The Law of Contact

Kangaroo, The Australian Story (May 16, 1952)

Finlay Currie, Maureen O'Hara, Peter Lawford, Richard Boone
 

Released on May 16, 1952: (running time 1 hour and 24 minutes) Two criminals on the loose befriend an old drunk who has a beautiful young daughter in the Australian outback.

Directed by Lewis Milestone

The Actors: Maureen O'Hara (Dell McGuire), Peter Lawford (Richard Connor), Finlay Currie (Michael McGuire), Richard Boone (John W. Gamble), Chips Rafferty (Trooper 'Len' Leonard), Letty Craydon (Kathleen, McGuire's housekeeper), Charles 'Bud' Tingwell (Matt), Eve Abdullah (woman servant), Alan Bardsley (the cook on the cattle drive), Billy Bray (sailor), Frank Catchlove (Walter the publican bar owner), Syd Chambers (Sailor), John Clark (Ferret Face), Tex Clarke (Slicker), Kelber Claux (sailor), Reg Collins (ship's officer), Clyde Combo (Aborigine stockman), Marshall Crosby (gambler), Alexander Cross (sailor), Larry Crowhurst (Cockatoo at the door. ‘Cockatoo’ is Australian slang for a watchman/guard at an illegal gambling establishment), Guy Doleman (pleader), James Doogue (sailor), John Fegan (Burke), Dennis Glenny (well dressed Cockatoo), Archie Hull (sailor), Henry Murdoch (black tracker), John O'Malley (Piper), Douglas Ramsey (Kelly-Station foreman), Frank Ransome (Burton, station foreman), George Simpson-Lyttle (Bluey), Stan Tolhurst (policeman), Joe Tomal (sailor), Ossie Wenban (sailor), Ron Whelan (Fenner the gambler), Reg Wykeham (flop house clerk)

 

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A Duo of Con-Man Killers, Doubling Down on Disaster and Drought

It isn’t often that stars of a motion picture are arrested by the local police and tossed in jail, but that happened to Peter Lawford and Richard Boone while working on this Australian adventure that begins in Sydney. The setting is a station (ranch) in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, and because of severe draught, the cattle are dying, and the fertile land is turning into a desert.

Unfortunately, there was so much rain during filming that the crew had more than normal down time waiting for the hot summer sun and dry winds. What are our stars to do during the time that they waited for sunshine and hot sun?

One night during the storms, a house of ill repute was raided by the local police. Everyone inside was arrested and put in jail, including Peter Lawford and Richard Boone. The movie studio managed to keep their arrest out of the news, and it wasn’t until many years later that we discovered this bit of trivia when Maureen O’Hara wrote about it in a book.

In this adventure Peter Lawford and Richard Boone are two Brits living in Australia who are down on their luck. This leads to that, and the two decide to rob the owner of a gambling house, but the robbery goes South, or, since we are in Australia, should I say that the robbery went North? In any case, Richard Boone’s character kills the gambler during the robbery.

Now they must get out of Sydney quickly and find a place to lay low as they flee the police. Fortunately, Peter Lawford’s character has met an old drunk who turns out to be the owner of a huge station (ranch) in the outback who is looking for his long, lost son. They will do whatever it takes to stick with the rancher and his daughter in the dusty outback, far away from the police. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Richard Boone, Peter Lawford
Richard Boone, Peter Lawford
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Charles Tingwell
Charles Tingwell
Charles Tingwell, Letty Craydon
Charles Tingwell, Letty Craydon
Chips Rafferty
Chips Rafferty
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara, Richard Boone
Maureen O'Hara, Richard Boone
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Peter Lawford
Peter Lawford
Peter Lawford, Maureen O'Hara, Richard Boone
Peter Lawford, Maureen O'Hara, Richard Boone
Peter Lawford
Peter Lawford
Reg Wykeham
Reg Wykeham
Ron Whelan
Ron Whelan
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone, Peter Lawford
Richard Boone, Peter Lawford
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Ron Shand, Finlay Currie
Ron Shand, Finlay Currie