The Siege of Pinchgut 1959

I am very familiar with this film from remembering it being released and shown – to the reviews in Picture Show and Picturegoer Magazines

It seemed an odd title at first, but when I came to learn that Pinchgut is a tiny fortified island in Sydney Harbour, then somehow to me it had more appeal. We then knew what the film was about and where it was set

The Film had been on ‘Talking Pictures’ and having recorded it, I sat down and watched it this Saturday afternoon – and am so glad that I did.

It was a tense drama played out against this Sydney Harbour background with much of the filming done on Pinchgut island.

We see great shots in and around Sydney Harbour – shots of how it was in those days, before the famous Opera House was built.

Heather Sears was the pretty female lead with Aldo Ray in the main role

Heather Sears, Barbara Mullen and Gerry Duggan

ABOVE: Aldo Ray I remember him being around in films but he was never an actor on the radar somehow. He seems to be very well thought of as an actor – more so these days in fact.

Apparently he was someone who was not afraid to voice his opinions – something that would not always go down well – and he did tend to drink too much which would not be helpful. Nevertheless he had a long and quite successful career.

This film offered him a good role and in fairness he was well up to the job.

ABOVE – Neil McMallum

Approaching the climax of the film here with these dramatic actions shots on Pinchgut

The military storm Pinchgut ABOVE

Aldo Ray

From Pinchgut Island looking at the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Almost the end of the siege ABOVE

A Michael Balcon Production

Out of interest an actor in this film, playing a police inspector in Sydney, was Kenneth J Warren who was actually born in Sydney. He was in quite a lot of films but also ran a very popular Australian Restaurant just of Leicester Sqaure in London. He sadly died very young at 43 years old.

I mention Kenneth Warren here because I remember him from a Steptoe episode ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ where he played Albert’s long lost son who surprises them when he comes ‘out of the blue’ to visit and decides to stay.

Harold is none too pleased as his father lavishes all affection on this new ‘son’ and Harold leaves and takes a room somewhere else close by and sets up a rival business with a horse and cart.

Albert slowly comes to realise that the new ‘son’ is lazy and constantly after money – when it comes to getting out on the rounds with the horse and cart he is reluctant and seems to be more interested in the horses ‘running at Kempton Park’ than the business – and he is continually asking for money to bet with.

His ‘new son’ clears off after Albert tells him off and then Albert has to meekly go round and persuade Harold to return which he of course does.

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