932 film)
On Our Selection is a 1932 comedy based on the Dad and Dave stories by Steele Rudd. These had been turned into a popular play by Bert Bailey and Edmund Duggan in 1912, which formed the basis for the screenplay. Bailey repeats his stage role as Dad Rudd, he wrote the script with director Ken G. Hall; the movie was one of the most popular Australian films of all time. It was known in the UK as Down on the Farm; the movie opens with the title card "bushland symphony", followed by sounds and vision of the Australian bush. The subsequent action involves a series of various subplots centered around a "selection" in South West Queensland owned by Dad Rudd: he owes some money to his rich neighbour, old Carey, determined to break Dad financially; the main story concerns a murder mystery. Jim Carey attempts to blackmail Kate into being with him by lying about what she did in the city, Sandy knocks him out. Carey turns up dead and Sandy is suspected of the murder; the Rudds hold a dance and a police officer turns up to arrest Sandy when Cranky Jack confesses he killed Carey because the dead man stole his wife.
The film ends with Dad and Mum watching the sun come up. Bert Bailey as Dad Rudd Fred MacDonald as Dave Rudd Alfreda Bevan as Mum Rudd John McGowan as Maloney Molly Raynor as Kate Rudd Dick Fair as Sandy Graham John Warwick as Jim Carey Billy Driscoll as Uncle Lilias Adeson as Lily White Len Budrick as Old Carey Bobbie Beaumont as Sarah Rudd Ossie Wenban as Joe Rudd Fred Kerry as Cranky Jack Dorothy Dunkey as Mrs White Fred Browne as Billy Bearup Arthur Dodds as parson The film was the first full-length feature from Cinesound Productions. Ken G. Hall was reluctant to make the film as he thought it was old fashioned but the play had been enormously popular and Stuart Doyle thought an adaptation would be well received. Most of the cast had appeared in the stage version. Although Bert Bailey was clean shaven and wore a fake beard for his stage performances, Hall insisted he grow a real beard for the film version. Bailey received 60 % of the profits. Shooting took place in mid 1931 in a makeshift studio at an ice skating rink in Bondi Junction, with location filming in Castlereagh, Penrith.
Crucial to the movie's success was a sound recording system invented by Tasmanian engineer Arthur Smith, which enabled the film to be made without having to hire sound equipment from Hollywood. Hall said Smith's contribution was so important "there would have been no Cinesound without him"; the cinematographer, Walter Sully, was a newsreel cameraman for Cinesound. It was the only feature he made for that company as he soon left to go work for their competitor, Fox Movietone. On Our Selection was an enormous success at the box office, being among the top four most popular films in Australian cinemas in 1932 had earned earning ₤46,000 in Australia and New Zealand by the end of 1933. By the end of 1934 the film had made an estimated profit of £23,200 and Bailey had earned an estimate £14,000; this was a record for Australian films. On Our Selection was continually revived over the next two decades and by 1953 had earned an estimated £60,000; the profits were split 50-50 between Cinesound Productions and the theatrical partnership of Bert Bailey and James Grant.
The movie was bought for release in the UK by Universal for £1,000 and was retitled Down on the Farm on the grounds that the British would not know what a "selection" was. Critical response was poor, the Era claiming that "Australia's idea of what constitutes good comedy an obvious caricature of a typical bush homestead, is only to please an unsophisticated audience over here." It achieved 500 bookings throughout the country. The movie led to three sequels, starting with Grandad Rudd. All the sequels featured Bert Bailey as Dad and Fred MacDonald as Dave, but a variety of actors would play Mum and their other children. Grandad Rudd Dad and Dave Come to Town Dad Rudd, MP On Our Selection on IMDb On Our Selection at Australian Screen Online On Our Selection at Oz Movies Review of film at Variety On Our Selection by Steele Rudd at Project Gutenberg