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Unravelling the history of an Australian film pioneer
Mercury Cinema presents Guns & Guitars: J.P. McGowan, Hollywood's First Australian, as part of South Australia's History Festival. This premiere screening and lecture of the 1936 classic, starring Adelaide-born J.P. McGowan (John Paterson McGowan) aims to tell the story of J.P's career as an Australian film-maker. Making his way to Hollywood, McGowan set the standard for many to follow suit, including the likes of Errol Flynn, Chips Rafferty, Peter Finch (and, of late, the entire cast of Home and Away).
Photo Courtesy of Nndb.com
Soon after, McGowan fought in the Boer War and came home via America, in which he then directed over 200 films, giving John Wayne one of his first roles in the 12-episode rail vs airplane serial The Hurricane Express for the independent Mascot Pictures. This event will comprise a lecture with David Donaldson (the first Director of the Sydney Film Festival), speaking to guests about McGowan's journey as an iconic actor and director.
Photo Courtesy of Mercury Cinema Website
Guns and Guitars (16mm, 1938, 57mins, PG), is an American Western film directed by Joseph Kane, starring McGowan, who plays the bad guy to protagonist Gene Autry. After being framed for murdering the sheriff, Autry strives to prove his innocence, in which he succeeds and clears his name. He then gets appointed sheriff, enabling him to bring the outlaws to justice by hunting down the original killer. Additionally, enjoy a screening of the steam rail serial episode directed by McGowanThe Wild Engine (1916).
Photo Courtesy of South Australia's History Festival Facebook
South Australia's 2016 History Festival explores our rich history through diverse means, such as film, music, historical sites, tours and more. An abundant list of more than 600 events presented by over 340 organisers around the state have been arranged for the public to enjoy.You can view the full program here.