Into the Straight 1949
Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.
Posters for ‘Into the Straight’: Scone Advocate Friday 4 June 1947 and 30 December 1949
“Scone Becomes Film Town” screamed the headline in the Scone Advocate of Friday 4 June 1948 when the Australian Company McCreadie Brothers Embassy Pictures Ltd. Moved into Scone.
W J Smith, owner of St Aubins, was known to be keen to show Australian bloodstock to the world so placed St Aubins at the disposal of McCreadie Brothers. Many scenes were shot at the property. The stud farm boasted both a homestead and a racetrack; ‘ideal’ for such a film to be called Into the Straight. Later Flemington Racetrack in Melbourne was used to host a ‘mock’ Melbourne Cup. Famous jockeys such as George Moore and Jack Purtell made brief cameo appearances.
According to Norman Smith in addition to St Aubins some scenes were shot at Yarrandi Reserve. Pat Nunn-Patrick (Gardiner) recalls a ‘contest’ which finished at ‘Currabeen’, the Nunn-Patrick property adjacent to the Yarrandi paddocks. Pat ‘doubled’ for June (played by Nonnie Pfeifer) who ‘raced’ Paul Duncan (played by Alan White). The manager of St Aubins Stud Alec Brown doubled as Equestrian Consultant. Most of the cast stayed at the Golden Fleece Hotel with some others dispersed around the town.
The producer was T O McCreadie. Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell had star billing as did Muriel Steinbeck, Nonnie Pfeifer, George Randall and Margo Lee.
Into the Straight was shown at the Civic Theatre the first week in January 1950 on three nights and a matinee. On the same program was the Embassy Movie Ball and a Scone film which included Hospital Carnival, Rodeos, Kia Ora Stud, St Aubins Stud, Polo, News and 1949 Scone Rodeo billed as a “full Scone programme.” McCreadie Brothers arranged the Movie Ball to show appreciation of the cooperation received during their time in Scone.