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Lovers and Luggers (1937)

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clip 'A really big pearl'

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Concert pianist Daubenny Carshott (Lloyd Hughes) plays for the woman he loves, London society beauty Stella Raff (Elaine Hamill). He has already made up his mind to give up performing, but Stella unsettles him with comments about his music. They talk about pearl divers and she goads him into a foolhardy promise. She will marry him if he brings back a very large pearl that he has got with his own hands. He delays his kiss, saying he will collect it – and much more – on delivery of the pearl.

Curator’s notes

The glamour shot of the society vamp Stella shows how times were changing at Cinesound. It’s a Hollywood close-up in soft focus and low light, the kind of shot that new chief cameraman George Heath – who replaced Frank Hurley – was keen to do. The writing in this scene shows an attempt at sexual innuendo that was also new and daring – even if clumsily handled by the actors. Lloyd Hughes had been a successful actor in the silent era in Hollywood, but his career had petered out by 1935, which is why Hall was able to get him to come to Australia for 100 pounds a week (a small sum for any actor with standing). The script was adapted from a novel by Gurney Slade – with the setting changed from Broome to Thursday Island, because it was closer for Frank Hurley to get to, to film the required background shots.

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