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Northern Safari (1956)

  1. Northern Safari the outback film (that was to eventually inspire new film makers like The Leyland Brothers; Malcolm Douglas; Albert Mangles each to make similar film adventures of themselves) arrived in Sydney in 1966.

    On the last night of the listed showings I went along with an idea to meet the promoter, maybe tell him what he was doing wrong etc. As it turned out I was too ashamed to introduce myself.

    Arriving at the theatre I had to park 2km away. (Thinks to himself) "Something else must happening nearby tonight"?

    The theatre was packed, over 2000 people. All well-dressed and intelligent looking folk, hungry for wildlife in color. TV was still a B&W affair.

    Fifteen years later the film was still being shown around Australia. The distribution team was:

    KeithF Adams - He made and owned the film. Had already traveled the world showing to hundreds of thousands - of mainly family audiences.
    Barry HolmesIn South Africa, for two years years showing Northern Safari nightly, now South Australia and Victoria were his home distribution territories.
    Tom Stokes - His territory had been the UK for years. He loved the lifestyle and travel opportunity.
    Ray Grimsey - Toured Canada, now Queensland, New South Wales his territories. (Ray returned home with a flash car decorated with Northern Safari advertising). Lately he had been showing in Drive-Ins with a powerful 16mm projector and attracting hundreds of cars nightly.

    November 2008 Talking with Keith in Perth. He's now almost 82 and until last year had been driving to the Gulf Country every year. The same location where he made much of the film, then accompanied by his wife, his sister and his dog - who many said was the real star of the film.

    All four used to attend film shows in the early days. We spoke of the old days.

    The dog developed a bald patch on his head - a consequence of thousands of children patting him. He also got fat from eating too much ice cream offered by kids.

    My own research has shown, possibly because the film was being privately distributed, box office figures were never available to "the industry." Other film makers were jealous beyond belief. Perhaps because a home movie could be so popular. It went against the grain and teachings of being professional.

    To this day I've found little outside information relating to Keith's film in movie books. It should rate in the top ten grossing Australian films of all time.

  2. #1 from fathom – 15 years, 7 months ago.
  3. "Northern Safari" records an overland journey by Keith Adams, his wife Audrey, Sister Margaret and a crazy fox terrier named Tiger. They followed the old camel trails that wound across Central Australia and made the world’s most colossal, flipping home movie show about life in the Outback. What they shot with their cameras is beautiful, ugly, clean and sometimes as dirty as swarms of flies around a dead dingo. But it’s true reporting and that’s what makes their film so fascinating and well worth seeing. Real life adventures such as a 17foot crocodile that lost five teeth when it ripped a large hole in their boat at night, and how they extricated their battered old safari vehicle from a creek has you cheering for the science of invention. It’s the Stuff Pure Adventure is made of.

  4. #2 from fathom – 15 years, 7 months ago.
  5. This looks great. Will have to hunt down a copy

  6. #3 from Left_Hand_Path – 14 years, 2 months ago.
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