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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kangaroo (aka The Australian Story) (1952)

Set in the outback country of South Australia, two con men (Peter Lawford, Richard Boone) ingratiate their way into the graces of a rancher (Finlay Currie) in order to use his desolate ranch as a hideout from the law. What they didn’t count on was the rancher’s daughter (Maureen O’Hara) and the great drought which threatens to destroy their livelihood. The first Hollywood film to filmed entirely in Australia must have seemed quite exotic to American audiences back in 1952 what with aborigines and kangaroos gracing the Technicolor screen. As a film, despite being directed by Lewis Milestone (OF MICE AND MEN), it never rises above a solid programmer aided considerably by its unique locations. Boone, in particular, stands out as a black hearted criminal who’d kill without conscience and there’s a marvelous battle of whips between Boone and Lawford. The score (which has a terrific main title theme) is by Sol Kaplan. With Charles Tingwell.

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